A REGULAR MEETING OF THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
june 9, 2015
The Lake County Board of County Commissioners met in regular session on Tuesday, June 9, 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; Neil Kelly, Clerk of Court; Barbara F. Lehman, Chief Deputy Clerk, County Finance; and Victoria Bartley, Deputy Clerk.
INVOCATION and pledge
Commr. Conner gave the Invocation and led the Pledge of Allegiance.
Commr. Parks introduced Mr. Cole Bernal, a High School student from Montverde, who was interning with the County for the day.
Mr. David Heath, County Manager, stated that Tab 6 would be considered with Tab 24.
CITIZEN QUESTION AND COMMENT PERIOD
Mr. Vance Jochim, financial blogger, suggested that the County reformat the budget presentations, as he feels the staff is not making a complete report when presenting them. He also suggested that they implement more comprehensive performance metrics.
Mr. Ronnie White, a citizen of Leesburg, reported to the Board that he had received a letter concerning a stop sign being set up at the crossing near his home.
Commr. Conner directed Mr. Stivender to speak with him at a later date.
On a motion by Commr. Campione, seconded by Commr. Cadwell, and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved the Minutes of May 5, 2015 (Regular Meeting) as presented.
presentation of PROCLAMATION
Mr. Brian Sheahan, Director of Community Safety and Compliance, relayed that the Board had tasked the staff with becoming an affiliate of Keep America Beautiful and that they have recently completed their final training to achieve that.
Ms. Mary Jean Yon, Executive Director of Keep Florida Beautiful, presented a proclamation in recognition of Lake County as an official Florida affiliate of the Keep America Beautiful program. She explained that Lake County would be the 41st Florida affiliate, becoming a part of the state effort for community “cleaning and greening.” She opined that the keys to success were compassion for the cause, commitment from the members, and champions to act as leaders to keep the movement going, all of which have been demonstrated by Lake County’s staff. She presented a plaque to Commr. Campione.
Commr. Campione stated that the Board was committed to the program and thanked them for their support.
Mr. Robert Anderson, Human Resources Director, presented the following employee awards, commenting briefly on the employee’s service to the County.
Mariela Garcia – Community Development Specialist
Community Services/Housing Services Division
Children’s Services Council
Linda Lewis, for service from 1999-2015 (not present)
Ginger Howard, for service from 2012-2015 (not present)
Ms. Rene O’Day, for service from 2013-2015 (not present)
Mrs. Jerry J. Bressin, for service from 2013-2015 (not present)
Elder Affairs Coordinating Council
Sue T. Miller, for service from 2007-2015
Library Advisory Board
Mr. Jules Turcsanyi, for service from 2011-2015 (not present)
Parks, Recreation, And Trails Advisory Board
Nathan G. Gonzalez, for service from 2013-2015 (not present)
Rick Roberts, for service from 2008-2015 (not present)
Kenneth Weld, Jr., for service from 2007-2015 (not present)
Public Safety Coordinating Council
The Honorable Terry Neal, for service from 2006-2014 (not present)
Jerry Manesis, for service from 2008-2013 (not present)
Adrian Mathena, for service from 2008-2014 (not present)
Joe Winkler, for service from 2013-2014
Mike Stone, for service from 2005-2013
Sales Surtax Oversight Advisory Committee
Robbie Ross, for service from 2002-2015
Glenn Irby, for service from 2011-2015 (not present)
CLERK OF COURTS’ CONSENT AGENDA
On a motion by Commr. Parks, seconded by Commr. Sullivan 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 the list of warrants paid prior to this meeting, pursuant to Chapter 136.06 (1) of the Florida Statutes, which shall be incorporated into the Minutes as attached Exhibit A and filed in the Board Support Division of the Clerk's Office.
Ordinance from the City of Minneola
Copy of Ordinance No. 2014-18 from the City of Minneola amending the boundaries of the City of Minneola to include within the City Limits approximately 9.97 acres of property generally located on the north side of Citrus Grove Road, east of US Highway 27 in Lake County and rezoning the property from County Planned Industrial to Planned Unit Development within the City of Minneola.
Comprehensive Annual Financial Report from the City of Umatilla
Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2014 from the City of Umatilla.
Ordinances from the City of Clermont
Copy of Ordinances No.’s 2015-13, 2015-20, 2015-23, 2015-26, and 2015-38 from the City of Clermont adopted by the Clermont City Council on April 28, 2015 which annex a parcel of land into the City limits, in accordance with the Interlocal Service Boundary Agreement dated December 2, 2014.
COUNTY MANAGER’S CONSENT AGENDA
On a motion by Commr. Cadwell, seconded by Commr. Sullivan and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the County Manager’s Consent Agenda, Tabs 4 through 16, pulling Tab 6 to be considered with Tab 24 as follows:
Request approval of termination of leased space with UP Fieldgate US Investments-Bradshaw II, LLC, located at 22051 North O'Brien Road, Howey-in the-Hills.
Request approval of Resolution No. 2015-55 authorizing the refunding of approximately $21,500,000 of the Limited General Obligation Bonds, Series 2007; authorizing the issuance of its Lake County, Florida Limited General Obligation Refunding Bond, Series 2015, in an aggregate principal amount not to exceed $21,500,000 in order to effect such refunding; authorizing a negotiated sale of said bond and the award of said bond pursuant to the term sheet of Citizens First Bank; and authorizing the Chairman and County Manager to execute any necessary documents to effectuate such refunding. The fiscal impact to the net present value debt service savings is $1.6 Million or 8.25% of the refunded bonds par amount.
Request approval of Resolution No. 2015-56 authorizing the refunding of a portion of the Capital Improvement Revenue Bonds; series 2007; authorizing the issuance of its Lake County, Florida Capital Improvement Refunding Revenue Bond, series 2015a, in an aggregate principal amount not to exceed $26,500,000 in order to effect such refunding; authorizing a negotiated sale of said bond and the award of said bond pursuant to the term sheet of Regions Capital Advantage, Inc.; and authorizing the Chairman and County Manager to execute any necessary documents to effectuate such refunding. The fiscal impact to the net present value debt service savings is $2.1 Million or 8.80% of the refunded bonds par amount.
Request approval of the District Office Lease Amendment for relocation of Congressman Daniel Webster's lease space into the County's Administration Building, 315 West Main Street, Room 411, in Tavares. There is no fiscal impact.
Request approval of an Interlocal Agreement between Lake Technical College and Lake County to provide financial support for the construction of the Lake Technical College Center for Advanced Manufacturing. The fiscal impact is $100,000 (expenditure).
Fiscal and Administrative Services
Request approval to award to Raymond James as senior manager, and Citigroup as co-manager, under RFP 15-0029 for underwriting services associated with re-financing an estimated $45 million in Capital Improvement bonds. Due to current market conditions the fiscal impact and net present value debt service savings cannot be determined at this time.
Request approval to (1) declare the items on the attached list surplus to County needs, (2) authorize the removal of all of the items on the attached list from the County’s official fixed asset inventory system records, and (3) authorize the Procurement Manager to execute any required title documents. There is no fiscal impact.
Request approval to apply for the FY 2015 Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) Program Local Solicitation. The FY 2015 allocation for Lake County is $32,913.00.
Request approval to terminate contract 14-0415, and award new contract 15-0430 to Faithworks Total Ground Maintenance (Mt. Dora), for Bahia Common Area Lawn Maintenance and Related Services at Astor, Paisley, PEAR, and Pine Forest Parks; and authorize Procurement Services to complete all implementing documentation. The annual fiscal impact is an estimated $57,710 (Expenditure).
Request approval of Resolution No. 2015-57 and execution of Supplemental Local Agency Program Agreement with FDOT for the construction of sidewalk at Carver Middle School on Thomas Avenue in Leesburg (Tracking No. S/W09028). The fiscal impact is $214,434.00 – 100% Grant funded (Revenue/Expenditure). Commission District 1.
Request approval of a Resolution 2015-58 authorizing the posting of 20 MPH speed limit signs on the following roads in the Kings Cove subdivision in the Fruitland Park Area; West Griffin Drive (5815C), Queens Way (5813), Old Hickory Lane (5814C), Willow Circle (5914), Dogwood Circle (5815B), Section 1 Township 19, Range 24. There is no fiscal impact. Commissioner District 5.
Request approval and execution of a Partial Release for a portion of a Drainage Easement with G.C. Eustis Village, LLC. In order to re-configure the David Walker Drive Stormwater System, G.C. Eustis Village, LLC will dedicate a Drainage Easement for the new system location. There is no fiscal impact. Commission District 4.
Request approval of Resolution No. 2015-59 declaring a linear portion of County owned property as right of way for CR 561 and CR 448, lying within 50 feet of the centerline of the roadways. The properties affected include the County Solid Waste Facility, Driver’s License office, Traffic Operations Facility, Animal Control Facility and Lake Idamere Park which are within Section 7 and 8, Township 20S, Range 26E, in the Tavares area. There is no fiscal impact. Commission District 3.
COUNTY MANAGER’S DEPARTMENTAL BUSINESS
Marion Baysinger Memorial Library's teen group recognition
Commr. Sullivan gave a presentation in recognition of excellent creative work of the teen group for the Marion Baysinger Memorial Library, who won first place in the annual Florida State Library video contest for teens to promote the upcoming summer reading program. He relayed that the theme this year was “Unmasked” featuring heroes and heroic characters for literature and popular culture, and that video would become an official, state-wide teen public service announcement. He displayed the video on the monitor and opined that the library system was a wonderful asset of their community and that this video was just one example of the creativity that goes on there.
“Trap-Neuter-Return” Program ordinance
The Chairman opened the Public Hearing.
Mr. Sanford Minkoff, County Attorney, reported that Ordinance No. 2015-20 would amend Chapter 4 of the Lake County Code, entitled “Animals,” to permit a “Trap-Neuter-Return” Program in Lake County. He relayed that the program will permit the capture and release of stray or feral cats upon sterilization, rabies vaccination and ear-tipping and will also amend Sections 4-3 “Definitions;” 4-9 “Impoundment of Animals;” 4-11 “Surrender of Animals and 4-36 “Rabies Certificate and County Tag” to make the sections consistent with the TNR program.
Mr. Clyde Stephens, a fifth generation Floridian from Tavares speaking against the ordinance, referenced several articles from the Lake Sentinel concerning the citizens of Lake County’s reaction toward feral cats and the Trap-Neuter-Return program. He mentioned several issues that had not been included in the articles, such as the effect feral cats have on the native bird population and that vaccination was not enough to combat all of the diseases that feral cats carry. He opined that euthanasia would be a more humane option for these animals. He relayed that he had worked in scientific research throughout his career and that the pro-release publications were “thinking with their hearts, rather than their heads.” He specified that Lake County could lead as an example for other counties and states by taking steps to protect Florida’s native birds and wildlife by not releasing feral cats.
Ms. Linda Heizer, a resident of Leesburg speaking in favor of the ordinance, reported that she had previously worked in an animal hospital as both a technician and a manager in Maryland for 15 years, which was a primary service location for a Trap-Neuter-Release program. She related that the program had been a success and that the health of feral cat colonies improved, but the number of feral cats decreased. She specified that this program was geared toward addressing problems with known colonies of feral cats, rather than every feral cat in the area.
Mr. Alex Chester, a resident of Lake County speaking against the ordinance, explained that he and his wife are retired biologists who care deeply about natural habitats and native species. He acknowledged that everyone would prefer that domesticated cats were adopted into loving homes and that none were unnecessarily euthanized. He reported that free-ranging cats are likely the single greatest source of anthropogenic mortality in U.S. birds and small mammals and that a 2013 study estimated that cats living in the wild killed between 15 and 20 percent of the U.S. bird population. He asserted that the TNR policy is potentially harmful to wildlife populations because it leaves so many non-native predators in the wild, and domestic cats are not a native U.S. species. He remarked that a 2009 scientific study evaluated the arguments in support of TNR and concluded that the scientific literature contradicts each of these claims. He relayed that a 2012 scientific study by veterinarians concluded that free-roaming cats are a significant public health threat and a source of diseases that can be transferred to other wildlife or humans, particularly many flea-borne diseases. He commented that free-roaming cats account for most cases of human rabies exposure among domestic animals and account for approximately one third of prophylactic rabies treatments in humans in the U.S. post-exposure. He related that TNR programs may lead to increased populations of cats that can serve as a source of such diseases.
Ms. Sheryan Chester, a resident of Lake County speaking against the ordinance, stated that in 2014, Lake County reported 6 cases of rabies, including one cat. She relayed that only Bay and Palm Beach counties reported a higher number of rabies cases in 2014 in Florida. She mentioned that toxoplasmosis, a parasitic disease primarily transferred through cats that requires them to complete their life cycle, is especially serious for pregnant women because it can cause the death of the fetus and is emerging as a link to mental illnesses and suicide rates. She specified that the American Veterinary Medical Association is currently conducting a survey of veterinarians for exposure risks to the organism toxoplasma. She explained that the disease is transmitted through feces and consumption of tainted meat. She opined that the presence of the disease in feral domestic colonies near Volusia County and in the soil in the vicinity of those colonies is especially high. She reported that the study of the TNR program at the University of Central Florida is often cited as an example of a successful program, but such examples are rare and share certain traits, such as trapping and neutering one hundred percent of one isolated colony. She relayed that a large portion of the cats from the UCF example were not released and that 47 percent of those that were trapped were adopted out, with 11 percent being euthanized. She specified that this is not the same program proposed for Lake County as not all cats will be able to be trapped and neutered and few are likely to be adopted as evidenced by the shelter’s poor success thus far. She asserted that an insignificant number of the total feral cat population in the County will be managed, and consequently the reduction in the total number the TNR programs will affect is insignificant. She pointed out that it is unlikely that the animals will be tested for a suite of diseases, most notably rabies and toxoplasma, as well as be held until the results of the test are available since a diseased animal should never be considered for release. She mentioned that many vaccinations do not last for a lifetime, unless the feral cat’s lifespan is expected to be extremely short. She opined that once a feral cat is trapped, the trapper owns the animal and that it would be inhumane to re-abandon that cat. She asserted that it would be irresponsible for the County Commissioners to allow TNR programs in Lake County and increase citizens exposure to zoonotic diseases and further expose wildlife to gradation by a non-native, invasive species. She opined that euthanasia is more humane than re-abandonment and that the debated issue is really about the environment and human health.
Ms. Margaret Anne Lindsay, a volunteer for the County Clerk’s office speaking against the ordinance, opined that stray cats under the control of animal services should be euthanized. She related that she had requested to be a part of the drafting process for the original ordinance but had not been contacted. She commented that a better ordinance than the current draft is needed if TNR is to become part of Lake County’s Animal Control program. She suggested designing a new ordinance to conform to the American Veterinarian Medical Association’s guidelines for managing cat colonies. She specified that the current ordinance does not have provisions for the maximum number of animals in a cat colony, for the number of colonies in a given area, for the transfer of a cat colony to a new caregiver, or for resolution of potential conflicts between caregivers of cat colonies and those adjacent property owners who do not want community cats in the area. She commented that the ordinance has insufficient minimum distances for parks and conservation areas and noted that there had not been an impact study done on the number of native birds, rodents, and other small animals that these exotic predators will remove from the landscape. She mentioned that there is also no provision in the ordinance for re-evaluation after a set period of time in order to determine if the program was effective in reducing the cat population.
Commr. Conner reported that Sherriff Borders was unable to attend that day’s meeting because he was attending a funeral, but that Captain Todd Luce was there to speak on his behalf.
Capt. Luce voiced his support for the TNR ordinance and explained that as the program develops, they will be looking for administrative oversight and working with the non-profit group to ensure that the concerns from Lake County citizens are addressed. He commented that there would be standards in the ordinance in regards to nuisance cats on neighboring property. He pointed out that this ordinance addresses cats that already exist in the community.
Ms. Whitney Luckhart, TNR program manager, reiterated that this program would not be adding any cats to the community, but managing the ones that already exist. She commented that this program would be able to give citizens the opportunity to responsibly manage the cats that are in their neighborhoods. She relayed that they are looking to implement a colony caretaker driven model, so that the cats would be returned to where they were found and be taken care of by a dedicated person. She remarked that they would be working with Alley Cat Allies to do specific, targeted, widespread trapping, but that it would take some time as it would require grant money. She opined that they will see a reduction in the cat population in the long run.
Commr. Conner inquired if this program may have been made a priority over the other programs that had been implemented over the years.
Ms. Luckhart explained that the TNR program has generated a base of volunteers that they would not have had otherwise, so there will be an entire subdivision that will be supported outside of their regular mission. She relayed that the time and energy that will have to be put into kitten season at the shelter will be reduced as the number of cats having kittens decreases.
Commr. Campione asked about the vaccination aspect of the program.
Ms. Luckhart reported that they were looking to work with Animal Services, as they had an excellent software program. She specified that because they test every cat that gets adopted, they will be able to geographically pinpoint areas that have a higher risk for certain diseases, and they can determine where they will need to test colonies. She noted that a medical team will assess whether a cat might be at risk for a disease when it is spayed or neutered. She specified that testing is very expensive and can be at least $20 for a combination test, so most major TNR organizations recommend either spot-testing, random testing, or testing on suspicion. She related that they are looking at vaccinating with a modified live vaccination, as they do not require boosters in adult cats. She clarified that Alley Cat Allies and Neighborhood Cats are very reserved about relocating feral cats, but they would be working with Animal Services to develop a barn-cat program so that if the TNR program cannot return a cat to its original area, then a member of the community can adopt the cat and allow it to live on their property, rather than as a house cat. She mentioned that they were still developing the guidelines for this program. She specified that nothing about nuisance complaints will be changed with this ordinance revision, so any nuisance cats will still be taken to the shelter to be euthanized.
The Chairman closed the public hearing.
Commr. Cadwell voiced his concerns over some aspects of the program, such as returning the cats to the area in which they are found, but opined that the neutering aspect of the program will have to have some effect. He remarked that if the program does not work, they will readdress the issue but that they need to try some solution.
Commr. Campione commented that they were not trying to change the way that Animal Services handles unwanted animals on someone’s property, they just hope to lower the feral cat population. She pointed out that this program would both continue with the euthanasia of nuisance cats, but also deal with population of colony cats that people already take care of.
Commr. Sullivan noted that there were no simple solutions and that they would need to monitor the program.
Commr. Cadwell remarked that these kinds of programs have historically not had the highest success rate, but that he hopes that this will work out for the best.
Commr. Parks opined that he liked the colony management approach, because it meant that those involved would be actively searching for solutions. He suggested that it would be beneficial to have a report at the end of the year to see what the program did well and what it might need to work on.
Mr. Minkoff clarified that the ordinance only authorizes the Sheriff to operate the program and does not require him to do so.
On a motion by Commr. Campione, seconded by Commr. Sullivan and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved the adoption of Ordinance No. 2015-20 amending Chapter 4 of the Lake County Code to permit a “Trap-Neuter-Return” Program in Lake County.
Prohibition of Gas Powered Vessels Ordinance
Mr. Minkoff explained that if approved, this would become Ordinance 2015-21 creating Section 5-9 of the Lake County Code, to be entitled “Motorboats Powered by Gasoline or Other Motor Fuels Prohibited on Lake Tavares;” prohibiting any person from operating a motorboat powered by gasoline or other motor fuel within or on Lake Tavares.
Mr. Sheahan presented the Board with an overview of a proposed ordinance amending the Lake County Code to prohibit the use of gasoline powered vessels on the unincorporated portion of Lake Tavares. He displayed on the monitor a map of the lake with the area that prohibits gasoline or fuel powered vessels by a City of Tavares ordinance outlined in red. He relayed that there were 39 property owners bordering the lake, 32 of which were located within Tavares and 7 that are unincorporated, and that 2.5 acres allows the use of gasoline powered vessels. He reported that on March 5, 2015 the Board received a request from the City of Tavares to consider the adoption of an ordinance prohibiting gas powered vessels on Lake Tavares complimentary to the existing city Ordinance No. 1976-17, and a proposed ordinance was brought back to the Board later in the month after hearing concerns from residents adjoining Lake Tavares. He explained that in May 2015, the Board approved advertising the proposed Ordinance, and notice was published and mailed to property owners on the lake and later received support from the Lake County Water Authority (LCWA) for a county ordinance consistent with the City’s existing one. He reported that the ordinance would prohibit motorized vessels powered by gasoline or other fuel on Lake Tavares, require posting of signs providing notice at any public launching point, and allow enforcement by any local, state, or federal law enforcement officer. He noted that if approved, the ordinance would be sent to the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission for state approval. He relayed that their requested action was for the approval of the proposed ordinance prohibiting the operation of motorized vessels powered by gasoline or other motor fuel upon the waters of Lake Tavares.
The Chairman opened the public hearing.
Mr. Michael Hatfield, a representative of one of the property owners on Lake Tavares, stated that the Board is required to satisfy and find several “whereas “ clauses in the ordinance before it is passed. He commented that he had provided the Board with the examples of the mandates that they must meet. He relayed that the complaints in favor of this ordinance are that powerboats cause danger and a hazard to the lake, and he had submitted a photo of his client’s vehicle that he maintains is ecological and has zero opportunity to cause any gross pollution on a 30-acre lake. He specified that his client had the right to operate this boat when he had originally bought the house, which he had done with the expectation that he would be able to enjoy the full use of the lake. He reported that the Board must find proof of many factors, such as that this powerboat will cause a hazard and a danger due to the lake’s size and speed; that the ordinance will serve the health, safety, and general welfare of all the residents of Lake County; that they must find that the lake is not suitable for any gas combined power without creating a danger and hazards to persons; and that water quality problems will result from use of the boat. He submitted that there was no basis for those findings.
Mr. Walter Price, a Tavares citizen speaking in support of the ordinance, relayed that he was a representative of the Hidden Cove Home Owners’ Association, all of whom are opposed to motor powered boats on the boats. He mentioned that he had submitted a petition to the Board with the signatures of the majority of the residents who live on the lake. He relayed that the City of Tavares had passed an ordinance in the 1970s to restrict motor powered boats in the City portion of the lake and agreed that the County should pass a similar ordinance to make the restriction uniform across the whole of the lake. He clarified that there were signs for public access to the lake, but they were in an area that is overgrown and hides them from view. He declared that the HOA did not want motor boats on the lake because they will lead to noise issues and will inevitably leak and cause pollution.
Ms. Clara Margaret Groover, an Orlando lawyer representing herself and another homeowner, spoke in favor of the ordinance and reported that she was a third generation owner of a property on the south shore of Lake Tavares. She disclosed that many of the property owners had been under the impression that motor powered boats were not allowed on any part of the lake and have acted accordingly. She submitted that the individual with the motor boat has been violating the city ordinance by using the boat by the south shore. She commented that she appreciated the harmonizing of the law so that everyone will be on the same page and can protect the environmental sensitivity of the lake.
Mr. Hatfield offered a rebuttal and cited a previous case that stated that the owner of part of the lake is allowed to use it as they wish. He submitted that this ordinance would not pass when it is challenged.
Mr. Minkoff related that the statute was changed in 2009 that requires them to pass the ordinance through Tallahassee before it becomes effective, so it will receive a second check. He mentioned that the statute allowed the Board to declare a water body for only water and wind powered vehicles and to prohibit motor powered vehicles, so they believe it will be successful.
Commr. Campione voiced concerns over implementing an ordinance in an area where a citizen had bought property with the expectation that they would be able to utilize it in a certain way. She stated that she did not support the ordinance.
Commr. Cadwell clarified that this would only prohibit vehicles powered by gasoline or other motor fuel, but electric powered vehicles would still be lawful. He pointed out that the lake had very limited public access, so it is not imposing a restriction on a community lake. He stated that he supported the ordinance.
Commr. Conner commented that it had been a common public perception that gas-powered boats are not allowed on the lake since the original city ordinance passed.
Commr. Sullivan opined that there should be one standard applied consistently across the lake.
Commr. Campione clarified that there had been complaints made against Mr. Hatfield’s client due to his use of a gas-powered boat, and that is why the City of Tavares had asked the Board to impose the ordinance on the County portion of the lake.
On a motion by Commr. Sullivan, seconded by Commr. Cadwell and carried by a 4-1 vote, with Commr. Campione dissenting, the Board approved the adoption of Ordinance No. 2015-21 creating Section 5-9 of the Lake County Code, to be entitled “Motorboats Powered by Gasoline or Other Motor Fuels Prohibited on Lake Tavares” prohibiting any person from operating a motorboat powered by gasoline or other motor fuel within or on Lake Tavares.
recess and reassembly
The Board reconvened at 10:45 A.M.
One-Cent Infrastructure Sales Tax Extension Ordinance
The Chairman opened the public hearing.
Mr. Minkoff explained that this was the final reading for the adoption of what would become Ordinance No. 2015-22 extending the One-Cent Infrastructure Sales Tax for an additional fifteen years and execution of an interlocal agreement with municipalities regarding the distribution of the Local Government Infrastructure Surtax. He reported that if extended, the Sales Tax will be distributed among the Lake County School Board, the municipalities, and the County.
Mr. Vance Jochim opined that the Board should set conditions for how the money should be spent and that each Board member should individually state that they will not approve bonds. He commented that the County should live within its means and employ professional-grade metrics for all of its departments. He mentioned that the audit had shown that some of the planned projects from the last renewal of this tax had not been completed.
The Chairman closed the public hearing.
Mr. Heath communicated that in a previous workshop, the Board had projected that the revenue stream would grow about 3 percent each year and identified the priorities of how this money would be used. He relayed that these plans would fall into the categories of Quality of Life projects with parks, public lands, trails, and some library improvements; Public Works projects such as resurfacing and pedestrian safety around schools; IT improvements; and Public Safety projects such as squad cars, additional ambulances, and additional firetrucks. He asserted that these are a list of potential projects and that the ordinance has only the general categories that are consistent with State statute.
Commr. Conner pointed out that the law states what the County is allowed to spend the money on and that the Board has outlined its priorities. He mentioned that the commissioners had received a letter from Ms. Gwendolyn McLin, a resident of Okahumpka, requesting a ramp for the Helena Run Preserve, which might be a potential project for the sales tax money. He commented that the County needed to be up to date with Public Safety’s patrol cars, ambulances, and firetrucks.
On a motion by Commr. Sullivan, seconded by Commr. Parks and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved the adoption of Ordinance No. 2015-22 amending Chapter 13, Section 13-1, Florida Statutes, extending the One-Cent Infrastructure Sales Tax for an additional fifteen (15) years and Approval, and execution of Interlocal Agreement with Municipalities regarding the Distribution of Local Government Infrastructure Surtax.
Hurricane Season Update
Mr. Tommy Carpenter, Lake County Emergency Management Division Manager, gave an overview of the 2015 hurricane season. He commented that Hurricane Donna in 1960 was the last hurricane that came through Lake County and the last major hurricane to strike the U.S. was Wilma in 2005. He relayed that the shelters had last opened in 2004, and the last full activation of the EOC was during the Groundhog Day Tornadoes of 2007. He reported that County shelter space for primary general risk shelters had a 5,917 person capacity and that special needs shelters had a 372 person capacity. He noted that as of this year, all Lake County Shelter locations are pet friendly and are all located in elementary schools. He displayed on the monitor a breakdown of weather terminology and explained that a tropical depression is an organized weather system with winds of 38 mph or less, a tropical storm is an organized weather system with winds from 39 to 73 mph, and a hurricane is an intense weather system with winds 74 mph and higher. He reported that they used the Saffir-Simpson Scale for determining hurricane categories which ranks hurricanes from Category 1 hurricanes with wind speeds of 74 to 95 miles per hour, all the way through Category 5 hurricanes with winds of 157 miles per hour and greater. He mentioned that the 2014 hurricane forecast had expected 8 to 13 named storms, 3 to 6 hurricanes, and 1 to 2 major hurricanes, with an actual outcome of 8 named storms, 6 hurricanes, and 2 major hurricanes. He displayed the 2014 hurricane season names on the monitor and stated that the current weather patterns suggest that while there may be fewer storms, the ones that do occur are stronger, which was true in 2014. He reported that for the National Hurricane Center (NHC) is forecasting an El Nino year for the 2015 hurricane season, which is a weather pattern that makes hurricane development unfavorable. He cited that Colorado State University has predicted 8 named storms, 3 hurricanes, and 1 major hurricane for 2015, and that the averages are 12 named storms, 6 hurricanes, and 2 major hurricanes. He recounted that the NHC forecast predicted 6 to 11 named storms, 3 to 6 hurricanes, and 0 to 2 major hurricanes.
Mr. Carpenter outlined what citizens could do to prepare before a hurricane, such as have a personal and/or family disaster plan, identify the risk of the area and whether they would need to evacuate, identify shelter locations, and take First Aid or CPR classes. He suggested forming a communication plan by providing information to one out-of-state contact, save any important contact numbers, and notifying family, friends, neighbors. He advised citizens to create a disaster supply kit, create a plan for pets, acquire a NOAA weather radio that is battery powered, save important documents in a water proof container, and to get a supply of cash as there may not be ATM access after a storm. He stated that during the hurricane, citizens should know where their home’s “safe room” was, monitor the NOAA weather radio, and stay away from doors, windows, and skylights. He listed several outlets where citizens can receive information from during storms, such as the NOAA weather radio, Radio AM 790 & 640, Newspapers, TV stations, the county website, the Citizens Information Line (CIL), and social media. He cautioned for citizens to be careful after the hurricane by using radio or TV to get latest information; staying away from downed, loose, or dangling power lines; ensuring food safety; using proper safety equipment and/or clothing when cleaning up debris; taking photos of damage to your house, furnishings, and surroundings for insurance; driving only when necessary and treating traffic lights as a 4-way stop if they are out; and contacting family, friends, and neighbors as soon as possible. He displayed on the monitor a map of all the tropical disturbances in Florida from 1851 to 2013. He reminded the Board that 1992 had also been forecasted as a slow year, but Hurricane Andrew had hit, so everyone should be cautious and prepared no matter the forecast.
Commr. Sullivan pointed out that the population density in several areas had changed and inquired if this had been taken into account with the shelter locations.
Mr. Carpenter relayed that they were working with the School Board and the Health Department on shelter locations for a report that is due at the end of June.
Economic Growth Department Budget Workshop
Mr. Robert Chandler, Director of Economic Growth, gave an overview of the Economic Growth Department’s operations and the proposed FY 2016 budget. He reported that the Economic Growth Department was categorized into four separate divisions: Building Services, Economic Development and Tourism, Planning and Community Design, and Business Relations. He relayed that the mission statement for Economic Growth was to foster and guide the physical and economic growth of Lake County, in partnership with their residents, the business community, and local municipalities, while focusing on efficiency, quality of life and the balance between a diverse economic base and protecting Lake County’s natural resources and unique heritage.
Mr. Shane Gerwig, Building Services Manager, remarked that the Building Services division’s mission statement was to administer and enforce all building and licensing related laws, rules and regulations in order to protect the health, safety and welfare of the public; to provide the residents of Lake County with trained and qualified inspectors to perform building inspections in an efficient and timely manner; and to provide the highest level of customer service by a fully-trained team dedicated to serving the public. He explained that division services include permitting, plans review, fire safety plan review and inspections, contractor licensing, and building inspections. He commented that Building Services had received 32,510 incoming telephone calls, 8,745 in-person requests, 6,151 faxes, 13,000 emails, and 3,583 web permitting requests in the past year. He relayed that the permitting section administered all building and licensing laws, rules and regulations in order to protect the health, safety and welfare of the public. He reported that they had issued a total of 7,778 permits for single-family new construction, multi-family new construction, commercial structures, and renovation, additions, alterations and repairs in 2014.
Mr. Gerwig mentioned that the building and fire safety plans review performed technical reviews of construction plans to ensure plans of proposed structures meet the local, state and national building codes and have done 5,858 construction plan reviews in 2014. He related that licensed building inspectors ensure that the construction of building structures meets the local, state, and national building codes and that licensed fire inspectors provide the highest level of fire and life safety reviews in the most economically feasible manner while maintaining compliance with adopted codes and standards. He noted that they had completed 37,220 building and fire safety inspections in 2014. He remarked that the license investigation unit of Contractor Licensing had resolved 164 complaints in FY14 regarding unlicensed contractors, unsafe structures and reports of work without permits. He mentioned that they had also handled the issuance of local contractor licenses and verification of State registration, insurance, and workers’ compensation for 12,158 contractors. He submitted that some accomplishments for the department included improving telephone customer service by 33 percent through the implementation of an internal phone tracking and reporting system, decreasing customer lobby wait times by 20 percent through process management improvements, and successfully managing the increase in demand created from impact fee reinstatement.
Mr. Gerwig recounted that some recent efficiencies included reorganizing permitting technician space to an open floor concept providing larger customer counter space and allowing continuous interaction between customers and building staff, as well as incorporating plan review approvals for other divisions and departments into the software program, eliminating the need for staff to make phone calls for approvals. He commented that Contractor Investigations had assumed responsibility for unsafe structure investigations from the Community Safety and Compliance Department to bring all related functions under one department and that Fire Safety Plan Review and Inspections had created a database to determine water supplies for fire protection, enabling fire staff to review construction plans in a more expedient manner. He specified that new software has enabled inspectors to receive and transmit data from their tablets in the field while providing customers with additional on-site information and that they were utilizing a private provider to maintain the desired level of services. He displayed on the monitor several graphs representing the benchmarks for population, FY 2014 permits and sub-permits, building services FTEs, permits per FTE, and inspections for Lake and the surrounding counties. He reported that the FY 2016 proposed budget of $3,673,095 reflects one additional staff position of Concierge Service/Permit Tech. He mentioned that the Capital Outlay includes five replacement vehicles but excludes possible changes to health and property insurance rates, workers’ comp rates, COLA, or FRS rates. He explained that the request for an additional staff position of Concierge/Permit Tech was due to the increased demand at the Building Services counter and that additional resources were needed to enhance customer service levels. He commented that the new position would be placed in the 5th floor lobby to assist customers as they exit the elevator or staircase. He submitted that the key benefits to this new position would be that new customers could be provided information and guidance regarding the process prior to waiting in line, and existing customers who require less staff time could avoid the line through services offered by the lobby concierge.
Commr. Cadwell commented that this new position was actually a restoration of an old position the County had employed before the recession and that it had made a marked difference in customer service when it was still established.
Commr. Sullivan inquired how the online permitting process had affected the staff work time.
Mr. Gerwig replied that the process had greatly helped the staff in regards to time efficiency and that it was also easier for the customer to use, as all of the relevant information is within close reach.
Mr. Adam Sumner, Manager of Economic Development and Tourism, relayed that the three categories of the Economic Development and Tourism Division were Economic Development, Tourism, and Fiscal and Administrative Services with a total of 6 full-time employees. He reported that the Economic Development division’s mission was to aggressively retain, attract and grow jobs in Lake County, in partnership with others, while protecting and improving Lake County’s quality of life and unique character. He remarked that the Tourism division’s mission was to promote travel, drive visitation and generate hotel room nights in Lake County for the purpose of facilitating ongoing, economic benefits for Lake County residents, the business community, and its fourteen municipalities. He specified that Economic Development services follow the Economic Action Plan, which is to ensure that Lake County remains business friendly, promotes cooperation and coordination between County and municipalities, aids workforce development, business retention and expansion, supports start-ups and entrepreneurs, generates business recruitment and attraction, and protects and improves the quality of life of Lake County residents. He related that Tourism services follow the Tourism Marketing Plan, which is to serve as the destination marketing organization for Lake County, manage event sponsorship and capital projects programs, handle event recruitment and attraction, actively promote and market Lake County as a tourism destination, and promote cooperation and collaboration between the County, chambers, and local tourism partners.
Mr. Sumner reported that some recent accomplishments of the Economic Development division included the Quietflex relocation and expansion, the Coreslab relocation to 470 Commerce Center, the expanded training and consulting services through BOCs, the Senninger Irrigation expansion, and the formation of the Lake County Economic Developers Team. He noted that some recent accomplishments for Tourism included creating the Tourism Marketing Plan, launching the “Real Florida. Real Close.” branding campaign, launching the lakebigbass.com branding, hosting the 2nd Annual Tourism Forum, and that episodes for “How to do Florida,” “Scott Martin Challenge,” and “Fishing University” all filmed in Lake County. He remarked that efficiencies for the department included the consolidation of Economic Development and Tourism with Growth Management to form Economic Growth Department, the creation of the new Business Relations Manager position, the implemented Salesforce client/project tracking database, reorganizing the Business Opportunity Centers, reworking the Central Florida Sports Commission contract to be performance based, creating and executing the Tourism Marketing Plan in-house, amending event sponsorship programs to more efficiently distribute Tourist Development Tax (TDT) funding, and creating a streamlined application and agreement process for grant funding.
Mr. Sumner displayed on the monitor graphs of the benchmarks for businesses, economic development operational budget, operational budget per business, incentives, TDT revenue, TDT tax rate, promotional budget, and capital budget for Lake and the surrounding Counties. He submitted that the FY 2016 Economic Development proposed budget was $1,149,827, which would maintain the current levels of service and allow for the creation of one new staff member, the Economic Development and Tourism Coordinator for South Lake County. He related the FY 2016 Tourism proposed budget was $6,054,526 and increased the current levels of service and allowed for the creation of one additional staff member, the Special Events Associate in the Emergency Management Division. He specified that the additional funds would be dedicated to promotional activities. He explained that the reorganization of the Growth Management Department and Economic Development and Tourism Department into the Economic Growth Department resulted in a vacancy for the South Lake Economic Development and Tourism Coordinator position and that the position is needed to adequately serve the businesses of South Lake County. He mentioned that the position will be funded 50 percent through the General Fund and 50 percent through the TDC.
Mr. Chris Schmidt, Planning Manager, reported that the Planning and Community Design Management was categorized into Planning, Development Services, and GIS Analyst divisions. He relayed that the Division’s mission was to provide a better quality of life for all Lake County citizens by facilitating development of a well-designed, efficient, healthy, and safely built environment. He commented that this enhances community identity and allows development to co-exist with the natural environment. He relayed that the department’s levels of service included ensuring applications are sufficient for quick and efficient processing, that permits meet Land Development Regulations and the Comprehensive Plan, educating customers about the Land Development Regulations and the Comprehensive Plan, and reviewing and approving commercial site plans. He mentioned that last year’s total activity included handling 13,530 incoming telephone calls, 4,730 walk-ins, and 520 Web permitting requests. He noted that they had done permits and applications for 2,800 total permits, 910 single family dwellings, 15 variances, 25 Comprehensive Plan amendments, 55 special events, 6 CUP/MCUP, 30 rezonings, and 73 major and minor site plans. He relayed that the Wellness Way Sector Plan had been completed in-house, and that they had transmitted the plan to DEO, were currently managing ORC response, and projected that it would be adopted in July 2015. He reported that the Interlocal Service Boundary Agreements were adopted in Clermont, Leesburg, and Tavares; that they had updated Chapters 6 and 22 of the Land Development Code; and that they had completed several Land Development Regulation revisions that included the Backyard Chicken Ordinance, the Lot Grading Ordinance, the Non-Conforming Ordinance, and the Tower Ordinance. He noted that they had digitized the historic official zoning maps and updated the digital zoning maps to ArcMap, which allows customers to view maps from the zoning counter for more efficient customer interaction. He related that they had adopted the Out of Cycle Comprehensive Plan Amendments, which gave them the ability to run out of cycle amendments including small scale amendments, County initiated amendments, and economic development driven projects. He mentioned that large scale amendments were still heard twice in a given year. He displayed on the monitor graphs of the benchmarks for employees, Comp Plan amendments processed, Comp Plan amendments processed per employee, rezonings processed, rezonings processed per employee, site plans reviewed, and site plans reviewed per employee for Lake and the surrounding counties. He specified that the Planning and Community Design division’s proposed budget was $1,060,701.
Mr. Chandler explained that Economic Growth’s total requested budget for FY2016 was $12,123,181 with $4,723,024 for the reserves, $3,603,053 for personal services, $1,104,000 for promotional activities, $790,085 for aids to private organizations, $336,118 for contractual services, $285,000 for aids to governmental agencies, $235,731 for administration fees, $227,820 for professional services, $133,501 for machinery and equipment, and $684,849 for other expenditures.
Commr. Parks clarified that the reserves amount included capital-only projects from the TDT.
Mr. Sumner explained that the total reserve account for the TDC was currently $3.8 million and $2.9 million of that could be used for capital, though it does not have to be, but the remainder cannot be used for capital.
The Board met in a closed session at 12:30 p.m.
Mr. Minkoff explained that the closed session is authorized by Florida Statute 286.011 and that the purpose of the session was to discuss settlement negotiations or strategies regarding litigation expenses for a case currently filed against the County. He relayed that a court reporter was present, who once they begin will record the entire session, and all discussions in these proceedings including the names of all persons present at any time once they end. He stated that none of this session can be off the record and that at the time the litigation is concluded, the court reporters notes will be transcribed and made public. He explained that the entity is required to announce who will be there at the beginning of the session and that they had run the required advertisement. He indicated that persons present at the meeting would be the County Commissioners, David Heath, himself, and Greg Stuart, their outside counsel.
The Board reconvened at 1:32 p.m.
Communications Budget Presentation
Ms. Kelly LaFollette, Communications Director, gave an overview of the Communications Department operations and the proposed FY 2016 Budget. She stated that the department supported outreach initiatives for the BCC and Constitutional Offices in three areas of service of Graphic Design, Communications and Media Relations, and Web Development. She explained that the Communications Department’s mission was to effectively coordinate communication between the Lake County Board of County Commissioners and the citizens, business owners, and visitors regarding county services, goals, objectives, and accomplishments. She reported that the Communication Department develops marketing solutions for Tourism, the Library System, Public Transit, and Parks and Trails and also provides communications and web support during EOC activations. She related that the Communications and Media Relations responsibilities were primarily carried out by the County’s Public Information Office, which includes outreach to local media, citizens, businesses, and visitors to promote county programs, initiatives, and accomplishments. She mentioned that they shared information through planning and coordinating county events, issuing news releases and media advisories, social media management, and developing content for websites, ads/marketing collateral, and educational materials. She noted that in 307 news releases were issued in FY 2014 and were sent out weekly to over 6,200 subscribers.
Ms. LaFollette relayed that graphic design services were divided into print and digital categories. She specified that examples of graphic design print services included designing a variety of printed materials such as bus passes and billboards, processing county stationary orders and coordinate commercial print orders, and supporting large-scale projects like the Wings and Wildflowers Festival and Bookfest. She related that digital design projects included website design, the State of the County, designing web/digital ads, the taking and editing of digital photography, and presentation templates. She explained that Website Development and Programming included managing both the front-end user interfaces and back-end database connectivity and web programming of 14 websites. She commented that staff had completed more than 1900 web related requests in 2014 and that the five new websites launched in the last three years were for Tourism, Sports, Wings and Wildflowers, Economic Development, and Emergency Management Training. She reported that they had designed and developed the Clerk of the Court’s website in 2010 and the navigation and template layout for the Tax Collector’s site in 2012. She reported that they had begun implementing responsive web design, which enables greater functionality of the websites on mobile devices like phones and tablets. She relayed that the department had supported 43 events which included the South Lake Trail Extension Ribbon-Cutting, the State of the County, Tourism Expo, Tourism Forum, Viva Florida Time Capsule Ceremony, Wings and Wildflowers Festival, and the Yalaha Community Center Ribbon-Cutting. She remarked that the Department had also aided Tourism with the ‘Real Florida. Real Close.’ ad campaign and branding, where they had developed over 60 different ads to be displayed in a variety of places, such as the Pandora radio, VisitFlorida, the Orlando-Sanford International Airport, and TripAdvisor. She revealed that other accomplishments included launching both a Tourism and a Sports website, receiving awards for the third consecutive year for Wings and Wildflowers artwork and website from the Florida Festival and Events Association, and handling the bass fishing sponsor branding. She recounted that they had programmed a new online Homestead Exemption Application for the Property Appraiser which had resulted in 65 percent of the new applications for the year being filed electronically. She noted that the new application visually shows the property owner which exemptions they are benefiting from with a checkmark.
Ms. LaFollette related that they had developed content, designed, and programmed the two new websites that launched last fiscal year in-house and mentioned that neighboring counties spent between $99,000 and $125,000 to launch their new websites. She commented that they had utilized volunteer labor to help with data and picture gathering for the tourism website. She displayed on the monitor graphs of the benchmarks for population comparison, managed websites, FY 2015 staff comparison, and FY 2015 budget comparison for Lake and the surrounding counties. She reported that the department’s proposed FY 2016 budget was $624,641 and that it provides for the addition of the Internet Applications Developer and Senior Graphic Designer positions. She specified that the operating and capital expenses had increased to fund the new positons, but that it excludes possible changes to health, property insurance, workers’ comp rates, COLA, and FRS rates. She displayed on the monitor a breakdown of the expenditures for the department. She explained that an Internet Applications Developer was critically needed to develop new responsive websites to be in line with industry standards, as 7 websites are obsolete and need to be updated. She detailed that some examples of possible enhancement features to launch on their websites included the online reservation and payment system for park pavilions/fields, the implementation of Google transit for LakeXpress, and more social media integration. She explained that the need for a Senior Graphic Designer position was due to the 97 percent increase in graphic design requests between FY 2012 and FY 2014 and that there are currently more than 130 graphic design requests in the queue for the department. She relayed that the Senior Graphic Designer would assist departments with planning and implementation of graphic design projects, such as supporting the current Public Transit initiatives and increasing services for Route 50. She mentioned that funding for both positions would be done 70 percent through the General Fund and 30 percent through the Public Transportation Fund.
Commr. Cadwell commented that the department did a great deal with the very little they had and that the consistency in the quality of their work was exemplary. He stated that the department was overworked, but the quality of their products had not dropped at all and they could do so much more if they were given the resources that they need. He opined that he was comfortable asking the TDC for more funding for the department.
Commr. Parks relayed that other property appraisers had taken notice of the excellent job they had done with the website, without having to contract out. He agreed that the department should have the support that they need.
Commr. Sullivan remarked that Communications had aided every department and that they needed to pay attention to it going forward.
County Attorney’s Office Budget Workshop
Mr. Minkoff gave an overview of the County Attorney’s Office and the proposed FY 2016 Budget. He clarified that the department was made up of the County Attorney, Deputy County Attorney, Assistant County Attorney III, Property Manager/Legal Office Manager, and Paralegals. He reported that the mission of the County Attorney's Office was to provide legal counsel to the Lake County Board of County Commissioners, County Manager, County Department and Division heads and other governmental subdivisions in all matters of civil law relating to Lake County, Florida. He relayed that the mission of the County Property Department was to oversee the County’s diverse property management program by coordinating, maintaining, and overseeing real property acquisitions, sales, leases and other real estate matters. He explained that the department’s duties included attending Board and Committee meetings, attending County Manager senior staff and agenda reviews, managing County property and leases, preparing ordinances and resolutions, and preparing interlocal and development agreements. He detailed several of the department’s recent accomplishments, including presenting 77 cases to the special master, filing 11 interpleader cases, responding to 53 mortgage foreclosure cases, responding to 44 Notice of Claims against the County, reviewing 120 Economic Growth funding agreements and 10 marketing agreements, the Hancock Road extension project, the CR466A expansion project, responding to 155 requests since October 1, 2014, purchasing 2 Public Works buildings, and negotiating an amendment to the Fire Union Contract. He reported that Housing Services had completed 20 releases, processed 6 short sales, and processed 8 subordination/refinance requests and that the department had processed 17 general ordinances and reviewed 17 rezoning/conditional use ordinances. He mentioned that Procurement Services had reviewed 106 Solicitations, reviewed 113 Task Orders, and prepared 90 Contracts. He noted that they had reviewed 17 outside employment requests and 176 Tax Deed Surplus Claims.
Mr. Minkoff relayed that some recent efficiencies included that they were in the process of moving to electronic record keeping, setting up a housing escrow account with the Clerk’s office for recording releases rather than requesting individual checks, eliminating the County Attorney library by having LDR/Codes and other resources available electronically on iPads, working with Code Enforcement to update the Special Master/Animal Control process. He displayed on the monitor the benchmarks for population, in-house legal services dollar cost per resident, and staffing for Lake and the surrounding counties. He stated that the FY 2016 proposed budget of $798,658 reflects the addition of an Office Associate V position, but excludes possible changes to health and property insurance rates, workers’ comp rates, COLA, and FRS rates, which will be addressed later in the budget. He displayed on the monitor a breakdown of the expenditures for the proposed budget. He explained that the inclusion of the new position, Office Associate V, was because the Office Manager and Paralegals are currently devoting a significant amount of time on general administrative tasks. He specified that this new position would allow the Paralegals to work independently on more complex job duties and allow the Property Manager to dedicate more time to property management and for needed site visits. He noted that the new Office Associate would assist with general administrative tasks, records management, and public records requests.
Mr. Minkoff reported that with his retirement at the end of October 2015 and the promotion of Melanie Marsh to County Attorney on November 1, 2015, there will be an attorney vacancy in the office. He relayed that in order to avoid a situation where only two lawyers are in the office, it is requested that Melanie Marsh be allowed to fill the vacant position prior to his leaving in order to have a smooth transition of attorney duties. He mentioned that there is no budget impact as funds in the current budget can be used for this purpose. He concluded with the request for authorization for the County Attorney to overfill a position for two months, September and October 2015.
Commr. Cadwell commended staff for handling the right-of-way procedures in the best and least expensive way possible.
On a motion by Commr. Campione, seconded by Commr. Sullivan and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved the authorization for the County Attorney to overfill a position for two months, September and October 2015.
Budget Work Session Employee Compensation
Mr. Steve Koontz, Director of Fiscal and Administrative Services, gave an overview of Employee Compensation and other Budget items.
Mr. Robert Anderson, Human Resources Director, explained that employee turnover continues to be a challenge because as the unemployment rate has come down, more jobs are available in the marketplace for employees to choose from. He reported that several managers have left for other jobs because the pay ranges of some jobs are not competitive enough with the marketplace, resulting in difficulty filling positions. He relayed that Human Resources attempts to fill most vacancies in 45 to 60 days from the time they receive the request to fill, depending on the nature of the position being filled, and from November 2013 to present, there were seventy positions that required over 60 days to fill. He displayed on the monitor the benchmarks for 2014 estimates of population, number of full time employees per 1,000 of population, turnover for FY 2013-14, amount of FY 2014-15 raises, total raises for the last three years, minimum hourly wage for mechanics, minimum hourly wage for road maintenance operators, and minimum hourly wage for risk and benefits representatives for Lake and the surrounding counties. He mentioned that the most recent salary study done in Lake County was in 2008. He reported that the recommended FY 2016 budget of $25,000 will include a 3 percent cost of living increase for all employees and funding for a salary study, which will evaluate starting salary and pay ranges. He displayed a graph on the monitor of the impact of the proposed 3 percent raise across the General Fund, Transportation Trust Fund, and Building Services, and conveyed that it would total $792,706.
Commr. Parks inquired about the possibility of performance or merit pay for employees that find efficiencies that provide extra value to Lake County residents.
Mr. Heath relayed that this would be part of the salary study and that they would be asking their consultants what the parameters should be to guide the process for these incentives, so that it does not devolve into a popularity contest. He commented that in the past, while they have been able to fill vacant position with qualified people, they would not have the institutional memory of their predecessors. He reported that they were not receiving enough qualified applicants because they advertise the minimum starting salary and those that who are qualified will not take the job with the minimum amount. He specified that they wanted to bring the raise amount back to where it should be and then broaden the requirements for compensation in the 2017 budget.
Mr. Koontz related that there were several non-departmental items that did not fit with any of the other department’s presentations. He explained that there are 18 Community Redevelopment Agencies in Lake County that receive incremental funding on property values over a set base. He noted that the total CRA payment for FY 2015 was $1,567,404 and is estimated to be $1,666,612 for FY 2016. He stated that the status quo items were the budgets for a Federal Lobbyist, the Florida Association of Counties, the National Association of Counties, the Lake County League of Cities, the St. Johns River Water Alliance, the Medical Examiner for the Lake County share, Trout Lake, MyRegion.org, and the Lake County Historical Society, and all will be included as they move forward with the recommended budget. He remarked that Commissioner Sullivan had received a request from the Central Florida Veterans Memorial Park Foundation, Inc. for a VA Medical Center at Lake Nona. He mentioned that several local governments have already contributed, and the fiscal impact would be $25,000. He mentioned that another new request included in the budget was for funding to procure a State Lobbyist, as Commissioner Parks had suggested at a previous meeting. He relayed that 6 of the 7 adjacent counties budget for a state lobbyist with amounts ranging from $18,000 to $92,500. He reported that Lake County has used lobbyists before for specific subjects and cited examples of areas that a lobbyist might be used, such as with Lake Tech, the South Lake Water Initiative, Wellness Way, and others similar programs. He summarized that the fiscal impact would be $25,000 to hire a firm(s) using hourly rates for specific issues.
Mr. Koontz announced that the United Arts of Central Florida had a request for funding of $100,000 and whose benefits would include a trustee seat at the United Arts Board of Directors, arts and culture programs in Lake County Schools, economic impact research and data, disbursement and oversight of grant funds, funding and technical assistance opportunities, and marketing and public relations. He stated that Lake-Sumter State College had a request for equipment funding for the Health Sciences Collegiate Academy (HSCA), which is a 4 year educational program that offers incoming 9th graders in South Lake County the opportunity to explore careers in Health Sciences. He explained that the funding for the facility is being secured through the State and other sources and would include a partnership between Lake-Sumter State College, South Lake Hospital, Lake County Schools, Montverde Academy, and the University of Central Florida. He mentioned that they requested Infrastructure Sales Tax funding for equipment to come from County and South Lake Cities of $1.5 million over several years. He displayed a chart on the monitor for the best estimate of property values with a list of the 5 millages, what the 2015 values were, what the best estimate values are, and the percentages of increase. He presented a chart on the monitor of the 2015 adopted budget and 2016 submitted budget for the County’s constitutional offices. He outlined the dates for the upcoming budget meetings from June 23 through September 29.
Commr. Parks inquired where the request for the additional $1.5 million had come from.
Mr. Heath relayed that Dr. Mojock of Lake Sumter had the funds for the construction of the HSCA facility and was trying to develop a partnership with the County and the South Lake cities for the equipment. He noted that Dr. Mojock had a meeting scheduled in the coming weeks with himself and the managers of the South Lake Cities to discuss this. He clarified that this would not come up in the current year’s budget and that they were keeping the request list current.
Children's Services Council appointment
On a motion by Commr. Cadwell, seconded by Commr. Campione and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved the appointment of Mr. Bradlee Cox, Jr. representing District 2 and Mr. Jack Holder representing District 3 to serve two-year terms beginning May 14, 2015 and appointment of Ms. Sharon Bichard as the Member-At-Large to complete an unexpired two-year term ending May 14, 2016 to the Children's Services Council.
Women's Hall of Fame Selection Committee appointment
On a motion by Commr. Campione, seconded by Commr. Sullivan and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved the appointment of Ms. Debbie Stivender (representing District 1), Mr. Rick Reed (representing District 2), Ms. Debbie Boggus (representing District 3), Ms. Tracy Belton (representing District 4), and Ms. Jean M. Martin (representing District 5) to serve one-year terms ending June 12, 2016 to the Women's Hall of Fame Selection Committee.
reports – commissioner sullivan – district 1
Infrastructure Sales Tax Meetings
Commr. Sullivan relayed that they will be conducting educational meetings on the Infrastructure Sales Tax throughout the community as it becomes more relevant and will be asking the commissioners to run them in their corresponding districts. He reminded the Board that there will be an MPO meeting the next day.
reports – commissioner parks – vice-chairman and district 2
four corners meeting
Commr. Parks thanked everyone who had attended the Four Corners leadership forum the previous week and related that he is looking forward to see what will come out of it in the next few weeks.
water safety task force
Commr. Parks request that the proposal for a Water Safety Task Force be put on the agenda and received consent from the Board.
REPORTS – COMMISsIONER campione – DISTRICT 4
penny sales tax information
Commr. Campione clarified that information about the penny sales tax will be added to the County website in the coming week, which will have a FAQ and a list of the potential projects.
reports – commissioner cadwell – district 5
Commr. Cadwell reported that he had attended the annual Eustis Baby Fair and that he had spoken at the Memorial Day service in Sorrento.
voting form request
On a motion by Commr. Campione, seconded by Commr. Sullivan and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved the request to complete and submit the NACo 2015 Credentials (Voting) Form naming Lake County's Designated County Delegate and County Alternate authorized to pick up and cast the County's votes.
REPORTS – COMMISSIONER CONNER – CHAIRMAN AND DISTRICT 3
Commr. Conner mentioned that he had presented a certificate of recognition to Ms. Dorothy Wolf, a citizen of Tavares who has just turned 101 years old.
There being no further business to be brought to the attention of the Board, the meeting was adjourned at 11:30 a.m.
jimmy conner, chairman
NEIL KELLY, CLERK