A REGULAR MEETING OF THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
september 15, 2015
The Lake County Board of County Commissioners met in regular session on Tuesday, September 15, 2015 at 9:00 a.m., in the Board of County Commissioners’ Meeting Room, Lake County Administration Building, Tavares, Florida. Commissioners present at the meeting were: Jimmy Conner, Chairman; Sean Parks, Vice Chairman; Timothy I. Sullivan; Leslie Campione; and Welton G. Cadwell. Others present were: David Heath, County Manager; Sanford A. “Sandy” Minkoff, County Attorney; Wendy Taylor, Executive Office Manager, County Manager’s Office; Neil Kelly, Clerk of Court; Barbara F. Lehman, Chief Deputy Clerk, County Finance; and Susan Boyajan, Deputy Clerk.
INVOCATION and pledge
Ms. Cynthia Lodyga from the Central Florida Freethought Community gave the Invocation and led the Pledge of Allegiance.
Mr. David Heath, County Manager, stated that they had added Tab 54 to the agenda regarding the ordinance changes proposed by Commr. Campione.
Commr. Cadwell related that he wanted to pull Tab 53 until the next meeting.
On a motion by Commr. Cadwell, seconded by Commr. Sullivan, and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved the Minutes of the BCC Meetings of August 4, 2015 (Regular Meeting), August 17, 2015 (Special Meeting), and August 18, 2015 (Regular Meeting), as presented.
board and committee certificates
Mr. Robert Anderson, Human Resources Director, presented the following Board and Committee awards:
Arts and Cultural Alliance
Tom Carrino, for service from 2014-2015
Debbie Stivender, for service from 2009-2015
Laura K. Wright, for service from 2014-2015
Children’s Services Council
Latricia Eaton, for service from 2013-2015 (not present)
Women’s Hall of Fame Selection Committee
Jeanne C. Bauer, for service from 2013-2015 (not present)
Board of Adjustment
Peter A. Caracciolo, for service from 2014-2015 (not present)
Elder Affairs Coordinating Council
Peter A. Caracciolo, for service 2015 (not present)
Mr. Anderson presented the following employee awards, commenting briefly about each employee’s service to the County:
Nicole Berg, Financial Coordinator, Circuit Judges (not present)
Michael Fetzer, Parks Attendant
Public Resources/Parks and Trails Division
Cheryl Howell, Housing Services Division Manager
Community Services/Housing Services Division
Hector Rivera, Sign & Striping Technician I
Public Works/Engineering Division/Traffic Operations
Miriam Naas, Financial Analyst (not present)
Travis Newman, Equipment Operator III
Public Works/Road Operations Division/Maintenance Area II (Minneola)
Scott Amey, Library Assistant II
Public Resources/Library Services Division/East Lake Library
Robin Bridges, Library Assistant I
Public Resources/Library Services Division/Marion Baysinger Memorial Library
George Dehart, Mechanic I (not present)
Facilities & Fleet Management/Fleet Management Division
Larry Higgins, Mechanic I (not present)
Facilities & Fleet Management/Fleet Management Division
Robert Baker, Contracts Technician
Public Works/Road Operations Division
retirement – 34 years
Mr. Jim Stivender, Public Works Director, related that Mr. Eric Cotsenmoyer, Mosquito & Aquatic Plant Management Programs Manager, Public Works Department, had come to work for Lake County on April 27, 1981. He elaborated that he became manager in 1986 of the Mosquito & Aquatic Plant Management Program, has been a specialist in entomology and mosquito control, and has traveled throughout the world sharing his expertise. Mr. Stivender added that Mr. Cotsenmoyer was also involved with the development of sonar for use in aquatic plant management, which was used in Little Lake Harris. He mentioned that Mr. Cotsenmoyer has worked with a great staff throughout the years, most of whom he had hired himself. He emphasized that his area of expertise has also been tied with public safety, since it helped eradicate the spread of disease by mosquitoes and other insects. He thanked Mr. Cotsenmoyer for his 34 years of service to Lake County.
EMPLOYEE OF THE QUARTER – 3RD QUARTER FY 2015
Mr. Bill Veach, Deputy County Manager, presented the award for employee of the third quarter for FY 2015 to Mr. Fred Martin, Senior Plans Examiner in the Economic Growth Department, and commented that Mr. Martin is a dedicated employee who contributes daily to the success of the Building Services Division and his coworkers. He stated that Mr. Martin is always eager to address customer questions or issues and treats everyone with respect. He elaborated that Mr. Martin has been instrumental during this last quarter in the training of new plans examiners, goes above and beyond in every aspect of his work, and has played a vital role in helping to meet the growing demands in the Economic Growth Department. He thanked Mr. Martin for his commitment to both internal and external customer service.
supervisor of the quarter - 3RD QUARTER FY 2015
Mr. Veach presented the award for supervisor of the third quarter for FY 2015 to Ms. Carmen Carroll, Building Supervisor, Economic Growth Department, and he related that Ms. Carroll has been a cornerstone in Lake County’s Building Services Division for three decades, coordinating the permitting staff and the procedures needed to process the building permits. He commented that throughout the years Ms. Carroll’s knowledge, creativity, and resourcefulness had been overshadowed only by her loyalty and dedication. He elaborated that she fully utilizes her talents and skills and leads by example to provide the best possible service to her team and the citizens of Lake County. He thanked Ms. Carroll for her long-standing and continuing commitment to excellence.
citizen question and comment period
Mr. Vance Jochim, a writer of a blog about fiscal and governmental issues, commented that he believed that the school impact fees should be reinstated to 100 percent of the consultant’s recommendation, since growth should fund the infrastructure needed to sustain that growth. He expressed concern that since there was only one school representative on the CFAC (Capital Facilities Advisory Committee), any recommendation regarding impact fees for schools from that committee would be somewhat biased. He opined that the School Board meetings he has attended show that it is clear that funds are needed for building schools. He also commented that he was against the penny sales tax, noting that it would generate about $600 million for all of the entities that are receiving those funds over 15 years, but he has not seen any projections on the economy for that 15-year period. He presented data projecting that interest rates will rise significantly by about 3.4 percent, with regular market interest rates jumping about 3 percent more than that, which he opined would generate a large increase in interest in the future for projects and put pressure on the public regarding the cost of living. He showed a graph illustrating the debt of the public as a percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), noting that it will be 103 percent by 2040, and he expressed concern that the County could become short of funding in the future.
Mr. James Franklin, a resident of Fruitland Park, stated that he was in favor of the gas tax, since he believed that right now property owners are paying for a lot of the government funding. He opined that EMT (Emergency Medical Technicians), paramedic, and public safety workers’ wages were too low, especially considering that they save lives and risk their own lives in the process, and that they needed a boost to their pay. He also expressed concern about the exempt status of private schools and certain religious organizations from fire fees and solid waste collection fees, since he did not believe those entities should be considered nonprofit. He added that the State Supreme Court ruled that it was unconstitutional for a government agency to provide financial assistance to a religious organization, and he commented that the amounts on the tax bill for fire and solid waste services were fees rather than taxes.
CLERK OF COURTS’ CONSENT AGENDA
On a motion by Commr. Sullivan, seconded by Commr. Parks and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved the Clerk of Courts’ Consent Agenda, Items 1 through 6, as follows:
List of Warrants
Request to acknowledge receipt of list of warrants paid prior to this meeting, pursuant to Chapter 136.06 (1) of the Florida Statutes, which shall be incorporated into the Minutes as attached Exhibit A and filed in the Board Support Division of the Clerk’s Office.
Ordinances from the City of Fruitland Park
Request to acknowledge receipt of copy of Ordinance 2015-007 from the City of Fruitland Park enacted at its July 23, 2015 public hearing providing for a Comprehensive Plan Amendment amending the Future Land Use designation from single family medium density to mixed community for approximately .83 acres of property generally located south of Miller Street and west of Rose Avenue.
Request to acknowledge receipt of copy of Ordinance No. 2015-009 from the City of Fruitland Park enacted at its July 23, 2015 public hearing providing for a Comprehensive Plan Amendment amending the Future Land Use designation from single family medium density to mixed community for approximately 4.04 acres of property generally located south of Catawba Street and west of Rose Avenue.
Resolution Identifying Meeting Schedule for Greater Lakes-Sawgrass Bay CDD
Request to acknowledge receipt of copy of Resolution 2015-09 identifying the Fiscal Year 2015-2016 meeting schedule for the Greater Lakes-Sawgrass Bay Community Development District, in accordance with Section 189.015(1) Florida Statutes.
Lake County Water Authority Draft Tentative Budget for 2015-16
Request to acknowledge receipt of copy of the Lake County Water Authority Draft Tentative Budget for 2015-2016.
Resolution Identifying Meeting Schedule for Greater Cascades at Groveland CDD
Request to acknowledge receipt of copy of Resolution 2015-05 identifying the Fiscal Year 2015-2016 meeting schedule for the Greater Cascades at Groveland Community Development District, in accordance with Section 189.015(1) Florida Statutes.
COUNTY MANAGER’S CONSENT AGENDA
On a motion by Commr. Cadwell, seconded by Commr. Sullivan and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the County Manager’s Consent Agenda, Tabs 3 through 43 as follows:
Request for approval of Proclamation No. 2015-89 proclaiming Sept. 26, 2015 as National Public Lands Day, per Commissioner Conner.
Request for approval and execution of Proclamation No. 2015-88 declaring October 2015 as Domestic Violence Awareness Month in Lake County and commend this observance to all community members, per Commissioner Cadwell.
Request for approval of Proclamation No. 2015-90 declaring October 2015 as Florida Native Plant Month, per Commissioner Conner.
Request of Proclamation No. 2015-91 observing October 11-17, 2015 as Mediation Week, per Commissioner Conner.
Request for approval of an Agreement with the Central Florida Regional Transportation Authority (LYNX) for fixed route services for Link 55 in South Lake County from October 1, 2015 through September 30, 2016. The fiscal impact is $259,990 - Grant Funded (Expense).
Request for approval to give the County Manager authority to sign the Direct Pay to Shands UF for an inpatient medical stay qualified under the Health Care Responsibility Act (HCRA) guidelines. The fiscal impact is $42,043.27 (Expense). Also, requesting approval for the County Manager to sign any future Direct Pays for medical qualified under the Health Care Responsibility Act (HCRA) guidelines.
Request for approval and signature on the Amended and Restated Agreement between Lake County and Lake Community Foundation, Inc. for Annual Grant Funding. This Agreement is being amended to allow the Lake Community Foundation to transfer the remaining funds yet to be received to LifeStream Behavioral Center to use in managing the Program and to extend the timeframe to expend the funds to December 31, 2015 and turn in all documentation by January 20, 2016. There is no fiscal impact.
Request for approval and signature on the Fourth Supplemental Agreement with Ride Right Transit, LLC for Transportation Operator (RFP #13-0209) for October 1, 2015 through September 30, 2016, in an amount not to exceed $3,207,136.32. The fiscal impact is $3,207,136.32 (Expense).
Request for approval and acceptance of the Fiscal Year 2014-2015 Annual SHIP Report. There is no fiscal impact.
Community Safety and Compliance
Request for approval of distribution of Justice Assistance Grants - Countywide (JAG-C) Byrne Grant funds among local jurisdictions applying for funding; approval for submission of application for the Lake County Sheriff Department for "a Marine Patrol Vessel"; and approval of Chairman to sign grant documents including letters of support, application, certificate of acceptance, EEO certifications and subsequent grant documents. The grant funding will be appropriated as part of Sheriff's 2015-2016 Budget. There is no fiscal impact.
Request for approval of Drainage Easement to the City of Tavares for the Downtown Stormwater District. There is no fiscal impact.
Request for approval of the First Amendment to Lease Agreement between Lake County and PRVR of Tavares, LLC regarding the Landlord's property management change. There is no fiscal impact.
Request for approval of Worker’s Compensation claim settlement for Kevin Allen. The fiscal impact is $50,000.00 (Expenditure).
Request for approval for the County Attorney to execute the Stipulated Order of Taking and Final Judgment in Court Case No. 2015-CA-000616, Lake County vs. Jitendra J. Patel, et al. (Parcel Number: FP40) for right-of-way needed for the CR 466A Road Project. The total settlement and fiscal impact is $1,195,000.00 (Expenditure). Commission District 5.
Request for approval of a Partial Stipulated Final Judgment in Court Case No. 2013-CA-003332 in Lake County vs. William D. and Donna M. Vandenbemden, et al. (Parcel Number: NH07) for right of way needed for the North Hancock Road Extension Project. The total fiscal impact is $100,000.00 ($59,500.00 plus $40,500.00, which was previously deposited with the Court). Commission District 2.
Request for authorization to execute the Settlement Agreement in the Martin vs. Lake County, et al. Class Action Lawsuit. The fiscal impact is $2.1 million over a two year period beginning in Fiscal Year 2015-2016.
Request for approval and execution of Interlocal Agreements between Lake County, Lake County Sheriff, and Municipalities regarding transferring Animal Control Services to the Lake County Sheriff. There is no fiscal impact.
Request for approval of award of contract 15-0622 for building plan review and inspection services to Booth, Ern, Straughan & Hiott, Inc. (Tavares). The actual annual fiscal impact will be dependent upon needs, but is estimated to be $101,920 (expenditure).
Request for approval of the requested exemption to the central potable water service connection requirement contained in Section 6.12.01(A) “Central Water System” for property located at the corner of Estes Road and Bates Avenue, Eustis. There is no fiscal impact. Commission District 4.
Request for approval to transfer school impact fees paid for 12 lots in the age-restricted community, Esplanade at Highland Ranch, to the all-ages community, Canyons at Highland Ranch. There is no fiscal impact.
Request for approval of term and supply contracts for on-call planning consultant services, RFP 15-0623, to LPG Urban & Regional Planners, Inc. (Mt. Dora) and Tindale Oliver & Associates Inc. (Tampa). The actual annual fiscal impact will be dependent upon needs, but is estimated to be $32,000 (expenditure).
Facilities Development and Management
Request for approval to award contract 15-0440, RS Means-Based Facility Construction, On-Call contracts to Ryan Fitzgerald Construction (Mt. Dora, FL), Svenson Construction (Apopka, FL) and Waterman Construction Corp (Umatilla, FL). The estimated annual fiscal impact is $334,015 (Expenditure).
Request for approval of contract 15-0217, Re-Piping of the Hot and Cold Water Systems at the Lake County Detention Center to DeSanto Plumbing (Clermont). The fiscal impact is $183,350 (Expenditure).
Request for approval and award of contract 15-0221 for exterior renovation of the Sheriff Administration Building to Ryan Fitzgerald Construction (Mount Dora). The fiscal impact is $192,558 (Expenditure).
Request for approval of a Guaranteed Maximum Price (GMP) of $1,874,425 and other project related costs and design/construction contingency allowance of $165,813.35 for the project entitled “Lake County Courthouse North Wing 4th Floor Renovations and renovation to portions of 1st and 2nd Floor,” and authorize County staff to complete all associated implementing documents. The fiscal impact is $2,040,238.35 (Expenditure).
Request for approval to award contract 15-0218 for Construction Manager Services for construction of Fire Station 14 to Emmett Sapp Builders Inc. (Wildwood, FL). The immediate fiscal impact is an estimated $10,000 to support pre-construction services associated with the project. The full project value is dependent upon establishment of a Guaranteed Maximum Price (GMP) by the recommended vendor. The new fire station will be constructed in the Altoona area (District 5). The fiscal impact is $10,000 (Expenditure).
Request for approval to award contracts under Request for Proposals 15-0004 to Cost Management, Inc. d/b/a CMI (Orlando) and Willis Construction Consulting, Inc. (Maitland) for provision of on-call construction cost estimating services for the County. Actual annual fiscal impact will be dependent upon needs. Expenditures during the last year of contract were approximately $25,000 (Expenditure). All Commission districts.
Request for approval and execution of Credit Purchase and Deposit Agreement between Lake County and Sebring Scrub Conservation, LLC for the purchase of Sand Skink Credits for the Fire Station 90 Project. The fiscal impact is $34,560 (Expenditure). Commission District 2.
Request for approval of the County’s Property, Liability, Workers’ Compensation, Tenant Users Liability Insurance Program (TULIP), and other Risk Insurance coverage renewals, effective October 1, 2015 through September 30, 2016. It is also recommended that the Board authorize the Procurement Services Manager to sign the appropriate forms necessary to bind the coverage associated with this agenda item. The fiscal impact is $1,472,940 (Expenditure).
Request for approval to award contract 15-0417, Painting, Marking and Lines for Athletic Fields to Earthscapes Unlimited (Wildwood, FL), and authorize Procurement Services to execute all supporting documentation. The estimated annual fiscal impact is $75,000 (Expenditure).
Request for approval to award contract 15-0442, Fencing at South Lake Regional Park to Hercules Fence (Ocala, FL) and authorize Procurement Services to execute all supporting documentation. The fiscal impact is $109,535 (Expenditure). Commission District 1.
Request for approval and signature of the FY 2015-2016 State Aid to Libraries Grant Application and Agreement. The fiscal impact is $200,000 (Revenue - Estimate for FY 2016).
Request for approval to award contract 15-0035 to PAQCO, Inc. for parking lot improvements at Marsh Park & Boat Ramp for the County. This contract will be funded by the Restricted Local Programs Fund - Boating Improvements. The fiscal impact will be $76,000 (Expenditure). Commission District 4.
Request for approval and execution of Interlocal Agreement between Lake County, Florida, and Leesburg Regional Medical Center for County-wide Communications System. The fiscal impact is $3,216.00 (Revenue) annually.
Request for approval to award contract 15-0621 for personal protective equipment inspection, cleaning, and repair services to Done Right Fire Gear Repair, Inc. (Hudson, FL), and authorize the Procurement Office to execute all supporting documentation. The annual fiscal impact is indefinite in nature at this time. However, expenditures under the current contract have averaged $18,282 per year for the last five years, with two of those years having expenditure values in excess of $25,000.
Request for authorization to release a cash surety in the amount of $7,600.00 that was provided for the construction of sidewalk in the Pillars Cove subdivision. Pillars Cove consists of 15 lots and is located just west of Lakeshore Drive, south of Clermont in Section 11, Township 23 South, Range 25 East. There is no fiscal impact. Commission District 1.
Request for approval of contract award to Trademark Metals Recycling (Ocala, FL) for the recycling scrap metal and white goods contract and authorize the Procurement Office to execute all supporting documentation. This is a revenue contract. The fiscal impact estimated at $132,915.60 per year (Revenue).
Request for approval of Resolution No. 2015-92 and execution of the Transportation Economic Development Transportation Project fund Agreement Amendment 1 for the design, and acquisition of Right of Way of Citrus Grove Rd from west Grassy Lake Rd to Hancock Rd (2 lanes to 4 lanes improvement) with the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) in the amount of $1,000,000. The Right of Way funds are to be reprogrammed from FY 2017 to FY 2016.The agreement expires on Sept. 30, 2018. The fiscal impact is $1,000,000 (100% Grant Funding). Commission District 2.
Request for approval of award of contract 15-0436 for tree trimming services to ARS Corp (St. Augustine, FL), Blades of Green (Apopka, FL), Luke Brothers (Holiday, FL), Native Land and Tree (Howey-In-The-Hills, FL), and Tip Top Tree Experts (Weirsdale, FL) and authorize the Procurement Office to execute all supporting documentation. The annual fiscal impact is estimated at $300,000. (Expenditure).
Request for approval of settlement and access agreements with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection for funding construction of the Fuel Remediation Facility Phase II improvements on Landfill Rd, Tavares. The fiscal impact is $500,000.00 Revenue/Expenditure) (FDEP Settlement Transition Agreement). Commission District 3.
Request for authorization to accept a performance bond in the amount of $134,536.60 associated with Commercial/Subdivision Driveway Connection Permit #53092 that was issued to CRS-Leesburg for the construction of the Dollar General Store in the Lisbon area. The project is located along County Road 44, East of Emeralda Avenue in the Lisbon area. There is no fiscal impact. Commission District.
Commr. Cadwell announced that the presentation of Proclamation No. 2015-88 declaring October 2015 as Domestic Violence Awareness Month in Lake County will be made at an event given by the Havens in Leesburg on Saturday, October 10, called “A Walk in their Shoes, Havenfest.”
ordinance amending procedure for request for continuance
Mr. Sandy Minkoff, County Attorney, placed the proposed ordinance on the floor for its first and only reading by title only as follows:
AN ORDINANCE OF THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OF LAKE COUNTY, FLORIDA; AMENDING LAKE COUNTY CODE, APPENDIX E, LAND DEVELOPMENT REGULATIONS, SECTION 14.00.06, ENTITLED “PROCEDURES GOVERNING PUBLIC HEARINGS;” AMENDING PROCEDURES FOR CONTINUANCES OF PUBLIC HEARINGS CONTAINED IN SECTION 14.00.06.L, BY ALLOWING A REQUEST FOR A CONTINUANCE TO BE MADE AND ADMINISTRATIVELY GRANTED TEN DAYS IN ADVANCE OF THE SCHEDULED PUBLIC HEARING INSTEAD OF THE FIVE DAYS CURRENTLY PERMITTED; PROVIDING FOR INCLUSION IN THE CODE; PROVIDING FOR SEVERABILITY; AND PROVIDING FOR AN EFFECTIVE DATE.
The Chairman opened the public hearing.
There being no one who wished to address the Board regarding this ordinance, the Chairman closed the public hearing.
On a motion by Commr. Sullivan, seconded by Commr. Parks and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the adoption and execution of Ordinance No. 2015-33 amending LDR Section 14.00.06.L., in order to increase the time in advance of a scheduled public hearing in which an applicant may request a continuance from five (5) to ten (10) days. There is no fiscal impact.
ordinance regarding operation of all-terrain vehicles
Mr. Minkoff placed the proposed ordinance on the floor for its first and only reading by title only as follows:
AN ORDINANCE OF THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OF LAKE COUNTY, FLORIDA, AMENDING LAKE COUNTY CODE CHAPTER 15, SECTION 15-13, ENTITLED “ALL TERRAIN VEHICLE OPERATION ON UNPAVED ROADWAYS;” RENAMING SECTION 15-13 TO “OPERATION OF ALL TERRAIN-VEHICLES;” PROVIDING FOR PENALTIES; PROVIDING FOR INCLUSION IN THE CODE; PROVIDING FOR SEVERABILITY; PROVIDING FOR FILING WITH THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE; AND PROVIDING FOR AN EFFECTIVE DATE.
Mr. Minkoff explained that one change that is recommended in this ordinance is to delete subsection (c) in Section 3 which relates to mufflers, as they have determined that there is a state statute that deals with that issue and that it is not needed in the code. He recommended approval of the ordinance with that change.
The Chairman opened the public hearing.
There being no one who wished to address the Board regarding this ordinance, the Chairman closed the public hearing.
Commr. Campione clarified that although Florida law already addresses the requirement for a muffler, the County could amend this ordinance to include that condition if the state were to remove it.
On a motion by Commr. Parks, seconded by Commr. Sullivan and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the adoption and execution of Ordinance No. 2015-34 amending Lake County Code, Chapter 15, Section 15-13, entitled “All-Terrain Vehicle Operation on Unpaved Roadways." There is no fiscal impact.
ordinance regarding nuisance abatement
Mr. Minkoff placed the proposed ordinance on the floor for its first and only reading by title only as follows:
AN ORDINANCE OF THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OF LAKE COUNTY; AMENDING CHAPTER 14 OF THE LAKE COUNTY CODE, ENTITLED “MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS AND OFFENSES;” AMENDING ARTICLE III OF CHAPTER 14, ENTITLED “NUISANCE ABATEMENT,” TO REDEFINE PROPERTY PROHIBITED FROM CONTAINING UNCULTIVATED VEGETATION TO INCLUDE PROPERTIES IN PLANNED DEVELOPMENT, COMMERCIAL, AND INDUSTRIAL ZONING DISTRICTS THAT ARE TWO ACRES OR LESS IN SIZE; AMENDING SECTION 14-54, ENTITLED “APPLICABILITY;” PROVIDING FOR INCLUSION IN THE CODE, PROVIDING FOR SEVERABILITY; PROVIDING FOR FILING WITH THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE; AND PROVIDING FOR AN EFFECTIVE DATE.
The Chairman opened the public hearing.
There being no one who wished to address the Board regarding this ordinance, the Chairman closed the public hearing.
Commr. Cadwell indicated that he would support approval of this ordinance and noted that staff will continue to monitor the code calls the County will get. However, he expressed concern about the acreage issue regarding this ordinance and indicated that they might need to increase the acreage in the future. He concluded that this was a good first step towards solving some of the problems in the rural areas.
Commr. Campione stated that although she agreed with that, the Board still has not found a way to address the Mount Plymouth-Sorrento golf course issue and expressed hope that there will be something coming back to the Board next month that would address that matter specifically.
On a motion by Commr. Cadwell, seconded by Commr. Campione and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the adoption and execution of Ordinance No. 2015-35 revising Chapter 14, Article III of the Lake County Code entitled “Nuisance Abatement.” There is no fiscal impact.
library impact fee projects
Mr. Paul Alford, Library Services Division Manager, explained that the purpose of this public hearing is to provide an opportunity for public comment on two library impact fee agreements along with a request for the Board’s approval of those requests, and he recapped that library impact fees are collected to provide capital improvements for libraries where residential growth requires increased capacity and service. He elaborated that a credit is given to municipalities that collect their own impact fees for libraries, and he explained that there is a single library impact fee district. He noted that the library impact fees are only applied to residential construction and are in the amounts of $191 for each single-family unit, $146 for each multi-family unit, and $152 for a mobile home unit. He related that library impact fees are awarded based on an application process outlined in Lake County Policy LCC-63, which was updated and improved on May 5 and which requires that they be awarded at a public hearing. He stated that project applications were accepted beginning in May of this year, and there was a total of $437,490 in available funding. He reported that there were four applications received from four different libraries, and all applications were deemed eligible for impact fees after review from the County Attorney’s Office. He specified that the application from the City of Leesburg is to provide additional shelving for expanded collections at the Leesburg Public Library, and the application from the City of Fruitland Park is to construct and furnish a new library to meet anticipated growth demands due to the Villages expansion of over 2,000 housing units slated for the Fruitland Park area. He related that the application request from the City of Minneola was for $425,000 to purchase land on which to build a new library in future years, and the application request from the Town of Howey in the Hills was for $400,000 to expand the existing library by building a new community room addition. He summarized that the total for all projects requested is $1,271,147, which exceeds the $437,490 available in the Library Impact Fee Trust.
Mr. Alford explained that all applications are reviewed, scored, and ranked by the Library Services Division staff per the policy with input from the member library directors. He reported that the applications from the Cities of Leesburg and Fruitland Park were respectively the first and second ranked ones; however, as the funds available in the impact fee trust was still not sufficient to fully fund both of these requests, the recommendation was made to fund the City of Leesburg’s request in full at $18,767 and fund the City of Fruitland Park’s request at $418,723, which is $8,657 less than the requested amount. He elaborated that the Library Advisory Board recommended approval of these two project applications in June, and agreements were drawn up by the County Attorney’s Office and transmitted to the cities for execution prior to placing them on the BCC agenda for approval. He recapped that Fruitland Park received library impact fee grant awards for projected expansions on the existing library in 2013 and 2014, and when the City decided to pursue new library construction instead of these expansion projects, they submitted a request to repurpose those previous awards for the new construction project. He reported that the County Attorney’s Office has reviewed that request and has found it to be a legitimate use of those previous awards, which was why the interlocal agreement covers the use of those impact fees for 2013, 2014, and 2015, as well as terminates the previous interlocal agreements for 2013 and 2014 and approves use of those funds for the new library construction project in the amount of $991,423. He requested that the Board approve the applications for the impact fee awards and execution of the interlocal agreements with the City of Leesburg and the City of Fruitland Park.
The Chairman opened the public hearing.
There being no one who wished to address the Board regarding this matter, the Chairman closed the public hearing.
Commr. Sullivan opined that the Fruitland Park plan was a great project and noted that a very thorough review was done of what the immediate needs are as the County’s library system grows in accordance with their population.
Commr. Campione commented that the impact fee supplements the funding they get from sales tax, since they would not be able to keep up with the library needs using just the impact fees, and they would be very far behind if they could not use the infrastructure sales tax to meet the library needs that they have had over the last 30 years and going forward. She elaborated that although the fee is small, it allows them to do projects like these over a period of time.
On a motion by Commr. Sullivan, seconded by Commr. Cadwell and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the award of library impact fees for two new library impact fee projects in the amounts of $18,767 for the Leesburg Public Library and $418,723 for the Fruitland Park Library for a total of $437,490; as well as approval and signature of interlocal agreement with the City of Leesburg and interlocal agreement with the City of Fruitland Park that incorporates 2013, 2014, and 2015 awards for a total of $991,423. The fiscal impact includes the new awards for Leesburg ($18,767) and Fruitland Park ($418,723) and previously approved 2013 ($250,200) and 2014 ($322,500) awards to Fruitland Park for a total fiscal impact of $1,010,190 (Expenditure). Commission Districts 3 and 5.
approval of fire assessment
Mr. Steve Koontz, Director of Fiscal and Administrative Services, related that that he would give a presentation for the public hearing on the Fire and Solid Waste Assessments. He explained that the Fire Assessment is used to fund fire protection services, such as fire suppression, fire prevention, fire building inspections, and first response medical services (BLS); and he pointed out that this assessment cannot fund ALS (advanced life support) services. He recapped that the latest Fire Assessment Study by Tindale Oliver and Associates on June 23 recommended estimated revenues of $16,887,000, which was very similar to the FY 2015 revenues. He also recapped some other findings from that study, which were that the residential rates were being reduced from $181 to $175 due to a shift of utilization of fire services across the unincorporated area, and other land use categories such as hotel/motel, commercial, industrial, and institutional would see rate increases from 4 to 50 percent due to the changes in utilization of fire services by those land use categories. He further explained that there was a 66 percent discount for the institutional properties, which would pay 34 percent of the fees in order to keep those properties at a consistent rate to 2015, with the rest of the fees coming from the general fund. He concluded that the requested action was to authorize and execute the resolution to impose fire assessments against assessed property located in Lake County for the fiscal year beginning October 1, 2015 and approve the rates of the assessment and the assessment role.
The Chairman opened the public hearing.
Mr. Vance Jochim stated that he has not had a chance to go through the Tindale-Oliver study and look at all of the components, but he expected some to be vehicles, fire engines, and that type of equipment. However, he had a question about why the County was also taking those types of expenditures out of the sales tax funds as well as using the fire assessment funds for them.
Commr. Campione emphasized that they are trying to spread those infrastructure expenditures across a broader base, which eases the burden on property owners for local governmental expenses in the fairest way possible.
Commr. Parks elaborated that the fire assessment would be a lot higher without the penny sales tax.
Mr. Earl Curry, a trustee for a local church, expressed concern that an increase in their church’s fire tax is a mistake, since the rate is tripled from last year’s rate.
Mr. Koontz explained that the rate that is listed on his TRIM notice will be different than the rate on their actual tax bill, which will show the 66 percent reduction he previously mentioned. He asked Mr. Curry to let his staff know if his tax bill is not correct so they can look into it at that time.
Mr. Heath further explained that the TRIM notices have to show the full amount of the assessment for purposes of notification; however, the Board is buying down those assessments from other funding sources which will result in a substantial reduction from the TRIM bill.
There being no one who wished to address the Board at this time, the Chairman closed the public hearing.
Commr. Parks asked Mr. Heath about when they can have a workshop for long-term planning regarding the ISO (Insurance Service Office).
Mr. Heath responded that although staff contacts ISO weekly, there still has been no response from them, since they have their own timeframe.
Commr. Campione asked if they can still have a workshop if this goes on indefinitely.
Mr. Heath answered that they will not be able to wait for the ISO indefinitely, and they will have a workshop by January in order to have that ready for next year.
On a motion by Commr. Sullivan, seconded by Commr. Parks and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the authorization and execution of Resolution No. 2015-93 to impose Fire Assessments against assessed property located in Lake County, Florida, for the Fiscal Year beginning October 1, 2015; approved the rate of assessment; approved the assessment roll; and provided an effective date. The fiscal impact is $16,887,000.00 (Revenue).
approval of solid waste assessment
Mr. Koontz explained that the Solid Waste Assessment is used to fund collection, management, and disposal of solid waste and recovered material, adding that vacant lots are not assessed, and he pointed out that this assessment is for curbside service and could not fund countywide services. He elaborated that the rates were based on the area and service level, and he noted that the rates, which have not changed from FY 2015, will bring in total revenues of $12,595,055. He presented a chart showing the rates, which included $176 for the north area (Area 1), $168 for the central area (Area 2), and $189 for the south area (Area 3) for 1x1x1 service (once a week pickup of solid waste, yard waste, and recyclables.) He reported that the requested action was to authorize and execute the resolution to impose the Solid Waste Assessment against assessed property located in Lake County for the Fiscal Year beginning October 1, 2015 and to approve the rate of the assessment and the assessment roll.
The Chairman opened the public hearing.
There being no one who wished to address the Board at this time, the Chairman closed the public hearing.
Commr. Campione mentioned that staff has worked on and implemented bear-proof drop off sites in northeast Lake County by putting notices on residences that were within two miles of those facilities of their availability at the fire stations, and residents could stop by there any time if they have had issues or problems with bears. She thanked staff for getting this in place and giving this a chance to see if it helps. She commented that she was glad they were addressing the bear problem in this way rather than the way they do in Seminole County, and she thought this was a great step in the right direction to do this as economically as possible.
On a motion by Commr. Sullivan, seconded by Commr. Parks and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the authorization and execution of Resolution No. 2015-94 to impose Solid Waste Assessment for the collection, management, and disposal of solid waste and recovered materials against assessed property located in Lake County, Florida, for the Fiscal Year beginning October 1, 2015; approve the rate of assessment; approve the assessment roll, and provide an effective date. Please see Exhibit A of the Resolution for rates. The fiscal impact is $12,595,055.00 (Revenue).
recess and reassembly
The Chairman announced at 9:55 a.m. that there would be a ten-minute recess.
COUNTY MANAGER’S DEPARTMENTAL BUSINESS
school impact fees
Ms. Amye King, Community Liaison Manager for Community Services, stated that they would discuss the school impact fee study updates and provide the recommendations from the School Board and CFAC. She recapped that the Henderson Young Study of 2011 recommended a school impact fee of $10,292 for a single family home, and after a period of suspension, the Board reinstated 25 percent of the impact fee on January 13, 2014 and adopted 75 percent of the recommended amount on December 2, 2014, $7,719 of which went into effect on April 6, 2015. She related that these funds have been accruing until an update study was completed, and the total in escrow as of July was $1,886,902. She reported that Tindale Oliver produced a Final Update Report with the most recent and localized data on July 16, and the day after the School Board heard and accepted the study, it recommended adoption of 100 percent of the recommended rates from the study, which were $9,324 for a single family unit, $8,045 for a multi-family unit, and $5,856 for a mobile home unit. She noted that on August 17, the CFAC discussed the Update Study with the School Board staff and Tindale Oliver, accepted it on August 17, and ultimately endorsed 83 percent of the Tindale Oliver update study for single family residences or $7,739, which is only $20 more than the current impact fee of $7,719. She presented a chart showing the currently adopted fee, the School Board recommended fee, and the CFAC recommendations for all three residential categories. She requested acceptance of the Final Update Report by Tindale Oliver, approval for the Clerk of Courts to remit the accrued School Impact Fees to the School Board, and direction from the Board regarding a possible change to the current school impact fee, as well as approval to advertise that possible change.
Ms. Debbie Stivender, Chairman of the School Board, respectfully requested that the Board accept and institute the Tindale Oliver educational impact fee at 100 percent, noting that the School Board unanimously approved the rate being set at 100 percent of the recommendation in the study.
Ms. Rosanne Brandeburg, a member of the School Board, pointed out that the School Board members were showing a united front on this issue, and she commented that they have never had enough funding to do what they needed to do for Lake County Schools in the seven years she has been on the School Board and have fallen further and further behind every year. She mentioned that they have many needs beyond the impact fees, but those fees are a key component, and she had inherited $600 million in debt when she came on the School Board for renovations of schools and new schools that needed to be built due to growth. She noted that they have been paying down that debt as well as reducing the interest rates on some of their bonds, but they will have some very difficult decisions to make if the Board does not support and partner with them in approving the full impact fee. She pointed out that education drives economic development, and together they can help improve things in Lake County. She emphasized that the School Board is very limited in the dollars they receive and cannot ask for additional dollars without the Board’s support. She requested that the Board approve a rate of 100 percent of the study.
Mr. Marc Dodd, a member of the School Board, stated that they were humbly asking the Board to demonstrate a commitment to ensure that the Lake County schools are adequately funded to meet the needs of the growing population that they were facing in the county and to adopt the impact fee as recommended by Tindale Oliver. He noted that at the Board’s request, they hired Tindale Oliver to study Lake County’s trends and recommend an impact fee that was appropriate and sufficient and that would enable them as a school district to build student stations to keep up with the growth patterns. He commented that the most immediate and clear indication of their challenges could be found at both Sawgrass Bay Elementary and Windy Hill Middle Schools, which are both literally hundreds of students over capacity, and they desperately need a new school in Four Corners. He elaborated that due to limited cafeteria space, children are eating lunch at a time when some people are still eating breakfast. He mentioned that they just approved their Five Year Capital Plan that they are required to present to Tallahassee, which does not reflect the nearly $500 million of capital needs that keep getting pushed further and further out, and in their balanced plan the construction dollars do not become available to them until the 2019-20 school year; however, they need to have that school available before then, and building the school would completely deplete their capital reserves. He added that approving the full impact fee would also give them the ability to add buses to their lean and aging fleet in order to keep up with the growing population as well as technology updates that they need just to keep up with the state testing requirements and maintain the goal of providing an enriching classroom experience which would allow their students to be college and career ready. He mentioned that the school district is not expected to be out of debt until 2031, and the amount they pay on debt service is more than $30 million, which is enough money to build a new school every year. He requested that the Board help them meet their needs.
Ms. Stephanie Luke, a member of the School Board, commented that as a parent, she would not object to paying an impact fee, since she knew how it would be used, and she would do whatever it took for her children to have the best education possible. She reiterated the sentiment that improving the ratings of their schools by investing in them would help the county economically. She elaborated that as a teacher who started her career in Lake County, she has seen the capital needs of the school district firsthand, and she has seen the needs and insurmountable debt in this district as a new School Board member. She asked that the Board join with them in making the difficult decisions and do what is right to fund their schools.
Mr. Bill Mathias, a member of the School Board, mentioned that the two former School Board members who were currently on the Board know the struggles of the School Board, and he commented that he understands as a business person the fine line and dynamic between the impact on the construction industry and providing the resources needed for the schools. He opined, however, that if they do not invest in adequate school resources, home buyers will not come to Lake County. He requested that the Board fund the impact fees at 100 percent, while still working together to look for alternatives that will create sustainable growth which will give financial stability to their school district and economy, since the impact fee is the only source they have right now.
On a motion by Commr. Campione, seconded by Commr. Parks and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the acceptance of the Final Update Report and gave approval for the Clerk of Courts to remit the accrued School Impact Fees to the School Board.
Mr. Minkoff explained that this item includes a request for approval to advertise a change to their code and to their ordinance, and it would be advertised for a public hearing if approved. He pointed out that if the fees are increased, there is a minimum of a 90-day waiting period after the public hearing to implement that change.
Commr. Cadwell commented that they do not have the ability to look at the school impact fee in a vacuum, since they already have increased the transportation impact fee in the south part of the county, while leaving the discounted rate in the north area. However, he intends to support moving forward with advertising the fee at 100 percent, but they would have to weigh the final decision with the backbone of the infrastructure that the Board was responsible for, since the construction industry could not prosper without the roads, parks, and libraries, while deciding how much is too much.
Commr. Sullivan indicated agreement with Commr. Cadwell’s comments and added that he thinks they need to look at this in a broader sense with all of their impact fees. He also agreed that they needed to advertise this at 100 percent and have a broader discussion at a detailed workshop sometime in November about the specifics of all of their impact fees to review all of them going forward. He pointed out that many citizens ask about impact fees during discussions of renewal of the penny sales tax, and he thought that existing citizens believe they needed to go forward with impact fees. He opined that he would support as a minimum 83 percent, because he believes it is a big issue for economic development of this county, since they needed to provide a workforce for employers as they move forward.
Mr. Minkoff elaborated that if they were to move forward immediately after this was approved at the public hearing, it would be implemented around the holidays, so he believed they should postpone it a week or two afterwards until the beginning of January.
Commr. Parks stated that he supported advertising 100 percent of the rate, and he commented that although impact fees are not perfect, they have worked with the School Board members and the CFAC to attempt to find other alternatives. He opined that it was not easy to enact this fee, but it was necessary. He asked about paying diverse fees for each of the three districts, noting that the Attorney General opinion states that they can levy school impact fees for one portion of the county and not the entire county so long as the ordinance satisfies the dual rational nexus test and is drafted in such a way that it does not implicate Article IX, Section 1 of the Florida Constitution, and he remarked that this was not addressed in the study.
Commr. Conner asked whether there was still some legal question about that.
Commr. Cadwell added that there were philosophical differences about that issue as well.
Mr. Minkoff responded that the County’s legal staff does not necessarily agree with the Attorney General on this issue, but her opinion also indicates that a study of the data would be required that would meet the two tests that were mentioned, which was the free education test as well as the study of the impact; however, the study has not been done to his knowledge.
Commr. Parks indicated that he would support doing that study.
Commr. Conner pointed out that the School Board would have to do that study.
Commr. Cadwell expressed concern about a fiscally segregated school system.
Commr. Parks suggested that they monitor this issue for a period of six months, comparing it to some economic data, and he opined that since there was not as much of a demand for construction of homes in north Lake County, there could be some concerns about implementing the higher impact fee in that region.
Commr. Campione indicated that she was concerned about the effect of the higher fees in the north part of the county as well, noting that there were essentially three sub-economies within Lake County, with a booming construction economy in South Lake as a result of being part of the metro-Orlando market. She added that studies she has read through the years about impact fees indicate that higher impact fees will not stop growth in a place with a huge demand, but it will stop new construction in areas with a teetering economy. She also opined that the fees will impact the smaller, local builders more than the larger ones who can absorb those costs, and she pointed out that impact fees are supposed to pay for the impacts of new growth as new student stations are needed. She commented that she agreed with the School Board’s plan to use the infrastructure sales tax if it is renewed to focus on primarily fixing and rebuilding dilapidated schools and buildings rather than putting it towards new capacity, since that would help existing residents and would take some of the burden off of property taxpayers while improving the quality of the existing infrastructure. She related that if they did decide to divide the county into separate impact fee districts, she wanted to put a mechanism in place to make sure the impact fees corresponded to the increased growth and need for new student stations in areas with lower rates, and she opined that residents might be unwilling to pay higher impact fees on the north end of the county in order to pay for more student stations on the south side of the county. She stated that since she did not believe the studies were an exact science, she is not a proponent of 100 percent of the fees that were recommended, and she will not support a motion to advertise the impact fee at 100 percent overall.
Commr. Parks asked her if she would support a separate motion asking the School Board to update the study to include looking at separate school impact fee districts.
Commr. Campione responded that she thought that would have been done in this study.
Commr. Conner pointed out that the focus of the study was the School Board’s decision, although he agreed about the issue of looking at separate districts, and there were still some legal questions about doing that. He asked if the consultant for the School Board looked at districts separately or at the county as a whole.
Mr. Harry Fix, Director of Growth Planning for Lake County Schools, answered that the consultants looked at the county as a whole, adding that the consultant had some concerns about separate impact fee districts and did not believe that would be the best thing to implement. He also noted that there was no other county without a uniform school impact fee.
Commr. Conner commented that it was refreshing and impressive to see that the School Board was decisive and unanimous, and he pointed out that the Board has been very sensitive to the business climate by suspending school impact fees from 2011 through 2013. He mentioned that the real problem has been that the state has given less and less money to districts for capital expenditures in the last several years, and he commented that he was proud that the penny sales tax was dedicated to rebuilding all of the high schools, which were in very poor condition before that time, at a total cost of $120 million. He commented that although he thinks impact fees are an unfair burden on people who are buying homes and wished there was a broader tax for real estate transactions, there was no other legal solution at this time. He added that he believed they should monitor this every three to six months to make sure they are not negatively impacting permits or the business community, and he expressed concern about the impact in the north part of the county. He commented that he will not tell the School Board how to do their job, and he opined that the Attorney General’s opinion is just a reflection of one person’s viewpoint. He mentioned that they are committed to some fairly sizeable expenditures in their school sidewalk program. He indicated that he would support the motion to advertise at 100 percent and asked the Board not to delay this.
Commr. Campione elaborated on an affordable housing project that was slated to come in to the City of Eustis for a very nice 150-unit apartment complex for workforce housing which had gotten qualified through the Florida Housing Authority, adding that the complex would only be able to be rented by people of certain income levels, and literacy and after-school programs were planned to be part of this project. She explained that the project just missed the deadline for the last impact fee, which meant a difference of about $800,000, resulting in a good chance for cessation of the project and a lost opportunity for good, safe affordable housing, and she pointed out that this was a good example of why she had a hard time voting in favor of 100 percent of the impact fee. She asked the Board to look at the big picture, and she indicated that there is time to do a study after giving approval to advertise before coming back to have a discussion about the percentages. She added that Lake County is geographically different and more diverse than many other Florida counties, which was why it might be appropriate to have variable rates.
Commr. Cadwell indicated that he would like to meet with the School Board members individually to discuss this issue, and he clarified with Ms. Stivender that she will have a discussion with the School Board in regard to this issue as well.
Commr. Campione commented that she believes they are all trying to work together as a partnership and that they need to continue to have this dialogue and hear each other’s views and perspectives on this matter in order to meld together a solution.
Ms. Brandeburg added that the school system was too in debt to delay the inevitable, and she pointed out that they were only requesting that they put the impact fee back to where it was at $9,324 rather than asking it to be increased. She opined that the Board and the School Board were not on the same page regarding their thoughts about doing another study.
On a motion by Commr. Sullivan, seconded by Commr. Cadwell and carried by a vote of 4-1, the Board approved advertisement of the ordinance to reinstate the school impact fees at 100 percent of the recommended amount of the study done by Tindale-Oliver in July of 2015, with the public hearing to be held on September 29, 2015.
Commr. Campione voted “no.”
approval of legislative priorities
Mr. Bill Veach, Deputy County Manager, stated that he would review the outcomes of last year’s legislative requests and present this year’s Lake County proposed legislative priorities. He explained that each year, the Board submits a list of priorities and requests to the Lake County Legislative Delegation, noting that 23 state legislative priorities and 3 federal priorities were submitted last year, and this year’s proposed list includes 15 state and 4 federal funding issues. He reported that four out of five requests regarding economic development from last year were not funded, which were the Ferndale Preserve, McDonald Canal Boat Ramp, Montverde Boat Ramp, and the Lake Technical Center for Advanced Manufacturing; and the Lake-Sumter State College’s Science Lab Facility, which received $6 million, was the only project funded. He noted, however, that out of the four issues regarding transportation last year submitted by the County, the Wekiva Trail right of way request was the only one of those requests that did not receive funding; and regarding the other three, they received $1 million for the Citrus Grove Road Urban Collector, $2.5 million for the County Road 466A project, and $672,000 for the Transportation Disadvantaged Program. He related that they received $1.5 million in Affordable Housing SHIP funding and $150,000 towards the funding of the Medicaid Waiver Program; however, the rest of the Human Services requests from Lake County were kept at the status quo, reduced, or not funded, including reduced funding for the Lake County Health Department and no funding for the Guardian ad Litem program. He stated that two of the five environmental project requests were funded, which were the fuel spill remediation at $500,000 and the South Lake Regional Water Initiative at $300,000. He summarized that they received a total of $12.6 million in state legislative response to their requests last year. He also reported that two of the three federal legislative requests from last year were funded, noting that they received $225,000 for the Continuum of Care Grants and $1.1 million in CDBG funding, bringing the total federal legislative response to $1.3 million.
Mr. Veach presented the County’s 2016 state legislative priorities broken down into economic development, health and human services, and public infrastructure. He specified that the first request under economic development is for $2.8 million for completion of the construction of the Lake County Center for Advanced Manufacturing at Lake Technical College in Eustis, which will support workforce needs in Lake County. He further explained that the total cost of this project is $4.2 million, and the state has previously contributed $1.4 million. He related that the second request is in support of UCF’s and Osceola County’s request of a regional advanced manufacturing hub in Central Florida for $150 million, which includes $25 million to complete the construction and $125 million for operating costs for the first five years. He elaborated that $120 million for Phase I funding of this project has already been secured so that construction can begin on this 100-square foot state-of-the-art facility located in Osceola County, and the focus of this project will be next-generation advanced manufacturing technology, which they believe will have an impact in Lake County. He reported that their next issue regarding economic development are the revisions to refine the language to Florida Statute 163.3245 as it pertains to Sector Plans to include minimum acreage requirements following any changes such as municipal annexations and the status of previously approved entitlements, such as Planned Urban Developments (PUD); and he explained that currently the statute is unclear as to the status of a PUD once a sector plan is approved or what happens when a sector plan falls below the 15,000 minimum acreage due to municipal annexations. He added that another request was to restore the statewide funding levels for the State Aid to Libraries Operating Grant to the FY 2014 level of $27.4 million and work towards restoring the 2001 funding level of $33.4 million statewide, noting that this year’s funding for Lake County of $200,000 falls $80,000 short of the FY 2014 funding level.
Mr. Veach stated that under the category of Health and Human Services, they have requested a total of $456,000 over two years for a re-entry pilot program in order to provide coordination between governmental and non-governmental agencies to hopefully reduce the recidivism of people released from incarceration by providing resources to help them become productive members of society. He related that the next request is to increase or fully fund the Challenge Grant and reinstate the Housing Homeless Recovery (HHR) Grant, since the state’s Challenge Grant funds have been reduced and the HHR grant has been eliminated, which resulted in an $850,000 funding reduction impact annually in housing assistance for homeless families in Lake County. He added that they are also requesting $2.8 million from the state to fully restore the State Housing Initiative Program (SHIP) funds for affordable housing, and he explained that Lake County has been allocated $1.5 million for 2015-16, which is only 53 percent of the calculated formula. He described the requests regarding transport of the disabled, which were to fully fund the Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD) so that it can pay the actual costs of providing transportation disadvantaged services pursuant to Florida Statute 427.0135, since the County is being reimbursed at a rate far lower than the actual cost, as well as to keep the funding for the Transportation Disadvantaged Program intact at $671,713, which would enable the County to provide a total of 40,000 trips with a local match.
Mr. Veach went over the requests for road project funding under the category of Public Infrastructure. He explained that the County’s request for $14.6 million for Phase I and Phase II of Citrus Grove Road will provide construction costs for this major east-west connection to the Florida Turnpike Interchange scheduled to be completed in 2017, since engineering and right of way expenses for the project are currently funded, and the County also requested $10.5 million needed for construction of Phase III of County Road 466A, which will complete this four-lane project from US Highway 27 west to US Highway 301. He mentioned that other legislative priority requests for infrastructure were for $1 million to support the connection of the 34-acre East Lake Community Park in Sorrento to the municipal wastewater system provided by the City of Eustis; $300,000 for a feasibility study to examine the viability and cost to implement a community-wide central wastewater system in an area currently served mainly by septic systems in the Mount Plymouth-Sorrento area in an effort to encourage economic development in this community; $1.5 million to design and construct a one-mile trail at Ferndale Preserve to connect the park entrance to the park amenities on the western shore of Lake Apopka such as an observation tower, fishing pier, and canoe-kayak launch; and $600,000 to purchase 20 acres adjacent to the existing 18.6-acre Helena Run Preserve to allow for an entrance, parking, and recreational activities and to provide easier access to the lake on that parcel.
Mr. Veach commented that the 2016 Federal Legislative Priorities were all in the area of health and human services pertaining specifically to housing. He specified that the first request was to maintain or increase the current levels of funding for the National Housing Trust Fund (NHTF) and the Elderly Housing Section 202 in order to continue to assist many more families and help senior citizens retain and attain decent and safe housing, and he recapped that historically these funds have provided more than 1,200 units of affordable housing in Lake County. The second request was to maintain or increase the current Housing & Urban Development $1.1 million funding of the Community Development Block Grant, which helps fund critical needs ranging from low-income housing to public services and infrastructure projects. Other projects that were on the federal priority list were regarding maintaining or increasing $250,000 in Continuum of Care grants for transitional living and Shelter Plus Care programs under the Department of Housing & Urban Development and $500,000 in HOME Investment Partnership program funds used to assist families in attaining affordable rental and homeownership. He provided a list of important dates, including Lake Legislative Days on November 17 and 18, presentation to the Lake County Delegation on December 9, and the beginning of the legislative session on January 12, 2016. He requested approval of the proposed legislative priorities for 2016.
Commr. Cadwell suggested that staff look into whether there are federal dollars available for the Mt. Plymouth-Sorrento Wastewater Feasibility Study in addition to the state dollars.
Mr. Heath responded that they will put that project on both the federal and state lists.
Commr. Campione suggested that they include water issues on the federal list as well, noting that the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) program has been used in some rural areas to obtain water connection.
Commr. Parks emphasized that he believed they needed to rally behind the Lake Center for Advanced Manufacturing as a top agenda item.
Commr. Campione agreed that they needed to really push hard for that one and expressed hope that they will receive funding for it this year. She pointed out that they currently only have one public technical school and a large sector of manufacturing, adding that they have a great opportunity to be focusing on workforce training for the residents that wanted to stay and pursue careers within Lake County. She requested that they separate the large center for manufacturing in Osceola from their own facility in order to emphasize and lobby for their own project. She expressed concern that staff had not submitted the proper forms last year for the wastewater project in Sorrento and requested that staff look into what they need to submit and the deadlines for those as well as to be given a copy of those forms and a file number to reference.
Commr. Sullivan commented that some of their legislators might not be on the committee that is addressing some of those issues, and they might need to make sure that their legislators are informed about things going forward, since some of those processes are complicated. He mentioned that the state is in the process of putting together a model regarding re-entry of prison inmates. He also opined that the legislative process will be different this year due to the timing.
On a motion by Commr. Campione, seconded by Commr. Parks and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the above-mentioned 2016 legislative priorities.
women’s hall of fame recipient
On a motion by Commr. Cadwell, seconded by Commr. Campione and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the appointment of Lynn Bain as the 2015 Women’s Hall of Fame recipient as recommended by the Women's Hall of Fame Committee.
children’s services council appointment
Commr. Cadwell explained that although he was not ready to make some of the appointments for the Children’s Services Council, he was ready to make one of those appointments.
On a motion by Commr. Cadwell, seconded by Commr. Sullivan and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the appointment of Ernest Jones, Program Administrator, Department of Children and Families, to complete an unexpired term ending May 14, 2016 to the Children's Services Council. (All other appointments to this committee have been postponed until September 29, 2015.)
ordinance amending discretionary sales surtax levied
Commr. Campione explained that during some of the discussions she has had regarding the infrastructure sales tax renewal, concerns were raised about the process, and she thought it would be helpful if they had an annual public hearing to go over the annual sales tax projects that would be implemented the following year and for the next five years. She also requested that they require that meeting to be specially advertised consisting of two newspaper advertisements before those meetings and include discussions about whether bonds or other types of debt were to be issued using sales tax revenue. She suggested that they specify on the record an explanation of any substantial deviation over the course of that year and why they were making a change from what originally had been decided regarding the sales tax projects. She summarized that these were ways to address the particular concerns that were raised.
Commr. Sullivan pointed out that they had discussions about the five-year capital improvement programs every year, but the general public does not see that as an open process.
Commr. Campione elaborated that since the Board has already been looking at the long-range plans by the time it is discussed at the meeting, the deliberation of those are not necessarily on the record, and she wanted all of that information available for everyone to look at.
On a motion by Commr. Campione, seconded by Commr. Parks and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the advertisement of the draft Ordinance Amending Section 13-1, entitled Discretionary Sales Surtax Levied; Use of Proceeds, with the public hearing to be held on September 29, 2015.
reports – commissioner sullivan – district 1
keep america beautiful program event
Commr. Sullivan related that the Keep America Beautiful Program will be working with their trash haulers this weekend for three events that will be held in Lake County, and he encouraged public involvement to help keep Lake County beautiful as they move forward in implementing those great projects.
resolution recognizing miss america contestant
Commr. Sullivan mentioned that he would be bringing a resolution back to the Board for their approval recognizing Ms. Mary Katherine Fechtel, the Lake County resident who represented Lake County very well as a contestant in the Miss America and Miss Florida pageants. He predicted that she will be a candidate for the Women’s Hall of Fame in the future.
reports – commissioner parks – vice-chairman and district 2
sharing of k-8 school facilities at four corners
Commr. Parks relayed that a question came up at the last Four Corners meeting asking how the County and the School District coordinating on sharing the facilities at the new K-8 school property in that area, and he asked for an update on those coordination efforts from the School Board so that he can communicate that back to the people who are attending those meetings.
Mr. Heath assured him that he was working on a work session regarding sharing of school and park facilities.
REPORTS – COMMISsIONER campione – DISTRICT 4
cleanup locations for keep america beautiful event
Commr. Campione elaborated that the Keep America Beautiful Clean Up event previously mentioned would be held from 9 to 11 a.m. at Berry Park, 2121 Johns Avenue in Leesburg for the West Lake Community Cleanup; East Lake Community Park in Sorrento for the East Lake Community and Roadway Clean Up; and at Ace Hardware, 1007 W. Broad Street, Groveland, for the South Lake Community and Roadway Cleanup. She added that vests, gloves, and bags will be included, and she encouraged everyone to get their groups together and attend the event.
workforce housing project
Commr. Campione recapped that an affordable workforce housing apartment complex project in Eustis referred to earlier in the meeting might not happen due to higher impact fees, and she relayed a suggestion that it go before the Affordable Housing Advisory Committee to see if they could get help with SHIP funding in the future that would offset some of those impact fees. She added that if that committee recommended that the project receive funding, it would then come before the Board. She commented that although the amount of money available through that source would be small, it might be something that could show good faith that they were trying to help offset some of those additional costs.
reports – commissioner cadwell – district 5
golf tournament at mission inn
Commr. Cadwell mentioned that a golf tournament at Mission Inn in Howey in the Hills that weekend received a lot of press coverage, and 17 countries were represented. He commented about the high level of play, noting that the participants included former and future Olympic Games competitors. He added that the Tourist Development Council will be considering a bid for the first NCAA tournament championship, which would ultimately come before the Board.
Commr. Conner noted that this was the only stop in America for that tournament.
recess and reassembly
The Chairman announced that the Board will recess until the public hearing at 5:05 p.m.
public hearing – adoption of tentative millage rates
Mr. Steve Koontz, Director of Fiscal and Administrative Services, explained that this was the first of two public hearings on the Fiscal Year 2016 budget as required by Florida Statutes for the millages and the budgets overseen by the Lake County Board of County Commissioners, but he noted that information regarding public hearings for other taxing authorities such as the School Board could be found on the TRIM notices. He further explained that the purpose of this meeting was to present to the public the tentative budget for FY 2016 including the proposed millage rates and their change from the rollback millage rates, which was a rate when applied to next year’s tax base, excluding new construction, will generate the same revenue raised in the previous year. He presented a chart displaying and comparing the FY 2016 proposed millage rates and rollback rates, and he related that Chapters 129 and 200 of the Florida Statute which outlines the procedures for the annual adoption of tax rates and budgets require that he identify the proposed millage rates for the FY 2016 fiscal year as well as any adjustments the Board will consider. He reported that the proposed FY 2016 Lake County General Fund Countywide millage is 5.3051 mills, which is a decrease to the FY 2015 rate and a 1.43 percent increase over the rollback tax rate of 5.2303. He also went over the other proposed FY 2016 millage rates, stating that the Lake County Ambulance MSTU millage is .4629 mills, which is equal to the FY 2015 rate and a 2.96 percent increase over the rollback tax rate of .4496 mills; the Lake County Stormwater, Roads, and Parks MSTU is .4957 mills, which is equal to the FY 2015 rate and a 2.14 percent increase over the rollback tax rate of .4853 mills; and the Lake County Fire Rescue EMS millage is .4704 mills, which is equal to the FY 2015 rate and a 2.24 percent increase over the rollback tax rate of .4601 mills. He pointed out that the Lake County Public Lands – Voted Debt millage, which is .1600 mills, does not figure into the rollback calculations because it was a voted debt millage, and he noted that this millage was equal to the rate adopted in 2015. He explained that based on the calculations for the Department of Revenue under the DR 420 Certification of Taxable Value form, the current year proposed aggregate rate is 1.38 percent over the rollback rate.
Mr. David Heath, County Manager, noted that this year’s proposed budget is a culmination of at least 20 work sessions that began in January and that they had put out 12 press releases to make sure that the public was aware of the Board’s deliberations. He related that the budget had addressed the requests from the constitutional officers which totaled about $3 million over FY 2015, and they have included funding for lighting at East Lake Park as well as continued funding for the development of the South Lake Regional Park, since one of the issues that was a major priority for the Board was funding for parks this year. He also mentioned that the Board placed a great deal of priority on funding for public safety while developing this year’s budget, which resulted in funding for ambulances, fire trucks, defibrillators, and over $1 million for Sheriff’s vehicles. He elaborated that the budget also included funding to continue the Courthouse renovations; additional funding for the Children’s and Health and Human Services Grant programs, LifeStream, and WeCare; restoration of $50,000 in funding to the Health Department due to a reduction of state funds to that agency; funding for veterans’ memorial parks in Leesburg and Lake Nona; and funding for a three percent raise for employees as well as a salary study to look at a pay-for-performance provision.
The Chairman opened the public hearing.
Mr. Steve Parsons, a 30-year resident of Lake County, commented that he does not use a lot of the services that are on the tax bill, and he asked how the Board would keep the costs down for the average resident, since he believed that the taxes were too high.
Commr. Conner encouraged anyone that had an appraisal issue to talk to Mr. Carey Baker, the Property Appraiser, who was present at the meeting that night.
There being no one else who wished to address the Board at this time, the Chairman closed the public hearing.
Commr. Campione asked for clarification about the reduction in the millage for the General Fund from last year versus the rollback rate.
Mr. Koontz explained that the reduction was in the General Fund, specifying that the General Fund millage was reduced from 5.38 in 2015 to 5.30 this fiscal year.
Commr. Campione pointed out that a lot of the value added to the tax roll was due to new construction as opposed to increases in actual assessments, although there was some increase in their property values, indicating that Lake County’s economy is finally improving. She elaborated that there was a lot more construction happening in South Lake, resulting in pressure in that area for increased needs such as schools, but she would like to see some increase in new construction in north Lake County that was within reason. She commented that the Board and staff has worked very hard, had gotten into a lot of detail, and had heard from a lot of residents this year during the 20 budget workshops. She thanked all of the various groups and agencies they partner with in order to help meet the specific needs in their community for all they do.
Commr. Parks thanked staff for all of their hard work this year as well as residents for coming out to be part of their governmental process, and he noted that this budget continues to support economic growth and development and the quality of life issues that contribute to them being able to pursue the higher-income jobs they look to bring to the county.
Commr. Sullivan commented that this was a great and open process, but he believes they need to continue to work on changing the status quo in Lake County regarding the percentage of taxes coming from homeowners by growing their economy in the right manner. He opined that growth is good as long as it was the right kind of growth as they move forward.
Commr. Cadwell commented that he appreciates the work that the Board and staff has put into the budget process this year, as well as the groups and organizations that leverage the small amount of money the County gives them into so much in services.
Commr. Conner thanked the County Manager and all of their staff for their hard work throughout this process, and he commented that it was heartwarming to see the dedication of some of the people and organizations who were present to help other people who are not as fortunate. He emphasized that they are lowering the millage rates from last year, will still have the second lowest millage rate in the region throughout Central Florida, and continue to look for efficiencies, noting that they have cut seven positions in one department this year. He pointed out that they did not increase the millage rate for many years until last year and got behind on funding many important services. He specified that the County’s revenues from property taxes are $15 million less than they were seven years ago just before the beginning of the economic downturn, and their total revenues were $36 million less than they were then, while still maintaining a reasonable level of service, to the credit of their fiscally conservative Board and staff.
On a motion by Commr. Campione, seconded by Commr. Parks and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the adoption of the following tentative millage rates:
Lake County General Fund Countywide millage of 5.3051 mills
Lake County Ambulance millage of .4629 mil
Lake County Stormwater, Roads, and Parks MSTU of .4957 mil
Lake County Fire Rescue EMS millage of .4704 mil
Lake County Public Lands Voted Debt millage of .1600 mil
Mr. Koontz requested that the Board approve the changes to the recommended budget that they presented to the Board in July totaling $4,927,675, since they have had to continue to work on and evaluate revenues, fund balances, and other things in order to finalize the budget. He elaborated that they have updated the PO (purchase order) carryforward estimates for services that are ongoing or have not been received yet, updated fund balance and revenue projections, rebudgeted some capital projects due to timing issues, made an adjustment to recognize savings of about $500,000 from the 2007 public lands and capital improvement bond refinancing, and recognized $500,000 in funding that they recently received for the Astatula Fuel Remediation grant from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. He added that other changes were an adjustment to the Tax Collector’s budget received on July 30 for commissions and excess fees, funding for a fire assessment settlement, additional funding for LifeStream and WeCare, funding of $39,000 for bussing with the School Board for the Four Corners area, and any other miscellaneous changes or corrections.
Commr. Conner assured the Board that those were all line items that the Board has discussed, and they have given direction to staff about them.
On a motion by Commr. Sullivan, seconded by Commr. Parks and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the adoption of the changes to the FY 2016 budget totaling $4,927,675.
Mr. Koontz requested the approval to adopt the FY 2016 tentative budget totaling $351,064,645, with those changes.
Commr. Campione noted that a lot of the things in the budget are issues and mandates that got handed down to the County from the state and federal governments, as well as risks and liability concerns, health coverage for their employees, and FRS changes. She mentioned that the salary increase was combined with a requirement to do a salary study looking at performance incentives and things that could be improved. She pointed out that a lot of the key infrastructure projects will be paid from the infrastructure sales tax rather than property taxes, including several million dollars in road improvements, sidewalks, new ambulances, and a much scaled-back renovation of the courthouse than what was originally proposed. She opined that there were many positive things in the budget that will have a direct impact on the level of service that the residents of Lake County are receiving and that the 20 budget workshops have paid off.
On a motion by Commr. Sullivan, seconded by Commr. Parks and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the adoption of the FY 2016 tentative budget totaling $351,064,645.
On a motion by Commr. Cadwell, seconded by Commr. Parks and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the public hearing for the final adoption of the FY 2016 millage rates and budget on September 29, 2015 at 5:05 p.m. or as soon thereafter as possible in the Board of County Commission Chambers at 315 West Main Street, Tavares, Florida.
Commr. Conner commented that he assumes that the Board will want to continue with the budget hearings the way it was done this year.
Mr. Heath responded that he will come to the Board with a budget strategy that would include a more concentrated schedule of work sessions with some new aspects added to it.
There being no further business to be brought to the attention of the Board, the meeting was adjourned at 5:40 p.m.
jimmy conner, chairman
NEIL KELLY, CLERK