A REGULAR MEETING OF THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
jULY 7, 2015
The Lake County Board of County Commissioners met in regular session on Tuesday, July 7, 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; Barbara F. Lehman, Chief Deputy Clerk, County Finance; and Victoria Bartley, Deputy Clerk.
INVOCATION and pledge
Pastor Brooks Braswell gave the Invocation and led the Pledge of Allegiance.
Ms. Denise Costa, HR Manager, presented the employee awards and briefly recapped some of the recipients’ accomplishments.
James Bell – Equipment Operator III
Public Works/Road Operations Division/Maintenance Area III (Umatilla)
Kathy Wilson – Office Associate III (not present)
Public Works/Engineering Division/Traffic Operations
Traci Bates – Permitting Technician II
Economic Growth/Building Services Division
Susan Taylor – Scales Attendant I
Public Works/Solid Waste Division/Solid Waste Operations
Jane Reich – Office Associate V (not present)
Public Resources/Public Resources Administration
RETIREMENT – 20 YEARS
Jeffrey LeTourneau – Firefighter/EMT (not present)
Public Safety/Fire Rescue Division
Mr. Bill Veach, Deputy County Manager, presented the quarterly awards and gave a brief summary of the recipients’ achievements.
EMPLOYEE OF THE QUARTER – 2nd Quarter FY2015
John Cohoon – Trades Crew Leader
SUPERVISOR OF THE QUARTER – 2nd Quarter FY2015
Gary Earl – Support Services Supervisor
T.E.A.M. OF THE QUARTER – 2nd Quarter FY2015
Building Services/Planning and Community Design
On a motion by Commr. Sullivan, seconded by Commr. Parks, and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved the Minutes of June 2, 2015 (Special Meeting) as presented.
citizen question and comment
Mr. Vance Jochim, financial blogger, stated that the School Board was conducting a study to compare spending among seven other districts to determine any areas where they might be overspending. He opined that there should be a controller to oversee the addition of new positions and expressed his doubts that the requested new positions were needed in the Communications Department.
CLERK OF COURTS’ CONSENT AGENDA
On a motion by Commr. Campione, seconded by Commr. Sullivan and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved the Clerk of Courts’ Consent Agenda, Items 1 through 7, 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.
Receipt of Property
Request to acknowledge receipt of copy of property placed on the Lands Available List.
Receipt of Ordinance from the City of Clermont
Request to acknowledge receipt of copy of Ordinance No. 2015-35 from the City of Clermont providing for the annexation of a certain parcel of land in accordance with the Interlocal Service Boundary Agreement dated December 2, 2014, along with cover letter stating that the ordinance was adopted by the Clermont City Council on May 26, 2015.
Receipt of Proposed Resolutions from the City of Leesburg
Request to acknowledge receipt of copy of a proposed resolution from the City of Leesburg relating to the Community Redevelopment Agency for the US Hwy 441 and 27 area and adopting the Finding of Necessity Study report February 2015, as well as cover letter asking for acceptance of said letter as notice of the City of Leesburg Commission’s intention to consider acceptance of the Finding of Necessity Report during a public hearing scheduled for July 13 at 5:30 p.m. on the 3rd floor of City Hall, 501 W. Meadow Street, Leesburg and mentioning that the Local Planning Agency will discuss the report at Leesburg City Hall on June 18.
Request to acknowledge receipt of copy of a proposed resolution from the City of Leesburg relating to the Community Redevelopment Agency for the Carver Heights/Montclair area and adopting the Finding of Necessity Study report February 2015, as well as cover letter asking for acceptance of said letter as notice of the City of Leesburg Commission’s intention to consider acceptance of the Finding of Necessity Report during a public hearing scheduled for July 13 at 5:30 p.m. on the 3rd floor of City Hall, 501 W. Meadow Street, Leesburg and mentioning that the Local Planning Agency will discuss the report at Leesburg City Hall on June 18.
Receipt of Founders Ridge Community Development District’s Proposed Budget
Request to acknowledge receipt of copy of the Founders Ridge Community Development District’s proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2016, in accordance with Section 190.008(2)(b), Florida Statutes, along with a cover letter dated June 10, 2015.
Receipt of Proposed Budget for Village Center Community Development District
Request to acknowledge receipt of proposed budget for Village Center Community Development District for Fiscal year 2015/2016.
COUNTY MANAGER’S CONSENT AGENDA
On a motion by Commr. Campione, seconded by Commr. Parks and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the County Manager’s Consent Agenda, Tabs 3 through 18 as follows:
Request for approval and signature on the Amended and Restated Agreement between Lake County, Florida and Central Florida Pediatric Therapy Foundation, Inc. for Annual Grant Funding. This agreement is being amended due to the dissolution and reorganization of another agency funding recipient (Back to School is Cool, Inc.) which rendered that agency unable to receive and spend fourth quarter funds. The fiscal impact is $2,500.00.
Request for approval of the Florida Commission for the Transportation Disadvantaged Trip and Equipment Grant Application and Agreement for FY 15-16 and supporting Resolution No. 2015-64. The fiscal impact is $746,348 (County Portion: $74,635 / Grant Funded: $671,713) (Expense and Revenue).
Request for approval to have a Closed Session of the Board of County Commissioners to discuss pending litigation. There is no fiscal impact.
Request for approval of renewal of the Lease Agreement with Lake Square Mall Realty Management, LLC, for Sheriff's Office Space. The estimated fiscal impact for FY15 is $2,400 for electric services for August and September.
Request for approval of Lease Agreement between Lake County and the Lake Agriculture and Youth Fair Association for use of the Lake County Expo Center/Fairgrounds and buildings for 2016. The fiscal impact is $1.00 for the lease.
Request for approval of update to Women's Hall of Fame policy which changes the number of inductees from a maximum of two to one. There is no fiscal impact.
Request for approval and execution of a Satisfaction of Lien for Amos W. Roach. Amos W. Roach has paid the civil citation for unlicensed contracting. The fiscal impact is $250 which has already been paid.
Fiscal and Administrative Services
Request for approval to extend current contract 10-0214 with Tindale Oliver (Tampa) for a three year period to provide for updated studies on an annual basis in support of the County's fire assessment fee. The estimated annual fiscal impact is $9,895 (unit price for an updated study).
Request for approval of an update to the County's Disadvantaged and Small Business Enterprise (DBE) Policy and Procedure document (Policy LCC-80) to ensure continuation of grant funding in support of the County's Public Transportation Program. The updated policy LCC-80 provides confirmed participation goals for FY 2016 thru FY 2018. There is no direct financial impact.
Request for approval of the Interlocal Agreement to deputize the Fire Marshal in order to better facilitate fire/arson investigations. There is no fiscal impact.
Request for approval and execution of: (1) Hazards Analysis Grant Agreement with the State of Florida, Division of Emergency Management; and (2) authorization for the County Manager to sign future amendments/modifications that do not involve financial impact. This agreement provides revenue to the Emergency Management Division. No local match is required. The fiscal impact is $9,267 (Revenue) & $9,267 (Expense).
Request for approval and execution by the Lake County Board of County Commissioners of: (1) Emergency Management Preparedness and Assistance (EMPA) Trust Fund Base Grant Agreement with the State of Florida, Division of Emergency Management, in the amount of $105,806; and (2) Emergency Management Performance Grant (EMPG) Agreement with the State of Florida, Division of Emergency Management, in the amount of $89,387; (3) Approval of Unanticipated Revenue Resolution No. 2015-67; and (4) authorization for the County Manager to sign future amendments/modifications that do not involve financial impact. The fiscal impact is $195,193 (Revenue) and $195,193 (Expense).
Request for approval to accept the donation of a 2015 Triple Crown Dump Trailer, valued at $3,882.98, from the Lake County Master Gardener Society. The fiscal impact is estimated to be $200 (Expenditure).
Request for approval of an agreement with the City of Clermont for improvements to the intersection of Hooks Street and Lakeshore Drive in the City. Hooks Street and Lakeshore Drive (south) are County maintained roads. Lakeshore Drive on the west approach is a city maintained road. The City of Clermont will share 50% of the cost of the construction ($44,981). The total fiscal impact is $89,963.00 (Expenditure). Commission District 2.
Request for approval and signature on Resolution No. 2015-65 authorizing the reduction of the speed limit from 35 MPH to 25 MPH on a portion of CR 455 (2354), from approximately 150 feet south of Park Lane to approximately 200 feet south of Highland Avenue, in the Montverde area, Section 1, Township 22, Range 26. There is no fiscal impact. Commission District 2.
Request for authorization to accept the final plat for Magnolia Pointe Phase 1 and all areas dedicated to the public as shown on the Magnolia Pointe Phase 1 plat. Magnolia Pointe Phase 1 consists of 104 lots and is located East of Clermont, South of State Road 50 off of Magnolia Pointe Boulevard in Section 25, Township 22 South, Range 26 East. There is no fiscal impact. Commission District 2.
Central Florida Expressway Authority 2040 Master Plan
Commr. Cadwell, Chairman of the Expressway Authority, explained that the agency had been in effect for a year and was currently beginning work on their 2040 Master Plan. He commented that the Central Florida Expressway had a significant presence in Lake County.
Ms. Laura Kelley, Executive Director, commended Commr. Cadwell for the excellent job he was doing as Chairman and noted that many staff members had also helped to build the new agency and served on many of their committees. She stated that the agency is working to determine the best way to serve the residents of Lake County and hope to have a plan in place by the end of 2015. She mentioned that they had moved up the date for the north-south movements of the Wekiva Parkway to open in early 2018 and that they will keep the Board updated on that project. She reported that the Expressway Authority had been established in June 2014 with a Board that was comprised of 6 elected and 3 Governor appointed members and has jurisdiction in 4 counties with multimodal opportunities. She detailed that they operated and maintained 6 expressways, 14 toll plazas, 63 interchanges, 295 bridges, 287,000 E-PASS accounts, 530,000 active transponders, and 326 million transactions. She displayed a graph on the monitor, detailing the areas where their revenue was spent. She related that they sell bonds in order to build their projects and expand their roadways, so 52 percent of their revenue was allocated for debt payments, in addition to another 29 percent used as revenue for projects. She relayed that 8.9 percent of Florida Expressway users lived in Lake County. She explained that the purpose of the Master Plan is to serve as a policy for future operations and capital investment decisions, as well as form the basis for a 5-year work plan. She pointed out that this was important because this region was growing so quickly, and they need to insure that they spend their money in the best way. She commented that the Master Plan elements include improvements for the existing system, revenue and tolling options, potential expansion projects, and a multimodal transportation role. She emphasized that the population of Central Florida is projected to reach 5.5 million people by 2040. She displayed their projected timeline on the monitor and reiterated that they hoped to have a final plan adopted by the end of 2015. She encouraged the Board and audience members to participate in their online survey so that they can best determine how the agency will be moving forward in the next 25 years.
Commr. Parks clarified that the Wellness Way Sector Plan will be a part of the Expressway Authority’s vision moving forward.
Mr. Heath relayed that Jim Stivender would be looking at any additional correlations besides Wellness Way that the Board could endorse.
Commr. Campione commented that Wellness Way was important for the future economic benefit, particularly for the residents in South Lake County where it will be the lynchpin of their efforts to diversify the economy there.
Lake County Historical Society Presentation
Mr. Rick Reed, former president of the Lake County Historical Society, stated that he believed the Society and Museum has improved greatly from the state that they were in two years ago. He related that the Society had overcome its issues, thanks to its exemplary staff, and briefly recounted some of their achievements. He detailed some of the Society’s accomplishments in the past year, noting that there had been some challenges with the Courthouse renovations, but that the Museum was now in the best shape it has ever been in. He commented that the collections on the first and fifth floors and the office in general had been organized and arranged. He mentioned that as specified by the audit, they were working on a complete inventory of the museum artifacts, which had never before been done. He relayed that they have extended their hours, are attempting to completely digitize their newsletter operations, and are budgeting their revenue in order to build up their reserves. He opined that they had met the majority of the items identified by the audit, but efforts are still ongoing. He reported that Ms. Sana Henderson had been elected as their new president.
Ms. Henderson, President of the Lake County Historical Society, noted that it was important to save and preserve history. She remarked that Commr. Sullivan would be the keynote speaker at their next meeting. She mentioned that some of her goals included increasing Society membership, fundraising activities, possible partnerships with Tavares to display in front of the Courthouse, and reinstating their History Series program at Lake Sumter Community College. She specified that they had sent out letters to the many historical societies in Lake County to participate in activities together and to possibly join as a member of their Board.
Commr. Sullivan relayed that the Society had really straightened out their in-house services and were now able to focus on outreach and programming efforts. He opined that Lake County had a diverse history and was excited that they were reaching out to other communities with historical societies to try to expand their membership.
Firethorn Road Special Assessment
Mr. Jim Stivender, Public Works Director, explained that this special assessment was a petition that had been originally addressed in 2012, the road had been built in 2014, and had been accepted by the Board in February 2015. He reported that there have been two home owners on the road that have paid in full and that the interest rate was 3.25 percent for ten years, which was the limit of their ability to spread the cost out over time. He relayed that staff recommended approval to move forward with the tax roll special assessment. He clarified that they had lowered the interest rate and extended the term for the tax from seven years to ten years.
The Chairman opened the public hearing.
Ms. Sherilee DiCarlo, a resident of Eustis speaking in opposition, stated that the road project had put a hardship on her family. She explained that this tax was essentially putting a lien on her property, and it will now be difficult to refinance her home as a result of this project. She mentioned that they have had consistent problems with the neighbors, who had been very aggressive about getting this road built. She pointed out that Commr. Campione had not been in favor of the original decision.
Commr. Conner specified that they had tried to make this tax as palatable as possible, and assured them that they were concerned about the financial impact.
Mr. Andrew Johnson, a resident of Eustis speaking in opposition, explained that this situation has put financial burden on several residents in the area. He asserted that the engineering for this road had not been done properly, and there was so much watershed that it floods yard, which does affect the property. He mentioned that they did enjoy the road, but there are problems associated with it.
Commr. Conner assured them that Mr. Stivender would look into these engineering problems.
Mrs. Kim Johnson, a resident of Eustis speaking in opposition, reiterated that the road project was a financial hardship to the residents of the area. She thanked the Board for what has been done already to mitigate these issues, but inquired if it was fair to ask someone to pay an extra expense for a service that they did not want. She pointed out that she would not be able to send her daughter to a private school like she had planned because of this additional expense, which will end up being thousands of dollars.
Mr. Minkoff clarified that there was no legality issue with this tax.
The Chairman closed the public hearing.
Commr. Conner inquired if they had set the interest rate as low as it could possibly be set or if there were any other alternatives that would alleviate the issue.
Mr. Stivender explained that the County had paid for one third of the construction cost, including all inspections, as well as for 50 percent of the cost for the two front properties because of the size of their frontages and their access to the road. He affirmed that they would check on the drainage situation.
Commr. Cadwell clarified that this extension from 7 to 10 years and the lowered interest rate is new to this project, in deference to the fact that so many residents were not in favor of the road being built. He explained that the assessment program helps to determine what will help the most people and what is for the common good of Lake County. He opined that this was a difficult decision.
Commr. Campione opined that the situation was especially difficult due to the amount of frontage and the size of the lots, which is a common issue with older plats. She commented that the magnitude of the assessment that would be imposed was the reason she did not vote in favor of it. She specified that she was glad that the residents were feeling the benefit of the road, but recognized that the tax bill is not ideal. She related that she wished there was a way to pay more, since the tax was imposed upon unwilling participants.
Commr. Cadwell pointed out that with these kinds of projects, there is a greater value increase for the smaller lots than for the larger lots, which is not ideal either.
On a motion by Commr. Cadwell, seconded by Commr. Sullivan and carried by a vote of 4-1 with Commr. Campione dissenting, the Board approved Resolution No. 2015-66, adopting the Firethorn Road Special Assessment non-ad valorem assessment roll.
Commr. Conner asked the three speakers to leave their contact information with Mr. Stivender and emphasized that they will try to do what they can to help with the situation.
Plaza Collina Community Development District Ordinance
The Chairman opened the public hearing.
Mr. Minkoff read the proposed ordinance and explained that if approved, this would be Ordinance No. 2015-23 dissolving the Plaza Collina Community Development District.
There being no one who wished to address the commission at this time, the Chairman closed the public hearing.
Commr. Parks stated that he would not support the requests, as he did not feel comfortable with how representatives presented the issue during the hearing in Clermont.
On a motion by Commr. Campione, seconded by Commr. Sullivan and carried by a vote of 4-1 with Commr. Parks dissenting, the Board approved Ordinance No. 2015-23, dissolving the Plaza Collina Community Development District.
Water Safety Advisory Committee ordinance
Mr. Minkoff read the proposed ordinance and explained that if approved, this would be Ordinance No. 2015-24 creating a Water Safety Advisory Committee to provide recommendations to facilitate water safety and drowning prevention.
The Chairman opened the public hearing.
There being no one who wished to address the commission at this time, the Chairman closed the public hearing.
Commr. Parks specified that this ordinance was for water safety in general, not just for cases of drowning, and it is particularly important considering that this is a county of lakes.
On a motion by Commr. Parks, seconded by Commr. Sullivan and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved Ordinance No. 2015-24, creating a Water Safety Advisory Committee.
Driver License Facility Utilization presentation
Mr. Jim Stivender, Public Works Director, presented the Board with an update on the proposed Public Works utilization of the recently vacated Driver’s License office on CR 561 in Tavares. He explained that the Lake County Tax Collector has taken over the responsibilities for issuance of driver’s licenses from the State of Florida. He reported that the State of Florida has vacated and ended the lease on the Driver’s License office on CR 561 in Tavares that was owned by Lake County. He noted that the Tax Collector will be providing the driver’s license services to the public from other locations and that the CR 561 facility is available for other county uses, as the building is currently surrounded by other Public Works facilities. He displayed on the monitor a map of the location of the current driver’s license facility in relation to other County buildings, as well as the facility site plan for the location with the existing driver license building and the existing traffic operations building highlighted on the map. He relayed that the facility will be used for traffic operations additional equipment laydown area; survey crew equipment, computer, and work space; traffic count equipment, computer, and work space; plans and file needs for the department; and for meetings with contractors/utilities and construction bidding purposes. He remarked that some proposed improvements for the facility included fiber optic connection for IT and phone, fencing and gates, paved connection from this property to the Traffic Operations Facility, and a connection to the City of Tavares water. He concluded that the Driver’s License Facility would become a Public Works field office and equipment yard which will be combined with Traffic Operations and the overall campus. He specified that the proposed amount of $75,000 for building and site upgrades will be covered by the Public Works budget. He requested that the Board authorize the Department of Public Works to utilize the vacated driver’s license office.
Commr. Cadwell commented that they should set an example of what the location will look like.
Mr. Stivender stated that they would be fixing the fence so that it will be more professional looking and resemble the surrounding County buildings.
On a motion by Commr. Cadwell, seconded by Commr. Sullivan and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the utilization of the Driver’s License office property and facility on CR 561 in Tavares as a field office, as well as for storage of backup files and an equipment yard.
recess and reassembly
The Board reconvened at 10:34 a.m.
Budget Summary Presentation
Mr. Heath presented the Board with an overview of the FY 2016 Budget. He explained that starting on January 13 with the Economic Outlook presentation, there have been 19 Budget Workshops with the Board. He relayed that the workshops have covered a number of different topics and departments, and all the related presentations to date have been posted at the lakecountyfl.gov website on the FY 2016 Budget page. He displayed on the monitor a comprehensive breakdown of the budget presentation dates and topics. He commented that they had established a template for the presentations for the entire process, where it was formatted as an annual report/budget and included benchmarks with the surrounding seven counties. He gave a brief overview of the issues from each budget session. He mentioned that the current suggested budget addresses all of the Constitutional Officers’ requests except for the Tax Collector, as they will not receive their budget until later in the year.
Mr. Heath reported that some budget highlights from these presentations included funding East Lake Community Park lights and South Lake Regional Park and funding for Public Safety’s ambulances, fire trucks, and Sheriff’s vehicles; and funding for continuing Courthouse renovations. He remarked that the budget also included additional funding for Health and Human Service’s Grant programs now that the economy is in a recovery period, as well as additional funding for the Health Department, which will be addressed at the next meeting. He stated that another consideration of the budget was for funding for the Central Florida Veterans Memorial Park Foundation, the VA Medical Center at Lake Nona, and Veteran’s Memorial at Fountain Park in Leesburg. He specified that the budget includes a salary adjustment for employees, as well as additional funding for a salary study to be conducted that will include a provision for pay for performance incentives. He submitted that other considerations for the budget include medical insurance funding issues, Florida Retirement System (FRS) changes, funding of Solid Waste countywide operations, funding for a State lobbyist, adequate funding for the Risk and Liability Reserve, a General Fund Millage reduction, and meeting the Board Policy for General Fund Reserves. He explained that there had been several organizational changes included in the budget, such as the addition of 10 new positions that were needed to address workload issues and 6 deleted positions from the Solid Waste department. He mentioned that there had been several division name changes to more accurately reflect what they do and are now the Planning and Zoning Division, Transit Division, Housing and Community Development Division, and Extension Services Division.
Mr. Steve Koontz, Director of Fiscal and Administrative Services, displayed on the monitor a graph of the certified property values compared to the 2015 final values and relayed how the numbers they had used for estimated compared with what was actually brought in. He displayed on the monitor a graph of the difference between the adopted 2015 millages and the 2016 proposed millages. He explained that they were proposing keeping three of the millages the same and reducing the General Fund countywide millage to 5.3051 percent. He outlined the General Fund Summary and clarified that this millage gives them the total revenues in Ad Valorem of $86.6 million. He relayed that that they would be using $4.6 million of the Infrastructure Sales Tax for debt service in the General Fund, that the total General Fund Operating Budget is estimated as $127.5 million, and that the General Fund Reserves are at $9.8 million, which is a reserve of 7.7 percent.
Mr. Heath displayed the upcoming budget dates on the monitor, beginning with the Recommended Budget being presented to the Board on July 14 through the final hearing on September 29. He mentioned that the Statement of Changes in August will cover the FDEP assistance with the Astatula Fuel remediation, recognizing savings from debt refinancing, finalizing PO carryforward, and any other outstanding issues.
Commr. Campione inquired what the cost of the proposed state lobbyist issue would be and if they would be engaged on a case by case basis or on a permanent one.
Mr. Heath answered that he had recommended $25,000 in the budget for a case by case basis.
Commr. Campione clarified that the money would be available if they decided that they needed a lobbyist. She commented that while she was not enthusiastic about spending money on a lobbyist, there had been an issue this past year that could have had a more positive outcome if the County had employed a lobbyist.
Mr. Heath explained that with a state lobbyist they could put aside $5,000 for five issues to be used only if the need arises, as opposed to a federal lobbyist who would have had to have been employed year round.
Commr. Campione pointed out that EMS has had a positive revenue flow due to an influx of calls, without having to roll back the millage. She opined that if they are looking at things like salary studies and increasing salaries in order to address turnover, they need to examine the actual services that residents are receiving since they are aware of residents requesting an ambulance in pockets of northeast Lake County and the Astor-Paisley area. She stated that she would be opposed to not rolling back the EMS millage, unless the Board would consider adding an ambulance to that area. She also urged staff to continue looking into more healthcare and health insurance possibilities.
Mr. Heath clarified that staff was pursuing that line of inquiry and will have that data for the Board by the first of the year.
Commr. Campione clarified that there was a countywide net change of four positions. She noted that the current Board has not reviewed their mission statement and wondered if staff would determine if it is consistent with the sitting Board’s philosophies or needed to be updated.
Commr. Parks asked for a summary of the courthouse renovation’s progress this year as compared to last year.
Mr. Heath specified that last year, the Board had agreed to phase the construction of the courthouse.
Mr. Kristian Swenson, Facilities and Fleet Management Director, explained that the Board had approved the first year of a multi-year renovation plan, which effectively took the $2.4 million that was funded in the sales tax fund and added $1 million from the Records Center to that fund. He reported that the plan included a series of projects, such as the renovation of the Public Defender’s building, the Records Center’s move from their old building to the third floor of the court house, and several temporary moves for the court administrative staff from the fourth floor to the second floor so that improvements could be made.
Mr. Koontz specified that anything not spent will be re-budgeted into the next year in order to complete the project in the previously outlined phases.
Commr. Conner commented that it had taken significantly less money to relocate the Records Center rather than the Public Defender’s office as had been originally suggested.
Commr. Parks agreed with Commr. Campione that a lobbyist was needed.
Commr. Sullivan opined that the process they had used this year had been very successful as it gives them an accurate picture of their current status. He mentioned that the next step should be to examine their investment policies in order to best utilize their reserves.
Commr. Cadwell clarified that the Statement of Changes revenues that Mr. Heath had displayed during his presentation were not reflected in the proposed millage rates.
Mr. Heath explained that they had not received the contracts from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and were still in the process of finalizing the refinancing for Astatula.
Mr. Koontz clarified that the rate for the public lands was not included in this year’s budget presentation, because they need to keep the rate at .16 percent in order to have solid reserves and debt coverage. He specified that in future years, when they realize the savings from the refinancing and the values go up, they can look into lowering the rate again. He stated that they want to insure that they have adequate reserves for the debt services so there will not be any future issues with rating agencies.
Commr. Cadwell clarified that the budget shows a partial rollback, with a $1.4 million difference between the 2016 proposed and the 2016 rollback rate.
Mr. Koontz pointed out that there will be an impact from the Tax Collector taking over the driver’s license facility, since they will not receive their budget until August. He noted that this could reduce excess fees from that office, but they will have to use previous estimates until then.
Mr. Heath specified that this process could last until September before they see the number results. He reported that they will have much more information in August.
Commr. Conner inquired what amount in the proposed budget was for the Board subsidizing the EMS Board.
Mr. Koontz replied that the current proposal was $6 million in the MSTU and $300,000 from the Sales Tax.
Commr. Conner agreed that there had been an uptick in revenues from EMS and suggested that they determine if some of the proposed money should be relocated to where it is needed more.
Mr. Heath recommended that any money left over from the outstanding expenditures referenced today go into the reserves, so that they can plan for the next economic downturn.
Commr. Campione remarked that they should not build reserves just to build reserves, but that they do need to keep certain contingencies in mind and prepare for them. She noted that if later on those things have not come to fruition, then they will be in a position to roll back further, and they should go into the next cycle with that as the goal.
Commr. Conner commented that the administration had been looking for areas to reduce and found several positions that were either superfluous or could be absorbed into other positions. He specified that any new positions must come before the commission and asserted that the four new positions are needed due to how many have been cut. He agreed that a lobbyist could have made a difference on a previous case.
Commr. Campione observed that, in response to the issue brought up by Mr. Jochim about a lack of controller for new positions, that duty is performed by the Clerk of the Court throughout the year. She opined that the new positions, particularly in the Communications department, were critical for the County to be able to provide services to their residents and continue their efforts with economic development.
Keep Lake Beautiful Advisory Committee
Commr. Campione explained that there had been four applicants for only three citizen representative positions, all of whom were excellent candidates. She inquired if they might ask each of the three haulers to appoint someone as an ex-officio member, which would take care of their additional applicant.
Commr. Sullivan remarked that these members could attend the meetings, and the committee could benefit from their expertise without having to fill a citizen representative position.
Mr. Minkoff stated that this was feasible and suggested that they be called liaisons, rather than ex-officio members.
On a motion by Commr. Campione, seconded by Commr. Parks, and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board appointed Ms. Cathy Hoechst and Ms. Dina Sweatt as the elected municipal representatives, Mr. Marc Dodd as the School Board member, Ms. Melissa Simmes as the civic organization member, and Ms. Lavon Silvernell, Ms. Darla Kinney Scoles, and Mr. Brent McCallister as the citizen representatives to the Keep Lake Beautiful Advisory Committee, approved a waiver of potential ethical conflicts, and appointed Commr. Campione to serve as liaison.
reports – commissioner sullivan – district 1
independence day celebrations
Commr. Sullivan commended Lake County for its involvement in the recent Fourth of July celebrations.
reports – commissioner parks – vice-chairman and district 2
fourth of july celebrations
Commr. Parks reported that he had attended Independence Day celebrations in Groveland, Tavares, and Clermont.
reports – commissioner cadwell – district 5
fourth of july celebrations and commission photo
Commr. Cadwell relayed that he had attended the Fourth of July celebrations for Mt. Dora and Tavares. He suggested that a new commission picture should be taken for the County website.
REPORTS – COMMISSIONER conner – CHAIRMAN AND DISTRICT 3
use of transportation revenue
Mr. Carey Baker, Property Appraiser, spoke against the possible diversion of toll road revenues from the Central Florida Expressway to other uses besides roads. He opined that the current funding system for roads is insufficient to build more highway mileage, which is why nearly 90 percent of all highway mileage that had been built in Florida in the last 20 years had been toll roads. He commented that toll roads are important to the state and that he supported the protection of transportation dollars.
Commr. Conner related that Mr. Steve Adams’ wife had passed away and that he would be attending the service.
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