A REGULAR MEETING OF THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
november 10, 2015
The Lake County Board of County Commissioners met in regular session on Tuesday, November 10, 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; Melanie Marsh, County Attorney; Wendy Taylor, Executive Office Manager, County Manager’s Office; Neil Kelly, Clerk of Court; Kristy Mullane, Chief Deputy Clerk, County Finance; and Susan Boyajan, Deputy Clerk.
INVOCATION and pledge
Pastor Milan Weerts from Woodlands Lutheran Church in Montverde gave the Invocation and led the Pledge of Allegiance.
Mr. David Heath, County Manager, announced that there were two additional items added to the agenda, which were a proclamation honoring Kasey Kesselring on Tab 32 to be approved with the consent agenda and Tab 31 added by Commr. Campione regarding use of SHIP funds for affordable housing.
presentation of hunger and homelessness proclamation
Commr. Cadwell read Proclamation No. 2015-113 declaring November 15-21, 2015 as National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week in Lake County, which was previously approved on October 20, and presented it to representatives of the Mid Florida Homeless Coalition, Forward Pass, and various organizations committed to sheltering and providing supportive services and food to the homeless and hungry. He also commented that those who have extended families in Lake County are more fortunate than those who do not have that support system, and it is their responsibility as citizens of Lake County to help those who are in need.
Ms. Barbara Wheeler, Executive Director of the Mid Florida Homeless Coalition, commented that she is honored to work with so many wonderful people in Lake County, and she related that Ms. Denise Berry is working with a group in their community called Forward Pass, which was one of their newer organizations in the community helping many individuals who have needs that most people are not aware of.
Ms. Denise Berry, President of Forward Pass, related that she receives a call a day about a homeless youth, and currently they house 11 youths who were homeless as well as help pay rent and utilities for other youth throughout the county and encourage them to meet their educational goals.
Ms. Irene O’Malley, a representative of Lake Cares Food Pantry, commented that the group is very happy to be associated with Forward Pass and to be supplying their children with food on a weekly or bi-weekly basis, and she related that they have started working with someone associated with the school system to provide cooking classes for those children. She recapped that last year they fed 400 families during the holidays by giving them everything they need for their meals during their holiday campaign, and this year they expect to distribute food to 500 families during that campaign. He thanked the Board for their support which enables them to help those families.
Mr. Jeremy Thomas, Circuit 5 Client Relations Coordinator with DCF (Department of Children and Families), commented that he was privileged to work with the representatives of organizations such as these with the tremendous amount of support from the Board, and he explained that his job for DCF is to be a liaison to help people get in touch with resources such as those that were previously mentioned. He emphasized that he has never heard anything negative associated with the services they provide.
proclamation declaring november as hospice month
On a motion by Commr. Parks, seconded by Commr. Campione and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved Proclamation No. 2015-119 declaring November 2015 as Hospice Month.
Commr. Campione commented that she has had the experience of family members being under Hospice care, and she opined that it was a tremendous organization. She added that they were truly blessed to have that organization and those who work with Hospice in Lake and Sumter Counties as well as in communities across the country.
Commr. Conner also related a personal experience of how Hospice helped him and his family during the illness and death of a family member.
Commr. Parks presented the proclamation to Cheryl Rumbley, Community Relations Coordinator for Cornerstone Hospice and Palliative Care, and read the proclamation aloud.
Ms. Rumbley thanked the Board for their kind words of support and commented that they were honored and privileged to serve this community in a very delicate time in an individual’s journey. She added that the support they have from the community and the volunteers allows them to do so many of the programs and services that they do, and she assured the Commissioners that they appreciate their support.
Mr. Robert Anderson, Human Resources Director, related that they would recognize six employees who have achieved significant milestones in their careers in Lake County as well as one employee who was retiring from the County.
Megan Brew, Extension Agent II (not present)
Public Resources/Agricultural Education Services Division
Michael Crowell, Survey Party Chief (Non-Regis) (not present)
Public Works/Engineering Division/Survey & Design
Katherine Baker, Accounting Technician (not present)
Facilities & Fleet Management/Fleet Management Division
Ryan Carroll, Firefighter/EMT (not present)
Public Safety/Fire Rescue Division
Timothy Delaney, Fire Lieutenant/Paramedic (not present)
Public Safety/Fire Rescue Division
Ryan Dupont, Fire Lieutenant/EMT (not present)
Public Safety/Fire Rescue Division
Brandon Eason, Fire Lieutenant/Paramedic (not present)
Public Safety/Fire Rescue Division
Jason Graham, Fire Lieutenant/Paramedic (not present)
Public Safety/Fire Rescue Division
Mark Green, Firefighter/EMT (not present)
Public Safety/Fire Rescue Division
Thomas Livingston, Firefighter/EMT (not present)
Public Safety/Fire Rescue Division
Michael McClelland, Firefighter/Paramedic (not present)
Public Safety/Fire Rescue Division
Dennis Nitzel, Fire Lieutenant/EMT
Public Safety/Fire Rescue Division
Stanley Priester, Fire Lieutenant/EMT
Public Safety/Fire Rescue Division
Jared Rable, Firefighter/EMT
Public Safety/Fire Rescue Division
Jacob Wiley, Firefighter/EMT
Public Safety/Fire Rescue Division
Dane Wilson, Fire Lieutenant/EMT (not present)
Public Safety/Fire Rescue Division
Ricky Magnus, Sign Fabricator
Public Works/Engineering Division/Traffic Operations
John Bringard, Facilities Contract Specialist
Facilities & Fleet Management
Mr. Robert Chandler, Economic Growth and Redevelopment Director, commented that it was an honor for him to recognize Ms. Carmen Carroll, Building Supervisor, Building Services Division, for her over 30 years of service to Lake County. He mentioned that he quickly learned how valuable Ms. Carroll is to the organization and the department, and he opined that she was loyal, competent, and talented. He elaborated that Ms. Carroll’s customer service skills are unmatched, and she has the ability to multi-task with the distractions of a tornado or other disruptions around her. He noted that during her career with the Building Division, Ms. Carroll could be counted on for just about anything, was the person staff has always gone to when they have problems, and did the work of three people on any given day. He related that Ms. Carroll was planning to spend more time with her family after retirement, especially her grandchildren, as well as to travel and pursue her passion of photography, noting that some of her photographs have been featured on the Adopt a Lake Calendar. He concluded that they would truly miss her and thanked her for everything she has done for the County.
Commr. Conner commented that he has received calls from many people who were so impressed with Ms. Carroll that they wanted to call him to tell him about the great job that she did, and he elaborated that she made them look good and that she would be missed.
Presentation – sales surtax oversight committee report
Mr. Keith Mullins, Clermont City Councilman and Chairperson of the Sales Surtax Oversight Advisory Committee, recapped that Lake County citizens voted to extend the one cent sales tax on November 6, 2001 for a second fifteen-year term, and the proceeds of those taxes were to be used to finance, plan, and construct infrastructure; to acquire public recreation or conservation or protect natural resources; to purchase fixed capital expenditures or outlays associated with construction or improvement of public facilities, including land acquisition, land improvement, and engineering cost and design; or for debt service for new bonds. He elaborated that equipment purchased must have a useful life in excess of five years, and vehicles and equipment necessary to outfit certain vehicles are also authorized. He related that the ordinance also established a citizens’ oversight advisory committee consisting of two members each appointed by the Board, the School Board, the League of Cities, and two constitutional officers. He reported that they met three times on September 14, October 5, and October 19 to review the reports submitted by the sales tax recipients covering the fiscal year starting October 1, 2015 and had asked for some clarification on some issues, resulting in some entities having to go back and modify their projected budgets and resubmit the report. He reported that at this time all proposed uses of the sales tax for the current fiscal year are within the state guidelines for projects that are deemed appropriate by the elected officials of the municipalities, County, and School Board. He thanked County staff for their help putting all the reports together and conducting the meetings.
Commr. Campione thanked Mr. Mullins and all who serve on this committee for their service, and she commented about the extent that this committee actually delves into the decisions that each city, the School Board and the County makes, emphasizing that each of those entities has had to go through their own budgeting process, make their own decisions about their priorities within the confines of what they can use sales tax money for, and be subjected to their own audits before the Sales Surtax Committee gets that information. She summarized that this is just the culmination of a lot of other safeguards, oversight, and accountability rather than all of the documentation over a course of a year. She pointed out that the County spent almost $9 million for roads and transportation projects and $2.4 million on public safety equipment such as fire trucks, ambulances, and Sheriff’s vehicles. She assured everyone that there is a lot of oversight that goes into those decisions and priority settings.
Mr. Mullins added that these were only projected figures, and he would be back before the Board in six months with a report on what was actually spent from October 1, 2014 through September 30, 2015 to be sure that it falls within the parameters, since the actual spending might be slightly different than projected.
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 September 29, 2015 (Regular Meeting) and October 6, 2015 (Regular Meeting) as presented.
citizen question and comment period
Mr. Carl Ludecke, a member of the Affordable Housing Committee, related that their committee has discussed the request for $147,000 in funds for a 122-unit affordable housing apartment complex in Eustis, and he recapped that they have funded a number of these types of projects throughout the years from interest from the road impact fees; however, there is currently no interest from those accounts to do that. He opined that these were great projects which were absolutely needed all over the county. However, he elaborated that they know that there will be more projects coming, and they would like to cooperate with all of them rather than limiting the funding to just one project, so the recommendation was to give the Eustis project five percent of their current available funding. He asked for the Board’s consideration on that issue.
Mr. Vance Jochim, writer of a blog regarding fiscal and governmental issues, commented that someone has to ask the tough questions in order to get answers regarding important issues. He praised the Board and the auditors for the internal audit report of the Fleet Management Operations that was on the Clerk of Court’s Consent Agenda but lamented that the Board does not discuss them during the meetings, pointing out that there should be deadlines for completion of the recommendations in those reports. He gave the County Manager an accounting textbook similar to one he had used in the past, since he did not believe that the County had any controllership function separate from the Clerk’s Office, and he recommended that County staff meet with the Clerk’s staff to come up with a way to have someone with cost and management accounting expertise provide input regarding the County’s operations.
Mr. Rick Gonzalez, a resident of Eustis and a member of the Affordable Housing Advisory Committee, opined that the request from the Eustis affordable housing apartment complex mentioned previously would be a good use of the SHIP monies to support that project, since that would result in putting 144 units in one location as opposed to using SHIP monies for individual home reclamation.
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 8, as follows:
List of Warrants
Request to acknowledge receipt of list of warrants paid prior to this meeting, pursuant to Chapter 136.06 (1) of the Florida Statutes, which shall be incorporated into the Minutes as attached Exhibit A and filed in the Board Support Division of the Clerk’s Office.
Inspector General Audit Report of Fleet Management Operations
Request to acknowledge receipt of Inspector General Report BCC-137, Audit of Fleet Management Operations.
Letter from Southwest Florida Water Management District
Request to acknowledge receipt of copy of letter dated October 1, 2015 from the Southwest Florida Water Management District relating that it adopted its fiscal year 2015-16 budget and approved its draft 2016 Five Year Water Resource Development Work Program on September 29, 2015. It also stated that it would respond to the comments contained in the evaluation from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection within 45 days.
Letter from the City of Eustis
Request to acknowledge receipt of copy of letter from the City of Eustis stating that the Eustis City Commission approved Ordinance 15-22 annexing property on the south side of Mount Homer Road, east of Dillard Road and noting that this property is now within the municipal boundaries of Eustis.
Water Authority’s Final Budget for 2015-2016
Request to acknowledge receipt of copy of the Lake County Water Authority’s Final Budget for 2015-2016 with cover letter dated October 16, 2015.
Request to acknowledge receipt of copies of the following Ordinances and Resolutions from the Town of Lady Lake: Ordinance No. 2015-05 through 2015-13 and Resolution No. 2015-103, 2015-107, and 2015-109 through 2015-112.
Water Authority’s Annual Report and Five Year Plan
Request to acknowledge receipt of Lake County Water Authority’s 2014 Annual Report and Five Year Plan, prepared in accordance with Chapter 2005-314, Laws of Florida, along with a cover letter dated October 23, 2015.
Annexation Ordinance from the City of Mount Dora
Request to acknowledge receipt of Annexation Ordinance No. 2015-16 adopted by the Mount Dora City Council on October 20, 2015. A map indicating the location of the annexed lands was attached.
COUNTY MANAGER’S CONSENT AGENDA
Commr. Cadwell clarified that the company dealing with the transit bus stops on Tab 7 is from Umatilla, but he has no connection or relation to anyone connected with that business.
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 6 through 24 and Tab 32 as follows:
Request for approval and authorization for the Chairman of the Board of County Commissioners to sign the Agreement between Lake County and We Care of Lake County, Inc. for operation of the Lake County We Care Program effective 10/1/15 through 9/30/16. The fiscal impact is $116,975 (Expense).
Request for approval to award contract 15-0215 for cleaning and maintaining County transit bus stops to American Janitorial Inc. (Umatilla). The estimated annual fiscal impact is $92,010 (grant-funded).
Request for approval to award term and supply contract 16-0201 to Consumer Debt Counselors (Winter Park) for homebuyer orientation services in association with the County's housing services programs to be provided on an as-required basis. The estimated annual fiscal impact is $20,000 (expenditure). This service does not involve General Fund dollars.
Request for approval of the Closeout Report for the Department of Economic Opportunity Grants for the Spring Creek Charter School Project and the Altoona Charter School project. There is no fiscal impact.
Request for approval of annual grant funding for seven of the eight organizations who have submitted applications for Fiscal Year 2015-2016 County funds through the Human Services Grant Request for Proposal (RFP) process; authorization for signatures on subsequent agreements; and authorization to encumber and expend funds. The fiscal impact is $72,500 (Expense).
Request for approval of reimbursement of funding for modifications to the Clermont WIC office. The cost of the improvements is estimated at $83,790.00.
Request for approval for County Attorney and/or Assistant County Attorneys to accept service on behalf of the Chairman and Vice Chairman of the Board of County Commissioners. There is no fiscal impact.
Request for approval of Worker’s Compensation claims settlement in the amount of $36,500.00 for Kevin Chamberlain. The fiscal impact is $36,500.00.
Request for approval to cancel the November 24, 2015 BCC Meeting.
Economic Growth and Redevelopment
Request for approval of the amended Agreement between the City of Tavares and Lake County BCC for the Capital Projects Funding Program dated August 14, 2013 for the Wooton Park Expansion. There is no fiscal impact.
Request for approval of the 2016 Comprehensive Plan Amendment Schedule. There is no fiscal impact.
Fiscal and Administrative Services
Request for approval of revision of the Debt Management Policy as it pertains to reporting. There is no fiscal impact.
Request for approval to issue blanket purchase orders to three vendors (Physio-Control, Motorola, and Zabatt) on a limited competition basis for on-going service to proprietary infrastructure systems as described in the background and that the County Manager be authorized to approve these specific services from these specific vendors in subsequent fiscal years for the duration of the system life-cycles. The total potential annual fiscal impact is $105,000.
Request for approval of the addition of three State of Florida IT-related contracts competitively awarded by or adopted by the State of Florida to the previous list of such contracts approved by the Board for direct order access by the procurement office. The three additional contracts are for Data Communications products, Multi-function Device products, and IT consulting services. Equipment and/or services under these contracts are ordered on an as-needed basis. The estimated annual fiscal impact is $30,000.
Request for approval to adopt the FY 2015/2016 Annual Plan of Service and Combined Budget for the Lake County Library System. There is no fiscal impact.
Request for approval of Resolution No. 2015-120 and to apply for and accept funds for the FY 2015-2016 Florida Department of Health and Emergency Medical Services Grant, and for the Chairman of the Board of County Commissioners to execute the disbursement of the grant funds including funds available from FY2014-2015 and authorize staff to complete any necessary budget transfer and purchasing actions. The fiscal impact is $70,671.68 Expense (Includes Carryover).
Request for approval for change in payment source for the Final Judgment in Court Case No. 2015-CA-000220, Lake County vs. Swanson, et al. (Parcel Number: FP38) for right-of-way needed for the CR 466A Road Project. Alternative funding has been found in lieu of Sales Tax funding with the Transportation Regional Incentive Program (TRIP) Grant, Project FM# 430253-1-48-01 approved under Resolution 2013-155 on December 3, 2013. The fiscal impact is $186,899.00 (Expenditure). Commission District 5.
Request for approval to release a Performance Bond for construction of improvements in the total amount of $2,022,393.18 that was posted for Serenity at Red Tail. Serenity at Red Tail consists of 71 lots and is located off SR 46 just east of Mount Plymouth in Section 20, Township 19 South, Range 28 East. There is no fiscal impact. Commission District 4.
Request for approval to advertise for bids for the Griffin View Drive (C-7212) & Harbor Hills Boulevard Intersection Improvements project at an estimated cost of $118,027.00 from Renewal Sales Tax Capital Projects – Roads, Tracking Number INT10033. The fiscal impact is $118,027.00 (Expenditure). Commission District 5.
Request for approval of Proclamation No. 2015-123 for Kasey Kesselring in appreciation for his efforts regarding the reauthorization of the infrastructure sales tax.
public hearing for year-end budget amendment for fy 2015
Mr. Steve Koontz, Director of Fiscal and Administrative Services, announced that this is the public hearing for the year-end 2015 budget amendment in order to make adjustments to the FY 2015 revised budget as a result of unanticipated revenues and unforeseen changes, including the debt refinancing. He recapped that they had done a refinancing of the Capital Improvement Bonds and the Limited General Obligation Bonds, which saved the County $506,000 and $247,000 in principal and interest payments respectively for FY 2016, and they have to adjust the budget to make everything reconcile due to those changes. He summarized that there was a prepayment of interest in 2015, recognition of the 2015 bond proceeds, and retirement of 2007 bonds. He also reported that they had $450,000 in higher than projected Tax Collector fees, because revenues were a little higher than the property taxes, but the Tax Collector recognized additional revenues, and they had budgeted $2.5 million for excess fees. He added that they had some facility charges that were a little higher than anticipated due to generator inspections, some higher than anticipated allocations to the departments for facility fees, and some other adjustments as needed that were specified in the backup agenda item. He requested approval of the year-end budget amendment for 2015 in accordance with County Policy LCC-36 pursuant to Chapter 129 in the Florida Statutes and approval of the resolution adopting a final budget for Fiscal Year 2015.
The Chairman opened the public hearing.
There being no one who wished to address the Board regarding this issue, the Chairman closed the public hearing.
On a motion by Commr. Cadwell, seconded by Commr. Sullivan and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the year-end budget amendment for Fiscal Year 2015 in accordance with County Policy LCC-36, Administrative Procedure Pursuant to Chapter 129.06, Florida Statutes, and approval of Resolution No. 2015-121 adopting a final budget for Fiscal Year 2015. The fiscal impact is $99,267,319 (revenues and expenditures).
economic growth and redevelopment
temporary portable storage container ordinance
Mr. Chris Schmidt, Planning and Zoning Division Manager, Economic Growth Department, stated that he would request authorization to advertise a public hearing regarding the proposed ordinance creating regulations addressing Temporary Storage Containers. He explained that the Temporary Storage Containers are temporary structures that are reusable, enclosed, semi-enclosed, or open vessel cargo containers or truck trailers used for the storage of freight, articles, goods, solid waste, personal belongings, and commodities. He noted that these containers were currently unregulated by Lake County, and Code Enforcement has had numerous complaints and calls with regards to these types of containers, including the number of containers, location, and how long they have been on the property. He showed some photographs illustrating some different types of containers that would be included in this ordinance. He recapped that after the Board requested that staff examine the use of cargo containers as temporary and permanent structures in March 2015, staff reviewed several temporary storage container ordinances and regulations from other counties and cities and came up with a proposed ordinance which would allow Temporary Storage Containers under certain conditions. He went over some benchmarks from some nearby counties and cities ranging from allowing these containers from 72 hours to 180 days, depending on the reasons for the storage, such as moving, remodel, or new construction. He related that the proposed ordinance would define Temporary Storage Containers, allow containers in all zoning districts, prohibit containers longer than 20 feet in residential zoning districts, and establish criteria of the maximum number of units, location of units, and duration that the containers may remain on the parcels or lots. He further specified that the maximum of one temporary portable storage container was permitted on a parcel or lot under one acre in size and a maximum of three containers permitted on a parcel over one acre; also, they are prohibited on vacant parcels, environmentally sensitive areas, buffer areas, or easements; stacking is prohibited; and they are not to be located in a manner that obstructs views of vehicles, bicycles or pedestrians entering or exiting the right of ways. He added that the containers were allowed for a maximum of 120 days per calendar year. He asked for approval to advertise the ordinance for a public hearing.
Commr. Parks clarified that the storage sheds being used commercially would go through another permitting process per the Florida Building Code and that the blocking of sidewalks was also included in the ordinance.
Commr. Campione asked if this ordinance would change the uses of these containers in an occupied area on a commercial site plan and whether this use would meet the Florida Building Code.
Mr. Schmidt responded that the use of these storage containers for a commercial structure would have to meet the Commercial Design Standards and the Florida Building Code, which would involve meeting ADA requirements and lighting and fire suppression and would entail costly renovations to these types of containers to meet those requirements.
Commr. Campione asked whether these containers could be used for agricultural purposes such as to store hay.
Mr. Schmidt answered that an actual agricultural use will not be regulated as much, and this ordinance will not eliminate that type of use.
Commr. Cadwell expressed some concern that remodeling of some houses might take more than the 120 days allowed by the ordinance.
Commr. Campione asked if an extension could be requested for those types of situations.
Mr. Schmidt replied that they currently have no provisions for an extension.
Mr. Heath elaborated that a lot of thought was given to the timeframe in the ordinance, and he explained that it would become a code enforcement issue if the time drags out too long and neighbors start to complain, although he was open to increasing the maximum time to 180 days.
Mr. Greg Beliveau from LPG related that he was a consultant for a few cities that had to address the problem of businesses trying to operate out of those containers, and he asked if this will be part of the ordinance as well as a residential issue.
Mr. Schmidt responded that this will be for commercial uses as well.
Mr. Beliveau asked to use the model that the County will be utilizing after the requirements are in place.
On a motion by Commr. Sullivan, seconded by Commr. Parks and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved to advertise a Temporary Portable Storage Container ordinance for a public hearing. There is no fiscal impact.
presentation on outlook for 2015-2016 el Niño winter season
Mr. Tommy Carpenter, Emergency Management Division Director, stated that he would provide an overview of the National Weather Service’s forecast for an increased risk of severe weather and tornadoes due to a strong El Niño weather pattern for the November through April timeframe. He explained that the El Niño - Southern Oscillation (ENSO) Cycle describes the fluctuations of temperature between the ocean and atmosphere in the east-central Equatorial Pacific, noting that these deviations between the warming patterns known as El Niño and cooling patterns known as La Nina can have large-scale impacts on global weather. He related that this area has seen a La Nina weather pattern over the last seven years which has resulted in a below-average ocean temperature across the east-central Equatorial Pacific, an average or enhanced hurricane season, and winter temperatures warmer in the southeast and cooler in the northwest part of the country. However, he indicated that the forecast is for an El Niño weather pattern this year, which is expected to bring an average or below-average hurricane season and winter temperatures cooler in Florida and warmer in the northwest part of the country. He presented weather charts showing the direct relationship between the presence of a strong El Niño pattern and increased severe weather in Florida. He remarked that the National Weather Service has forecasted a strong El Niño weather pattern for November through April with well above normal precipitation, increased chances for heavy rain and flooding, below average temperatures, and increased chances for severe weather and tornadoes. He presented a graphic of the last seven recent La Nina years depicting tornado activity with dots or segments, noting that there were 108 reported tornadoes in the last seven years, as well as one depicting the seven strongest El Niño years which depicts 178 tornadoes.
Mr. Carpenter recapped that the two deadliest tornado outbreaks in Florida history were on February 22 and 23, 1998 in Osceola, Orange and Seminole Counties resulting in 42 fatalities and the Groundhog Day Tornadoes on February 2, 2007 in Lake, Sumter, and Volusia Counties resulting in 21 fatalities and $32 million in structure damage. He emphasized that both of those occurred during a strong El Niño pattern in Central Florida in the late night and early morning hours. He reported that there are 4.7 million new residents in Florida since the 1998 tornado outbreak, as well as a significant number of mobile homes, and he pointed out that 67 of the 86 tornado deaths occurred in the hours between 11:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m. He listed the challenges of overnight tornadoes, which was the favored time period of those occurrences, including the lower perception of threat, decreased awareness due to the fact that people are asleep, and a lack of tornado alerting devices. He recommended that people monitor local television and radio for severe situations, have the ability to receive timely weather warnings using devices such as NOAA Weather Radios or wireless emergency alerts on a mobile phone, identify a safe place in advance of a threat, and make plans to stay with family or friends if living in a mobile home. He concluded that sharing of timely information ahead of, during, and after weather events helps minimize impacts to lives and property, and he assured the Board that they would continue to keep that environment of preparedness and awareness moving forward.
Commr. Sullivan commented that a lot of the work helping people recover from a devastating experience after the Groundhog Tornadoes was done by the local community and the Sheriff’s Department, and he recommended that everyone be prepared for this vulnerable time.
recess and reassembly
The Chairman announced at 10:15 a.m. that there would be a 15-minute recess.
2016-2020 transportation construction program update
Mr. Jim Stivender, Public Works Director, explained that this presentation will be a follow-up on a presentation given in August on the 2016-2020 Transportation Construction Program and will discuss several issues brought up at that time including clay roads, paved shoulders, non-County maintained roads, and general information about Public Works projects. He recapped that the Board approved a balanced 2016-2010 Transportation Construction Program that utilized several funding sources, including the gas tax, the renewal sales tax for capital projects, road impact fees, grants, and funding partnerships, and he showed a graph illustrating the historic funding of the Public Works Department since 2009, pointing out that there has been a steady flow of both gas tax and sales tax, that they have been building their impact fee funding back up, and that they have done well in the receipt of grant funding the last several years. He specified that there was almost 1,400 miles of road in Lake County, 120 of which are clay roads which are graded by County staff about every two weeks dependent on weather conditions using six leased motor graders at a cost of $152,000 annually, and he estimated that the County spends about $780,000 annually for grading the total clay road inventory. He mentioned that the majority of miles of clay roads are found in Districts 1 and 5, and he showed a photograph illustrating the condition of those kinds of roads. He gave a history of the Clay to Pave Program, which started with an evaluation process in 1995 in order to rank the roads to determine which ones were considered priority projects with additions to the road program as funding allowed, and he reported that in 2007 there were approximately 135 miles of clay roads compared to 120 miles today, noting that they removed the list of clay roads from their road program in 2007 because of funding issues in order to prioritize a paved over a clay road at that time. He presented a chart of “clay to pave” priority projects, some of which already had some preliminary design work and right of way acquisition done, that he noted would be their pool of roads to work on over the next several years. He mentioned that the benchmarks show that only Osceola, Polk, and Volusia Counties have clay road miles maintained by those counties, with only Polk having more miles than Lake to maintain, mainly in the southern more agricultural part of the county. He related that the estimated construction cost to pave a clay road ranges from $656,000 to $735,000 per mile including design, permitting, and right of way acquisition, and there are no clay to pave projects currently on the approved 2016-20 Transportation Construction Program.
Mr. Stivender recapped that the County first constructed paved shoulders in 1991, and the three to four-foot paved shoulder has made a big difference in safety on the roadway and maintenance and has increased capacity. He indicated that they have identified 101 out of the 431 miles in their road inventory of County-maintained collector roads that contain paved shoulders. He commented that the cost of adding paved shoulders has limited how many they have been able to construct over the last several years, but state grants have enabled the County to add paved shoulders onto some roads. He specified that the estimated cost to resurface an existing 24-foot wide road is $110,880 per mile, but the cost to add four-foot paved shoulders onto those roads would result in a cost of $776,760 per mile if there is adequate right of way and drainage. He gave an example of a paved shoulder sample project, stating that the estimated cost to resurface 12 miles of CR 561 from SR 50 to CR 33 without paved shoulders is $1,635,000; however, repaving that roadway with four-foot paved shoulders added would cost $9,306,9448. He commented that the County used to use impact fees to do some projects with paved shoulders as capacity uses over the years, but they cannot use impact fees for that service anymore, which has left them without a funding source for some large projects. He explained that adding shoulders which will handle traffic and bicycles involves putting an overlay over the entire road, adding an additional width, and dealing with drainage issues, which is almost like building a separate road on the side of the existing road, entailing a substantial increase in time and money. He related that during the paved shoulder evaluation process, collector roads with a high volume of truck traffic and cyclist routes are their largest considerations and criteria for paved shoulders, and he reported that they were currently in the process of constructing the Villa City Road and CR 565-A project using a grant for part of that job.
Mr. Stivender explained that non-County maintained roads provide access to private properties but have not been accepted by the Board into the County road maintenance system and are the responsibility of the adjacent property owners that utilize the road. He commented that these roads present challenges and have resulted in a lot of calls and complaints from residents. He related that most of them are not paved, and weather conditions often make them difficult to travel. He recapped that his department compiled a list in 2005 consisting of 1,926 non-County maintained roads, with only 142 miles of the unpaved roads containing 100 percent of the right of way, and the estimated cost to improve these roads would be over $12 million, with an estimated annual cost of almost $1 million for maintenance of those roads should they be brought into the County road maintenance system. He related that the non-County maintained roads that are deemed impassable for emergency vehicles and also have right of way that provides adequate access are made passable by Public Works, including the removal of fallen trees and hanging limbs that are blocking access, and sometimes the County has to have EMS and the fire department make determinations of whether the road is passable if that determination is not apparent. He indicated that Commission District 5 gets the most requests by far for service for these roads, especially for the east part of Lake County. He presented a chart showing the amount they have spent on the non-County maintained roads in the last few years, noting that the high cost of $190,476 in 2011 was because of drought conditions and that they have dealt with standing water the last few years, and he related that they use gas tax monies with their maintenance crews to do those rather than contracting it out. He listed some of the challenges that these roads cause the County, including that the work does not offer a long-term solution and that there is often a lack of property owner support to pave these roads due to cost. He relayed some benchmarks regarding this issue which showed that three nearby counties do similar maintenance as Lake County for emergency vehicles, but four counties do not provide any maintenance. He concluded by pointing out that all existing funding sources have been exhausted with projects shown on the approved 2016-2020 Transportation Construction Program, although additional revenue is needed to address clay to pave projects, paved shoulder projects, and non-County maintained roads.
Commr. Campione commented that residents are upset when the County cuts down trees to maintain access and leaves the debris on the side of the road, even though technically that is the Board policy, and she opined that hauling the trees away to the closest convenience center or landfill would be a helpful service to residents, especially for those who are elderly or otherwise unable to easily remove that debris. She asked if the Board could look at addressing that problem, and she mentioned that street signs which do not specify whether a road is County-maintained or not sometimes cause confusion in Lake County.
Mr. Stivender assured Commr. Campione that his department uses different signs now for County-maintained and non-County maintained roads by using white with black letters for non-maintained and green signs with white letters for County roads.
Commr. Campione suggested that the signs actually read “Non-County maintained road.” She also recommended having a workshop to discuss using and designating some ad valorem money towards transportation issues which affect residents who already live in the county.
Commr. Parks agreed that they should have that discussion on the portfolio of options and how to fund their transportation needs. He asked if they would have further discussion on the funding of some of the road projects now that the sales tax has passed, including the paved shoulder projects, since many events in South Lake and the attraction of cyclists to that area rely on the condition of the roads and the presence of paved shoulders.
Mr. Stivender responded that he will be bringing a list of clay roads and shoulder paving projects back in August as part of the budget process, and they were looking at specifically the highest priority projects. He reminded the Board that the new sales tax will not go into effect until the 2017-18 budget year, and the County has already committed every dollar of the sales tax until then. He assured the Board that the planned projects in the Minneola area will have paved shoulders and/or sidewalks.
Commr. Cadwell clarified that they will factor in tourism, bicycle use, multi-modal use, safety, and capacity as part of the formula used for classifying and prioritizing the maintenance of roads and the addition of paved shoulders on those roadways.
Mr. Stivender elaborated that the main request for paved shoulders comes from the bicycling community, and they need to concentrate on the areas where they have a high volume of cyclists and vehicles competing for the same space on the roadways.
Commr. Cadwell expressed confidence that South Lake County already has a good environment for cyclists and pointed out that they need to weigh all of their transportation needs when setting funding priorities. He clarified that they will look at the use of gas tax and general fund dollars as recommended by the CFAC (Capital Funding Advisory Committee) during their discussion of transportation funding in the future.
Commr. Sullivan commented that they have to consider that some of the clay roads are becoming collector roads due to the growth that the County has had, and they need to discuss during the workshop how they would find a funding source for that and other road projects the County wanted to do.
Mr. Stivender replied that they plan to identify and prioritize top clay and paved shoulder roads as well as the estimated cost to do those projects when they bring the budget forward to the Board.
Commr. Conner noted that the County is projected in 2016 to have over $14 million less property tax revenue and $36 million less total revenue than they had in 2008, which resulted in a shortage of money for roads. He indicated that he would be interested in looking at the recommendations from their advisory committee, although he did not believe that they had any money to use from the general fund for roads. He praised Mr. Stivender for a good presentation.
Mr. Stivender concluded that staff has been working on design work for Citrus Grove Road, CR 437, and CR 466A, and were working on moving those and other projects forward. He also announced that they had just transferred traffic on Hancock Road.
appointments to affordable housing advisory committee
Commr. Sullivan recommended the approval of the appointments of Mr. George Rada, Mr. Robert Mack, Mr. Stephen Smith, Mr. Toby Best, and Mr. Greg Beliveau to the Affordable Housing Advisory Committee, as well as approval of waivers of potential ethical conflicts, since those people who bring expertise to this committee work in the areas that the County gives funding to.
Commr. Campione expressed concern that although she agreed with the other appointments, she believes that Mr. Best is actually a not-for-profit provider rather than a concerned citizen, and she would not support his appointment to the position of concerned citizen, since it was important to appoint people to the areas that are specifically described and identified in order to maintain a broad-based perspective. She pointed out, however, that Ms. Sabrina Simmons, the other concerned-citizen applicant, is in fact a concerned citizen rather than having other ties to affordable housing while still being well-versed in matters such as public funding. She also commented that it was important to fill the appointment for a resident who represents essential services personnel as soon as possible.
Commr. Cadwell added that they have in the past made a concerted effort to make those appointments match exactly what the categories were supposed to reflect.
Commr. Sullivan withdrew his original motion.
On a motion by Commr. Sullivan, seconded by Commr. Parks and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved Resolution No. 2015-122 appointing the following individuals to positions on the Affordable Housing Advisory Committee to serve a two-year term beginning December 1, 2015: George Rada (reappointment) as resident who is a representative of those areas of labor engaged in home building in connection with affordable housing; Robert Mack (reappointment) as resident who is actively engaged as a for-profit provider of affordable housing; Stephen Smith (reappointment) as resident who is actively engaged as a not-for-profit provider of affordable housing; Sabrina Lambert Simmons as a resident who is a concerned citizen for affordable housing; and Greg Beliveau (reappointment) as a resident who represents employers in Lake County; and approval of potential ethical conflict waivers.
appointment to capital facilities advisory committee
On a motion by Commr. Parks, seconded by Commr. Sullivan and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the appointment of Lisa Templin-Rayborn to the Capital Facilities Advisory Committee as a Home Builders Association representative to complete an unexpired two-year term ending August 2, 2016.
Commr. Cadwell clarified that Ms. Templin-Rayborn was the new Executive Director of the Home Builders Association who replaced Ms. Carolyn Maimone.
commissioner discussion/action items
impact fee waiver for affordable housing project
Commr. Campione explained that the Affordable Housing Advisory Committee recommended changes to the LHAP (Local Housing Assistance Plan) that would allow them to grant the waiver to Valencia Groves, and this would fall under their code provisions and ordinance that would allow for a 50 percent waiver for the school and transportation impact fees in a case of affordable housing for low income individuals that qualify under those very specific rules. She elaborated that the committee did, however, restrict their recommendation on the waiver amount itself to an amount that would be five percent of the annual allocation received from the state for SHIP funds, which would be significantly lower than the requested amount. She opined that this project is in a very good location for this type of apartment complex, noting that it was very close to Lake Technical College, adjacent to the bus route, and walking distance to shopping. She pointed out that there were a lot of requirements that have to be met in order to get that type of financing through the state, such as 95 percent of the renters of the complex would have to show that they were at 60 percent of the area median income, which was about $34,000 for a family of four, and renters also have to be employed, since this was workforce housing. She commented that this would reduce homelessness for children and provide affordable, safe housing for their community. She recommended that the Board support this request, with the $179,996 coming out of SHIP this year and the County covering that identical amount next year until the SHIP funds come available, and she mentioned that the County would have up to five years to pay the general fund back for the money they would cover in the second year. She explained that there were modest changes made to each of the different categories of the LHAP, and she mentioned that under the law, 65 percent of the affordable housing money coming to the County has to go towards home ownership programs, with 30 percent for rental. She presented a chart in the backup information showing the proposed strategies funding which specifies that $67,000 is designated for large multifamily rental allocation. She mentioned that she put a provision in the requested action stating that this will only be granted with the condition that this waiver would not go into effect if it results in a reduction to the project amount awarded by the State Housing Authority to ensure that the County’s funds would not take the place of funds that they otherwise would get from the state.
Mr. Geraldo Suarez, a resident of Eustis and a member of the Affordable Housing Advisory Committee, related that there was some discussion at the advisory committee meeting, with several points of view represented. He clarified that his final vote reflected opposition to a reduction in the award from what had been requested and not to the project itself. He stated that he believed that the project would help affordable housing and was at a good location, and he opined that any reduction in funding would jeopardize the timeline, which would also put the state funding in jeopardy.
Commr. Sullivan, who was the Affordable Housing Advisory Committee liaison, mentioned that there was an in-depth discussion across the board, and there was concern on the advisory board that because of the limited dollars of SHIP funds, they might tie those monies up going forward. He explained that they had added the category of multifamily housing just in the last couple of years because it is a thriving need in Lake County. He opined that this was an appropriate use of SHIP dollars as they move forward, and he supports Commr. Campione’s recommendation and believes that it was the best overall use of these dollars.
Commr. Cadwell commented that he certainly thought that the project is needed, but he expressed concern about the amendment of the LHAP and how they apply their policy moving forward. He remarked that he would have recommended paying this out of the general fund rather than amending the LHAP if they had the money in the general fund to do so; however, they are just starting to try to build their reserves back up. He elaborated that the volatility of the legislature and uncertainty of state funding makes future SHIP funding uncertain. He opined that the proposed County funding will not be enough to make or break this project and that it will still be a viable project using the funding it has already secured, and he expressed hope that the project will happen. He requested having a discussion in the future about policy regarding affordable housing.
Commr. Campione replied that the rental security deposit program will not be shifting at all if this is approved, and she emphasized that 30 percent of the money has to go towards multifamily type projects. She commented that they were currently trying to attract companies to Lake County, build upon what Lake Tech is doing, and address issues of families having affordable places to live; and this was a completely appropriate use of SHIP money.
Commr. Conner commented that although he believes this is a good project, he also believes that taking money out of the general fund reserves is ill advised; however, he thinks that SHIP money would be an appropriate use for this project, but he expressed concern about the timing, since some of the SHIP money has already been promised for other projects. He asked for clarification of what the specific vote of the Affordable Housing Advisory Committee was.
Commr. Sullivan responded that it was a 5-4 vote to approve the funding at five percent of the total funding of SHIP.
Commr. Cadwell pointed out that the requested two-year commitment would result in a 12 percent obligation of the SHIP budget to that specific project.
Commr. Campione replied that the project would provide 144-units and would result in a very good return on the money used towards providing affordable housing units. She commented that there were different needs that they were trying to address, and the County’s affordable housing policies in the past have been primarily directed towards home ownership.
Commr. Conner stated that the Board needed some sort of policy or process that directs how the SHIP money can be used, similar to that used by the Tourist Development Council (TDC) where applicants are evaluated by County staff using a specific grading system.
Commr. Parks disclosed that he has met with the applicants, and he commented that he really liked the project. He expressed concern, however, that this could affect other projects in South Lake, where there was a large need for this kind of project.
Commr. Sullivan elaborated that they have had limited SHIP money coming in over the last couple of years, and they added multifamily rental to the LHAP strategies since they saw a growing need for that in Lake County. He commented that this project fits in with their total picture of economic development and providing workforce housing for the workers they want to bring to Lake County, which is why he is supportive of it. He added that the state needs to stop raiding those types of funds and to start using them how they were intended to be used, although he agreed that the Board needs to work on their policy, noting that this was the first time in at least five or six years that they have dealt with a project of this size.
Commr. Campione opined that the policy should be adapted based on what is happening in their community rather than arbitrarily designating a certain percent to each project or category, and she clarified that the proposed policy was to amend the amount from $75,000 to $222,000 for large multifamily rental funding.
Mr. Greg Beliveau, a resident of Mount Dora and a member of the Affordable Housing Advisory Committee, explained that the committee made a reallocation of ten percent annually of the budget due to an expectation that at least three or four more of those kinds of projects will be coming forward rather than adjust the budget each time one of those projects was proposed. He specified that the total budget was about $1.3 million this year, and they were expecting a possibility of $2.3 million for next year. He related that he has since learned that so far there is no other project which meets the criteria for this type of project in the pipeline at this time to tap into these funds for this budget year, even though they were recommending 5 percent for this project of the 10 percent allocated.
Commr. Campione elaborated that the only other similar project that is planned is the one presented by Mr. Steve Smith in South Lake. She stated that she has been working on some criteria that the Board could use when requests come in for impact fee waivers that would look at how many other projects they have in the area that address multifamily rental as well as the specific needs in order to make sure the market does not get saturated and that they are meeting a need.
Mr. Beliveau pointed out that the County will not have to use their reserves if the available funding was specified in the LHAP.
Commr. Cadwell asked whether the percentages designated by the Affordable Housing Advisory Committee were based on a specific strategy. He commented that although he was trying to figure out a way to make the funding of this project work, he had concerns about changing the LHAP for this particular project until they have time to really put some thought into what that percentage should be from here on out and to come up with a long-range strategy.
Commr. Sullivan responded that the 10 percent allocation was based on changing the strategy, and the committee voted to limit the funding of this project to 5 percent.
Commr. Campione emphasized that the funding is not expected to actually come out of the general fund on a permanent basis, since they are paying it back with the SHIP money, and they can cover the waiver even if they get the same amount of SHIP funding as this year.
Commr. Conner commented that although Commr. Campione made a good point, there is no guarantee of receiving SHIP money next year. He added that he guards the general fund very closely, and he would rather have a policy, process, and allocation before they start distributing money.
Mr. Heath explained that the Board would have to take four actions regarding this item in order to approve the waiver, which were the approval of the amendment to the LHAP, authorization for the Chairman to sign the certification to the LHAP, execution of the resolution granting the waiver and where the money would come from, and authorization for the Chairman to execute the recapture agreements; and he would then bring back a budget transfer at a subsequent meeting to transfer the money into the SHIP fund.
Mr. Matthew Rieger, President and CEO of Housing Trust Group, commented that their company was one of the most active affordable housing workforce developers in the state. He pointed out that there was no other development that has even applied for financing in this county or has received an allocation, and it is very unlikely that there will be a new development allocated for this particular area. He added that there has been no construction of an affordable development in this county in nine years since 2006, and he specified that they won a competitive allocation of $5 million of sale loan funds and an additional $3 million of ELI loan funds from the State of Florida in a competitive process, which they are investing along with tax credit equity into this development. He commented that they were looking for local government support, since it was important to them that the County has a stake in this project, and it was typical for them to get the participation of the local community, which he believes will strengthen this development for the long term. He elaborated that there will be a 50-year affordability restriction and an extended use agreement on this development, but he cautioned that they will be unable to operate the project if something such as a catastrophic weather event affects the operating expenses for this project even a little bit. He concluded by expressing a desire to make this a nice property over the long term.
Commr. Parks expressed support for the project but stated that he cannot support taking money out of the general fund. He recapped that he had believed that the project was vested under the previous impact fee schedule since it had gotten site plan approval until he had heard from the attorneys that was not the case, and he mentioned that since the project has received $37,500 as a match from the City of Eustis, he could support that amount as well.
Commr. Campione made a motion to approve the requested waiver for the road and school impact fees for this affordable housing project for $179,996 for 2015 from SHIP funds, $179,996 for 2016 as a loan from the general fund until the SHIP funds repay that amount, with the condition that this waiver would not go into effect if it results in the reduction of the project amount awarded from underwriting from the State Housing Authority, subject to the previously-mentioned actions taken by the Board, which was seconded by Commr. Sullivan. The motion failed by a vote of 2-3, with Commr. Cadwell, Commr. Parks, and Commr Conner voting “no.”
Commr. Campione made a motion to approve the recommendation of the Affordable Housing Advisory Committee to change the LHAP according to the strategies listed to make the waiver subject to 5 percent of the total SHIP allocation for the amount of $67,882, which was seconded by Commr. Sullivan, and failed by a vote of 2-3, with Commr. Cadwell, Commr. Parks, and Commr Conner voting “no.”
reports – county manager
agenda for next bcc meeting
Mr. Heath asked the Commissioners to get all of the actions and discussion items that they wanted to be put on the Agenda for the December 1 meeting to him by November 23, since the preceding week would be Thanksgiving, resulting in a quick turnaround time.
reports – commissioner sullivan – district 1
recognition of veterans
Commr. Sullivan recognized the veterans of the United States military for Veterans Day and commended the Board for recognizing veterans throughout the community and providing a Veterans’ Services office that helps people get through the process of the Veterans’ Administration.
Commr. Conner added that the Board has been very supportive of veterans’ groups.
reports – commissioner parks – vice-chairman and district 2
discussion of impact fees and infill program
Commr. Parks asked that the Board schedule a discussion regarding impact fees and the infill program, noting that some projects would not be using the transportation infrastructure as much and would get a break on the transportation impact fee component.
Mr. Heath pointed out that a retreat was scheduled for January 12, 2016 where that issue can be discussed.
south lake CHAMBER annual trustee legislative luncheon
Commr. Parks thanked those who attended the South Lake Chamber Annual Trustee Legislative Luncheon on November 9 and commented that there was a good turnout for that.
reports – commissioner cadwell – district 5
Commr. Cadwell thanked everyone who had been involved in moving the Renaissance Faire to the new site at Lake Idamere, noting that that event had been going on during the last two weekends, and he encouraged everyone to visit the Lake Idamere site and the Miracle Field at that location.
REPORTS – COMMISSIONER conner – CHAIRMAN AND DISTRICT 3
booklet of services available to veterans
Commr. Conner related that a veterans group had asked the County to provide a booklet about all of the services that are available to veterans and widows, and he thanked everyone who was responsible for getting that done.
Commr. Sullivan commented that the booklet is a great resource for all veterans by listing what may be available to them, and he suggested that the County supply them to attorneys, insurance agents, and other professionals who help veterans at that critical time of need to help them through a process which could be arduous for those not familiar with it.
misleading information and misuse of County logo
Commr. Conner asked the County Attorney to refer the matter of the deception, misleading information, and misuse of the County logo regarding the sales tax referendum to the State’s Attorney’s office to determine whether those who were responsible for that could be held accountable, although he expressed that he was glad of the outcome of the election and the large majority of people who voted for the renewal of the sales tax.
There being no further business to be brought to the attention of the Board, the meeting was adjourned at 12:30 p.m.
jimmy conner, chairman
NEIL KELLY, CLERK