august 23, 2016

The Lake County Board of County Commissioners met in regular session on Tuesday, August 23, 2016 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:  Sean Parks, Chairman; Welton G. Cadwell, Vice Chairman; Timothy I. Sullivan; Jimmy Conner; and Leslie Campione.  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 Brooks Braswell from the First Baptist Church of Umatilla gave the Invocation and led the Pledge of Allegiance.

Agenda update

Commr. Parks introduced Mr. Robert Mandell, former Ambassador to Luxembourg, who was in the audience for the meeting.

There were no updates to the Agenda.


On a motion by Commr. Sullivan, seconded by Commr. Conner, and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved the Minutes of the BCC Meetings of July 12, 2016 (Regular Meeting) and July 26, 2016 (Regular Meeting) as presented.

citizen question and comment period

Mr. Vance Jochim, a resident of Tavares who writes a blog about local governmental issues, stated that a concern he had recently expressed in a memo he sent out regarding a new accounting procedure, GASB 68, in the County’s audited financial statements indicating that about $90 million was added to the County’s liabilities was proven to not be what he originally thought, since he learned that the liability does not get paid until such time as employees actually retire.  He stated that he has never seen a comparison of government employee pensions and health insurance benefits to what the public sector is paying, and he questioned the gap in benefits between governmental and public sector employees.  He also expressed a concern about the cost of the employee health clinic that the County will be opening in October.

Commr. Parks pointed out that the Florida Retirement System (FRS) decides what the funding format is, and they have been required to put the accounting standards of the GASB 68 in place this year.  He also assured Mr. Jochim that the Board has already budgeted for those requirements, and he suggested that Mr. Jochim check his facts before writing them in his blogs.  He added that the County had a salary study done that was presented at a Board workshop on May 17 that indicated the County lags 5.6 percent behind the private sector in employee compensation, and that discrepancy especially applied to public safety workers.  He commented that the Board is implementing the clinic in order to reduce the continually increasing health care costs for the County.  He related that he had recently visited a clinic in Pasco County and was very impressed with what they were able to do for the employees while showing some savings.

Mr. Neil Kelly, Clerk of Courts, added that GASB is a set of governmental accounting standards that sets the rules by which governmental agencies have to do their financial reporting, noting that they do not have discretion about how they report it.  He elaborated that GASB 68 is an amendment to GASB 27, and only the way they report those figures has changed.


Mr. Scott Taylor, a resident of Sorrento, handed out an exhibit regarding the Wekiva Parkway project and expressed concerns about the significant changes in the timing of construction of some of the sections of the Wekiva Parkway project due to the fact that the CFX (Central Florida Expressway Authority) found a funding alternative that allowed them to accelerate their portion of the project by 18 months.  He stated that this will result in the western part of SR 429 being completed in January 2018, creating a possible traffic problem for Lake County for over two years at the SR 429 interchange due to traffic attempting to bypass the I-4 ultimate project, until the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) completes Section 6 and the connection from SR 46 at Round Lake to Mount Dora.  He requested that the Board initiate a conversation with FDOT about ways to accelerate the completion of Sections 6, 3A, and 3B, starting at the next day’s Lake-Sumter Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) meeting.

Commr. Parks commented that they are locked into a 2017 timeframe.

Commr. Cadwell elaborated that the timing of the portion going east will probably stay on the initial timeline presented by FDOT; however, he related that they have been having discussions with CFX and FDOT because of the importance of that portion.  He also mentioned that the Expressway Authority is trying to pressure those entities to move that portion forward, since they already have the right of way to do so, but it was a funding issue.  He opined that the portion that was built from US Hwy 441 to SR 46 was done very quickly.

Commr. Sullivan added that the Board had taken this issue to their legislative delegation last year and would continue to do that this year to keep this project on top of the list of things that get completed.


Mr. Frank Fernandez, a resident of Clermont, expressed opposition to the proposed annexation of Extreme Groves into Clermont and presented a petition signed by those people in his community who were affected and who also opposed this annexation.  He explained that the petition was requesting that Lake County find a way to pull the application for annexation from Clermont, noting that the plans for the development show a roundabout that would close off access to the existing community that has been there for over 20 years and would force those residents to use the Water Authority entrance.  He reported that Extreme Groves is requesting the Water Authority to grant them access to their hodgepodge community that they are locating between two existing rural communities.  He opined that Clermont was likely to approve this development, and he noted that the City is not yielding to any of the neighboring residents’ demands or concerns.

Commr. Parks commented that this was a serious issue and that the Board wrote a letter of concern to the City of Clermont.  He added that he discussed this issue with Mr. David Heath, County Manager, and suggested that they continue to have dialogue with the City of Clermont expressing their concerns over the site plan, particularly buffering between that site and existing communities, and request to be part of the process through joint planning.  He mentioned that they have no control over what the applicant does or requests, but they can continue to express their concerns and be the advocate for the concerned residents.

Commr. Cadwell suggested that the Board could also have some discussion with the Water Authority regarding how this development might not fit into the Wellness Way plan.

Commr. Parks directed Mr. Heath to work with both Clermont and the Water Authority regarding this issue.

Mr. Heath updated the Board about this matter, stating that the Board asked him to get involved and to contact the City of Clermont last month at the request of the residents, and he had talked to Mr. Darren Gray, Clermont’s City Manager, about this matter.  He elaborated that Clermont considered the utility agreement for Extreme Groves on July 26, and the County raised objections about why the land use plan was attached to the utility agreement in addition to expressing the concerns that the Board had in terms of roads, the compatibility with the adjacent rural areas, the design, and the density.  He reported that the City Council approved the utility agreement, but they took out the references to the density and the land use plan.  He related that since that time, he has had County staff track the rezoning and the annexation going through in Clermont, and Mr. Fred Schneider, County Engineer, has been working with the applicant on the access issues associated with Extreme Groves.  He mentioned that there would probably be a work session or a departmental item about Extreme Groves brought before the Board in September to represent the Board’s position at the City Council meeting on September 13 and 27.  He commented that he was waiting to see what Clermont will do before they ask the Board to take action.

Commr. Parks commented that that sounded like a good strategy.

Commr. Campione suggested that they review their Interlocal Service Boundary Agreements (ISBA) if they wanted to encourage agricultural uses to continue in Lake County in order that they do not become vehicles that discourage agricultural uses by creating incompatible situations when property is annexed into the city next to something that is currently agricultural.  She added that she believes that this situation has become an unintended consequence that was not anticipated when they went forward with the ISBA.


On a motion by Commr. Sullivan, seconded by Commr. Campione 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.

Notice of Proposed Agency Action Before the Florida Public Service Commission

Request to acknowledge receipt of the Notice of Proposed Agency Action, Order Approving Rate Increase for Lake Idlewild Utility Company, and Final Order on Recovery of Rate Case Expenses, Temporary Rates and Accounting Adjustments in re:  application for staff-assisted rate case in Lake County by Lake Idlewild Utility Company, Docket No. 150236-WU, Order No. PSC-16-0305-PAA-WU, issued July 28, 2016.

Ordinances and Resolutions from Town of Lady Lake

Request to acknowledge receipt of the following copies of Ordinances and Resolutions from the Town of Lady Lake:

Ordinance No. 2015-02                      Rezoning/MOA Amendment

            Ordinance No. 2016-08                      Annexation

            Ordinance No. 2016-09                      Comp Plan Amendment

            Ordinance No. 2016-10                      Rezoning

            Ordinance No. 2016-11                      Annexation

            Ordinance No. 2016-12                      Comp Plan Amendment

            Ordinance No. 2016-13                      Rezoning

            Ordinance No. 2016-17                      Amending LDRs Re:  Sign


            Resolution No. 2016-103                    Adopting Lake County Hazard

                                                                        Mitigation Plan

            Resolution No. 2016-104                    Qualifying Dates for Lady Lake

            Resolution No. 2016-105                    Supporting Safe Routes to

                                                                        School Project

            Resolution No. 2016-106                    Approving Capital Trust

                                                                        Agency Revenue Bonds

Annual Report and Five Year Plan from Lake County Water Authority

Request to acknowledge receipt of the 2015 Annual Report and 2015-2020 Five Year Plan from the Lake County Water Authority, in accordance with Chapter 2005-314, Laws of Florida, along with cover letter dated July 28, 2016 transmitting said document.

Resolution from Greater Lakes/Sawgrass Bay CDD

Request to acknowledge receipt of Resolution 2016-05 identifying the Fiscal Year 2016-2017 meeting schedule for the Greater Lakes/Sawgrass Bay Community Development District in accordance with Section 189.015(1), Florida Statutes, along with a cover letter transmitting same.

Ordinance from the City of Minneola

Request to acknowledge receipt of Ordinance 2016-17 from the City of Minneola amending the boundaries of the City to include within the city limits approximately 2.6 acres of property generally located north of West Pearl Street and south of Brookwood Court at 16310 Lakeshore Drive and rezoning the property from Lake County Agriculture to Single Family Medium Density with the City of Minneola, in accordance with the procedure set forth in F. S. 171.044, as well as a cover letter dated August 4, 2016 transmitting same.


Commr. Cadwell clarified that the Carr family cabin referred to in the Proclamation in Tab 3 is actually located in Marion County, and the Proclamation endorses Lake County’s support of the efforts of Marion County and the nonprofit group to add the cabin to the National Register of Historic Places.  He noted, however, that much of the history it refers to occurred in Umatilla, since the property is located on the border of the two counties.

On a motion by Commr. Cadwell, seconded by Commr. Conner and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the County Manager’s Consent Agenda, Tabs 3 through 24 as follows:


Request for approval and execution of Proclamation No. 2016-83 supporting and endorsing the nomination of the Carr Family Cabin for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places, per Commissioner Cadwell.

Request for approval of Proclamation No. 2016-84 recognizing September 17, 2016 as the 229th anniversary of the framing of the Constitution of the United States of America and proclaiming September 17-23, 2016 as Constitution Week, per Commissioner Parks.

Community Services

Request for approval and signature of the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between the Florida Department of Veterans' Affairs and Lake County, Florida establishing Lake County as an authorized user of the Florida Department of Veterans' Affairs VetraSpec technology. The estimated fiscal impact is $798.00 - annual user fee (Expense).

Community Safety and Compliance

Request for approval to award agreement 16-0219 to Faithworks Total Ground Maintenance (Mt. Dora), Nakitare Builders, LLC (Clermont), and Premium Trash Services (Orlando) for on-call collection and disposal of roadside litter and authorize Procurement Services to execute all supporting contractual documentation.  The annual fiscal impact will depend upon circumstances but is estimated at $50,000.  Also, Request approval of a waiver of potential ethical conflicts under Section 112.313(12), Florida Statutes, for Robert Mack who is the managing member of Nakitare Builders, LLC, a for-profit Florida limited liability corporation, and also an active member of the Lake County Affordable Housing Advisory Committee.

Request for approval of distribution of Justice Assistance Grants Countywide (JAG-C) Byrne Grant funds to local jurisdictions applying for funding, approval for submission of application for the Lake County Sheriff Department, and approval for Chairman to sign grant documents including letters of support, application, certificate of acceptance, EEO Certifications and subsequent grant documents.  The $32,595.00 grant funding will be appropriated as part of the Sheriff's 2016-2017 Budget. There is no fiscal impact.

County Attorney

Request for approval of Revocable Non-Exclusive License Agreement between Lake County and the William Alfred Suggs Post No. 5277 Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States, Inc. (VFW), regarding property adjacent to the VFW on Desoto Street in Clermont.  There is no fiscal impact.

Request for approval of First Amendment to the Lease Agreement between Lake County and Alfred Street Holding Company, LLC, for the Clerk’s Division of Auditor General at 401 East Alfred Street in Tavares. There is no fiscal impact.

Request for approval of Resolution No.’s 2016-85 and 86 instituting Eminent Domain proceedings for acquisition of property for the Johns Lake Road Project and approval to proceed with pre-suit negotiations offers.  The fiscal impact is not determinable at this time.

Request for approval of the Lease Agreement between Lake County and Strickland Warehouses, LLC for the Supervisor of Elections Support Center located on Rossiter Street in Mount Dora.  The estimated fiscal impact for FY17 is $178,000.

Request for approval of the Second Amendment to the Real Estate Purchase and Sales Agreement for Property with J. W. Brooks for property located at 16140 US Highway 441 in Eustis for the Lake County's Health Department Administration Office and Warehouse; and approval of Interlocal Agreement between Lake County and the Florida Department of Health, Lake County regarding the Administrative/Vitals Office in Eustis. There is no fiscal impact.

Request for approval of Resolution No. 2016-87 regarding Disposition of County Property for Affordable Housing and Inventory of County-Owned Property. There is no fiscal impact.

Economic Growth

Request for approval of revisions to the Lake County Industrial Development Revenue Bond Policy and Procedures.  There is no fiscal impact.

Request for approval of the Special Master Agreement between Lake County and Avalon Groves, LLC. The agreement will allow Avalon Groves PUD (Ordinance #2016-20), which has two Future Land Use designations, to blend approved density over the entire subject site. The overall density will not exceed the approved 1,659 dwelling units.

Request for approval of the Special Master Agreement between Lake County and Greater Properties, Inc. pertaining to Greater Groves PUD (Resolution 1994-195) restricted commercial acreage and activities to 150,000 net leasable square feet. The agreement will allow the commercial portion of the PUD up to 165,000 square feet of floor area. The fiscal impact is $337.50. Commission District 1.

Fiscal and Administrative Services

Request for approval of and authorization for the Chairman to sign Resolution No.’s 2016-88 through 93 providing for certification of the non-ad valorem assessment rolls, as follows: Resolution No. 2016-88 for the Greater Groves Municipal Service Benefit Unit, Resolution No. 2016-89 for Greater Hills Municipal Service Benefit Unit, Resolution No. 2016-90 for Greater Pines Subdivision, Resolution No. 2016-91 for Picciola Island Subdivision, Resolution No. 2016-92 for Valencia Terrace Subdivision, and Resolution No. 2016-93 for Village Green Subdivision; providing for certified copies; providing for adoption of resolutions; and providing for an effective date. These non-ad valorem assessments are collected by the County on the property taxes of the homeowners within the subdivisions and fund general improvement maintenance services and street lighting within the respective subdivisions.  The required maintenance services are the responsibility of the subdivisions. The total amount to be collected for these MSBUs is $833,111.66.

Human Resources

Request for approval to modify the Lake County Classification and Pay Plan by increasing the minimum hourly rate of pay by three percent for all classifications under the BCC which are not covered by the provisions of a collective bargaining agreement.  The change is to be effective at the beginning of the first full pay period in October 2016.  The fiscal impact has been included in the proposed budget for FY 2016-2017.

Request for approval to modify the Lake County Employment Policies and Procedures Section 3.2 Classification and Pay Plan, II Directives, Paragraph D to provide for the administration of across the board pay raises of non-bargaining unit employees where such pay increase would cause the employee's rate of pay to exceed the maximum rate of pay for that classification of employee.  The fiscal impact of this change has been included in the proposed FY 2016-2017 budget.

Public Resources

Request for approval and execution of the Interlocal Agreement with the Lake County School Board regarding overflow parking for the Minneola Athletic Complex at Grassy Lake Elementary School. The fiscal impact is $5,836.00 (Expenditure). Commission District 2.

Public Works

Request for approval of to release a maintenance bond in the amount of $25,000.00 that was posted for the Alco Road Resurfacing Project.  There is no fiscal impact.  The project is located in Astor in Commission District 5.

Request for approval of approval of and authorization for the Chairman to sign Resolution No. 2016-94 providing for certification of the assessment roll for the Special Assessment for the paving, grading, curbing, and drainage of Firethorn Road in Lake County.   There is no fiscal impact. Commission District 4.

Request for approval of and authorization for the Chairman to sign Resolution No. 2016-95 providing for certification of the assessment roll for the Special Assessment for the paving, grading, curbing, and drainage of Granville Avenue in Lake County.  There is no fiscal impact. Commission District 2.

Request for approval of and authorization for the Chairman to sign Resolution No. 2016-96 providing for certification of the assessment roll for the Special Assessment for the paving, grading, curbing, and drainage of Colley Drive in Lake County.  There is no fiscal impact.

public hearings:  rezonings

rezoning consent agenda

Mr. Tim McClendon, Planning & Zoning Division Manager, Economic Growth Department, submitted the advertisements for that day’s rezoning public hearings and mentioned that Tabs 1 through 7 were approved unanimously by the Planning & Zoning Board on August 3 and that Tabs 8 and 9 were Comprehensive Text Amendments that were previously heard by the Board in May and were back before the Board again for the adoption phase.  He related that staff requested that the Board approve the Rezoning Consent Agenda in its entirety, Tabs 1 through 9.

The Chairman opened the public hearing.

There being no one who wished to address the Board regarding any of the rezoning cases, the Chairman closed the public hearing.

Commr. Sullivan mentioned that a Comprehensive Plan Amendment regarding the South Lake Regional Park was included in the rezoning agenda which will help to move that project forward.

On a motion by Commr. Sullivan, seconded by Commr. Conner and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the Rezoning Consent Agenda, Items 1 through 9, as follows:

Tab 1.   Ordinance No. 2016-39

Rezoning Case # RZ-16-15-2

Hanoman Property

Request to rezone 4.5 acres of property from Agriculture (A) to Rural Residential (R-1).


Tab 2. Ordinance No. 2016-40

Rezoning Case #RZ-16-16-4

Riya Pharmacy

Request to amend Planned Commercial (CP) Ordinance 22-80 to include Pharmacy use and additional commercial uses.


Tab 3.  Ordinance No. 2016-41

Rezoning Case # CUP-16-03-1

Janreis Family Cemetery

Conditional Use Permit (CP) on property in Agriculture (A) zoning district for the creation of a 10,000 square foot family cemetery.


Tab 4.  Ordinance No. 2016-42

Rezoning Case #NOPC-2016-01-1

Summer Bay DRI

Development Order – NOPC

Request to amend the approved Development Order (Ordinance #2007-29) for the Summer Bay Resort Development of Regional Impact (DRI) to allow new use.


Tab 5.

Rezoning Case #FLU-2016-09-1

Summer Bay DRI

Future Land Use Amendment

Request to amend the Future Land Use Map (FLUM) on approximately 351.82 acres from Urban Medium and Regional Commercial to Summer Bay Future Land Use Category to create a new future land use category for the subject properties.


Tab 6.

Rezoning Case #FLU-2016-08-1

South Lake Regional Park


Tab 7.  Ordinance No. 2016-43

Rezoning Case #RZ-16A-14-5

Laura’s Storage and Flea Market

Request to amend Planned Commercial (CP) zoning district Ordinance 2016-29 to revise a previously approved condition for use of commercial structures by creating a new CP ordinance.


Tab 8.  Ordinance No. 2016-44

Rezoning Case #CP-2016-05

Rural Support Text Amendment (Adoption)

Amendment of Policy I-1.4.7 Rural Support by modifying the list of allowed uses that are intended to serve the commercial and office needs of residentially populated areas within the Rural Future Land Use Series.


Tab 9.  Ordinance No. 2016-45

Rezoning Case #CP-2016-02

Capital Improvements Program Update (Adoption).



community safety and compliance

presentation of gateway sign program

Mr. Brian Sheahan, Community Safety and Compliance Director, gave an overview of the implementation of the Gateway Sign Program, and he recapped that the Board has been discussing the placement of new gateway signs for over a year and had asked for staff to come back before the Board with a proposed gateway sign program.  He informed the Board that currently the County only has basic signage typically seen in rural counties at the entryways and presented an example of a sign currently on Jones Road coming into Lake County near Long and Scott Farms.  He related that the need for more prominent signage has been identified to increase the branding efforts of the County as a means to create a positive sense of place for their visitors and residents, and the Board has indicated a desire to install gateway signs at major roadways entering the county.  He listed the benefits of gateway signs, including branding, enriching visitor experience, enhancing marketing efforts, providing a positive first impression, corridor beautification, creating a sense of place, and fostering community pride; and he presented photographs of examples of other rural and urban gateway signs.  He listed proposed locations for Phase I where he believed new signage is needed, including urban-type signs for US Highway 441 at the Mount Dora boundary, SR 50 in Clermont near Orange County, and US Hwy 27 in Four Corners; and rural-type signs for SR 50 in Sumter County west of Mascotte and State Road 40 in Astor.  He related that Ms. Magdalena Zapata, Creative Services Supervisor, Communications Department, had designed a prototype of an appropriate sign for both the urban and rural gateways, and he showed aerial pictures of the above-mentioned locations where signs would be located as well as what the sign itself would look like at that location.

Mr. Sheahan specified that the estimated cost to design and install the gateway signs is about $10,000 for each rural sign and about $20,000 for each urban sign, for a total of $100,000.  He noted that there were other needs for gateway signs coming into the county, and Phase II of this program would include signs for CR 466A and CR 466 at the Sumter County line, the Wekiva Parkway at Seminole and Orange Counties, Sawgrass Bay Blvd. and Wellness Way at Orange County in the future.  He noted that staff has proposed that TDT (Tourist Development Tax) funding be used for these signs, since the Attorney General has indicated that welcome signs are a permissible use of TDT funding if a direct relationship between the expenditure for the signs and the promotion of tourism exists.  He opined that gateway signs have a direct relationship to tourism because they are an extension of branding and marketing of the “Real Florida, Real Close” campaign, elevate the County’s profile and image, create a sense of place and identify the County as a destination worth visiting, and create an aesthetically pleasing experience for visitors.  He requested that the Board approve the Gateway Sign Program and the use of TDT funds for the signs, since the program will directly further the County’s branding efforts already in place and showcase Lake County as a destination.  He added that it is proposed that these signs will be landscaped with Florida-friendly landscaping and wildflowers and have solar lighting.

Commr. Conner opined that the signs shown in the presentation were gorgeous and reflected spectacular work, and he wanted to give their Communications staff credit for the talent they show by designing the signs completely in-house and for saving the County money.

Commr. Cadwell added that the signs contained stones, which was one of the aspects requested by some of the Commissioners.

Commr. Campione commented that the signs were very dynamic and that she appreciated the artistic qualities but expressed concern that the signs might be too extravagant, since she was partial to a simpler look.

Commr. Cadwell related that the TDC (Tourist Development Council) had requested that the County design something special that will have some impact and would be a promotion for the County.

Commr. Campione opined that she believed using TDC funds for this purpose was a valid use of that funding and suggested that they make the public aware that the County was not using property tax dollars for these signs.  She asked whether the County could coordinate with the City of Mount Dora regarding the sign at that location.

Mr. Sheahan responded that the next steps were to bring back a resolution allowing the phrase “Real Florida, Real Close” to be used on the gateway signs, coordinate with the municipalities on the placement of the signs within their areas, and initiate the design, engineering, and construction of the signs.  He also mentioned that the size of the signs might have to be flexible because the right of way is variable depending on where it is located, so the sign might need to be scaled appropriately to fit within that right of way.

Commr. Parks stated that it was important to point out that this would be completely funded out of TDT funds, and he clarified that the TDC did discuss the use of those funds for these signs.  He mentioned that he has seen some other communities around the country that are aggressively marketing their natural environment with very nice signs of this caliber.  He complimented staff on the design of the signs.

Commr. Campione expressed lingering doubts about the designs that were presented, since she believed that the signs have too much of a flashy and “Disney World” feel to them for her, and she wanted to look at more options that would seem more natural.

On a motion by Commr. Conner, seconded by Commr. Sullivan and carried by a vote of 4-1, the Board approved the requested action to approve the Gateway Sign Program and the use of TDT funds, as the program will directly further the County’s branding efforts already in place and showcase Lake County as a destination.

Commr. Campione voted “no.”

public resources

presentation - update of the parks and trails master plan

Mr. Jeff Cole, Public Resources Director, stated that the purpose of their presentation was to provide an update of the Parks, Recreation, and Trails Master Plans, including some history and background of those plans.  He recapped that the current Parks and Recreation Master Plan was adopted by the Board in 2005, and the current Trails Master Plan was adopted by the Board in 2008 as a supplement to the Parks and Recreation Master Plan, noting that both of those plans cover ten-year periods.  He related that the current master plans call for the County to develop and manage parks and facilities that include diverse recreational opportunities, and the goal in the Trails Master Plan was for the County to develop a cohesive trail system and a regional network.

Mr. Bobby Bonilla, Parks and Recreation Development Manager, recapped that the County provided recreational services mostly through the municipalities and not-for-profit organizations prior to the County developing its first Park Master Plan; and once the master plan was adopted, it was very clear that the County needed to establish three programs in order to provide efficient and comprehensive recreational services for active recreation, passive recreation, and linear recreation.  He mentioned some of the property that has been acquired or inventoried since 2006, which was when the County first executed the master plan, noting that they have 16 active parks, including the East Lake Community Park, the Minneola Athletic Complex, and the upcoming South Lake Community Park.  He pointed out that there has been a significant increase since 2008 of the amount of passive park acreage, mostly due to the Public Lands program, which was transferred to the Parks and Trails Division in 2010, as well as the 770 acres making up the Pine Meadows conservation property and the Green Mountain Scenic Trail Overlook.  He added that the increase of almost 1,800 percent in linear park miles is due to the multipurpose paved trails in the south part of the county, and the Blueways Trail program was transferred to the Parks and Trails Division in 2007 for completion and execution of the 162 miles that the program currently encompasses.  He commented that the majority of the park systems are open to the public seven days a week, with the exception of six public lands properties and the South Lake Regional Park; he also noted that staff was available seven days a week with extended hours of operation at the gated and manned staffed parks, including PEAR Park, North Lake Community Park, the Minneola Athletic Complex, Lake Idamere Park, and East Lake Community Park.

Mr. Bonilla pointed out that there was a huge increase over the last ten years in athletic fields and facilities in accordance with the County’s goals of focusing on the public’s active recreation needs and to provide what was lacking, including the recent addition of the County’s first six Pickleball courts at PEAR Park with the support and petition of over 1,000 signatures.  He added that there was also a significant increase in amenities at the parks, including restrooms, pavilions, dog parks, and observation towers, which were also requested by the citizens of Lake County, and the four concessions were bringing in some revenue to the County.  He recapped that the voters approved a referendum by more than 70 percent in 2004 to tax themselves for some of the Public Lands property, and over 2,200 acres of environmentally-sensitive lands were acquired with the recommendation of the Public Land Acquisition Advisory Council and were currently under the management of the Parks and Trails Division.  He reported that the County has hosted more than 800 nature-based events while promoting ecotourism and over 25,000 sport-related events while promoting recreation, sports, and tourism.  He mentioned and presented photographs of some of the improvements over the last ten years at the active parks, including restroom facilities, butterfly gardens, parking areas, observation towers, lighting, playground facilities, basketball and tennis courts, pavilions, and boardwalks.  He explained that the improvements to the Public Lands or passive properties would consist of land restoration and management, such as prescribed burns, mechanical treatment, and invasive removals rather than infrastructure-type of improvements, and those improvements would be consistent and in compliance with the grants the County receives at PEAR and Ferndale Parks as well as being compatible with the County’s motto of “Real Florida, Real Close.”  He showed photographs depicting the four Public Lands properties that were open to the public, exceeding over 2,000 acres, and he mentioned that seven of the boat ramps have been improved through the Boating Improvement Fund, a dedicated funding source for each vessel that is registered, with parking areas, restroom facilities, launching areas, and boardwalks.  He presented photographs depicting some of the nature-based public events that took place and some of the improvements added to the passive recreation parks.  He related that the County maintains 26 miles of unpaved hiking trails and 20 miles of paved multi-purpose trails, and he showed photographs of some of the improvements and amenities such as kiosks, benches, and bike racks to the South Lake Trail.

Mr. Bonilla recapped that the County had been providing assistance through grants to all the municipalities and many non-profit organizations over the years prior to the adopted Park Master Plan, and the County has been working on its own park system since the Master Plan has been adopted while still providing grants, such as the one to the City of Clermont for the Lake Hiawatha Preserve and the National Training Center to help develop the multi-purpose field.  He also noted that the County has been the recipient of many grants, the most recent being for the Lake Idamere Miracle Field, which is substantially completed.  He also listed some of the County’s partners over the years for some of the park programs, including the School Board for the East Lake Community Park, the City of Minneola for the Minneola Athletic Complex, the City of Clermont for the South Lake Regional Park, and the Woodlea Sports Complex with the City of Tavares.  He also recognized the accomplishments of the Communications Department for the brochures and handouts that highlight all of the County’s Parks and Trails facilities.  He mentioned that he has also worked with many of the other County departments at some time, and he acknowledged the volunteers who sat on the Parks, Recreation, and Trails Advisory Board reviewing all of the parks programs and the Parks Master Plan and making recommendations to the Board, as well as the Parks and Trails staff, who go above and beyond the tasks they are requested to do.

Mr. Cole spoke about the process to update the master plan and recapped that the Board approved a consultant contract in April of 2016 to update both the Parks and Recreation and the Trails Master Plans concurrently, with the focus being on the existing, planned, and potential park facilities and the active, passive, and linear recreation opportunities.  He related that the first step in updating those master plans is identifying the stakeholders, which were the Board, 14 municipalities, the MPO (Lake Sumter Metropolitan Planning Organization), the TDC (Tourist Development Council), the School Board, the Lake County Water Authority, state and federal agencies, special interest and community groups, the general public, and the Parks, Recreation & Trails Advisory Board, as well as four departments within the County, which were Public Resources, Public Works, Economic Growth, and Communications.  He explained that the step after identifying the stakeholders was the data collection and analysis, which was done throughout the process.  He specified that the highlights of the data that will be and is being collected are the current master plans, locations and types of the existing facilities, the County’s population and demographics, the additional needs that have been identified over the years, the needs of the municipalities, opportunities for partnerships and joint use facilities, current and future operational costs, existing and future funding sources, and economic and tourism factors.  He mentioned that they will be working closely with the Communications Department to inform the public and stakeholders of participation opportunities in order to maximize involvement.  He reported that they were working on a web-based survey and would be providing presentations and work sessions with the key stakeholder groups, with five community stakeholder meetings throughout the county over the next year, as well as additional meetings with other stakeholder groups beginning in the summer and fall of 2016; afterwards, the consultants will draft a plan after further data collection and analysis for consideration by the County staff; the MPO; the Parks, Recreation and Trails Advisory Board; and ultimately the Board.

Commr. Campione asked where the five community meetings will be held and how they would make that decision.

Mr. Cole responded that the meetings will be in each of the five Commission Districts, but the specific locations have not been identified within those districts, except to begin in the northern District 5.

Commr. Campione asked when those plans will be brought before the Board.

Mr. Bonilla answered that the goal is to have as much data as possible presented to the Board when the consultants present the first draft.

Commr. Sullivan asked for updates in the future regarding plans for the state parks, such as Lake Griffin State Park and Lake Louisa State Park.

Commr. Campione opined that this was a long process, and she wanted them to explore opportunities they might have to get grant money for projects such as the Heart of Florida Loop, the Coast to Coast Trail, the Umatilla trail where there was already right of way, or the Wekiva Trail.

Commr. Parks mentioned that the Bicycle/Pedestrian Advisory Committee (BPAC) expressed interest in seeing a presentation as well.

Commr. Cadwell commented that he was sure that staff would be open to suggestions from the Commissioners about where to have the meetings in their respective districts.

Commr. Parks commented that trails were worthy investments for the community, and he mentioned that the Home Builders Association proclaimed that trails were the most popular amenity that people currently look for in communities when they are purchasing a home.

recess and reassembly

The Chairman announced that there would be a five-minute recess at 10:20 a.m.

public safety

emergency notification system

Mr. Tommy Carpenter, Emergency Management Division Manager, stated that he would provide an overview of the Emergency Notification System and the Disaster Volunteer Program, which is a new initiative intended to provide additional volunteer staffing needed for emergency shelters when opened.  He elaborated that volunteers may be used to fill any identified gaps for services needed during emergencies.  He presented statistics illustrating the growing needs, including that Florida surpassed the State of New York in population as the third most populous state in 2014 with a population of 19,893,297 and that Lake County’s projected census showed continual future growth from a current population of 316,569 in 2015 to a projected population of 493,300 in 2040.  He related that Lake County currently has nine primary shelters and 19 secondary shelters, and secondary shelters will be moved to the primary list as population increases, which will result in an increased need for emergency volunteers.  He added that the American Red Cross provides shelter management but cannot keep up with the future demand for volunteers.  He further explained that the Disaster Volunteer Program is a partnership between Emergency Management and the American Red Cross, is free for volunteers to participate, and requires volunteers to go through County background checks and attend a one-day training session before being assigned to emergency shelters under the direction of a Red Cross shelter manager.  He added that this program provides support to emergency shelters when activated, engages community members with an opportunity to help the most vulnerable population during emergencies, and provides opportunities to gain knowledge and skills that can support emergency operations when needed.  He provided email, phone numbers, and the address for those who would like to contact Emergency Management for more information about this program.

Mr. Carpenter then provided an overview of the Emergency Notification System (ENS), which is also referred to as a “Reverse 911” system, which allows public safety officials to communicate with the public during emergency incidents such as protective actions, missing person searches, law enforcement advisories, wild fires, severe weather, and hazardous materials spills.  He emphasized that the ENS is used for emergencies only, with Emergency Management and the Sheriff’s Office as the only two entities authorized to send emergency notifications.  He recapped that Lake County’s first ENS was the Reverse 911 obtained by Emergency Management in 2005, utilized until 2010, and funded by a Homeland Security grant.  He mentioned that the system hardware was located onsite at the County Administration Building, which meant that all messages had to be sent from that site, and it allowed public safety officials to communicate with the public through a recorded phone call.  He listed the limitations of the Reverse 911 system, including that it required a T-1 phone line for service at an additional monthly fee, which limited the speed messages were delivered since it utilized a phone bank of 24 phone lines; did not have a public registration web portal to allow registration of multiple devices; and had no severe weather module for tornado warnings.  He related that after the 2007 Groundhog Day tornadoes, Public Safety sought an ENS that allowed the public to register multiple devices, send emergency messages in a timelier manner, and provided tornado warnings, which led to the use of EMTEL, which is Lake County’s current system. 

Mr. Carpenter elaborated that EMTEL was selected through an RFP process by a group of evaluators from the Lake County Public Safety Department, Sheriff’s Office, and Lake EMS and was awarded a five-year contract from September 2010 through September 2015, funded by federal and state grants for a total of $129,995 and continued for one additional year which will expire in September 2016.  He noted that the County brands all of the emergency notification systems as “AlertLake” for consistency.  He related that the EMTEL system improved Lake’s ability to communicate with the public during emergencies, was a lot more effective and efficient than Reverse 911, included a public registration site for multiple device registration, required no onsite equipment, used internet connections to reach large communications centers, sent messages faster, included the ability to send tornado warnings issued by the National Weather Service, and allowed Public Safety officials to communicate with a phone call, email or fax machine.  He pointed out, however, that there were limitations to the EMTEL system, including the difficulty to use with message centers that were not in the system on a regular basis, the additional cost for use of text messaging that was not budgeted by the County, the fact that no other Florida county used the system, and the gaps between the system and what new technology offered.  He reported that Lake County began research for the best option for a new ENS provider that meets current technology demands at the same time as the State of Florida was interested in establishing their own statewide ENS, and he was asked by the Florida Division of Emergency Management to participate in the selection process from a local perspective in providing best practices, lessons learned, and what they needed at the local level.

Mr. Carpenter related that the State of Florida selected the Everbridge ENS after a competitive bid process, which was branded “AlertFlorida.”  He noted that the Everbridge System is currently in use by 35 public and private companies throughout the United States, as well as ten counties in Florida, with many other counties in the process of reviewing or changing over to it.  He listed some of the enhancements of the AlertFlorida ENS for Lake County, including that there will be no cost to Lake County for the term of the Agreement through June 30, 2019; Lake County will retain the AlertLake branding for consistency; text messaging communication, voice calls, and emails will be included; and it will provide a subscription service to communicate important public safety information, a smart phone “app” for residents that have registered via the public portal, and social media integration.  He added that the new system will allow emergency messages to be sent via tablets and smart phones and for internal communication with multiple organizations, including the Sheriff’s Office.  He explained that the agreement will go to Tallahassee for full execution if approved by the Board, and Emergency Management and the Sheriff’s Office staff will continue with their online training and complete the on-boarding process with Everbridge on September 12 and 13.  He related that the AlertLake ENS powered by AlertFlorida and Everbridge will go live on September 15, 2016, and the Communications Department will help provide information to the public on the enhanced features and how they could be used by residents.  He mentioned that Phase II of the state program will offer this system to municipalities and other governmental agencies.  He requested that the Board approve the agreement with the Florida Division of Emergency Management for the use of the Everbridge ENS, branded AlertFlorida.

On a motion by Commr. Sullivan, seconded by Commr. Conner and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the Agreement between the State of Florida, Florida Division of Emergency Management, and Lake County for use of the Everbridge Emergency Notification System (AlertFlorida).

other business

appointment to parks, recreation & trails advisory board

Commr. Parks explained that this appointment will be for the position that was held by Mr. Mike Stone before his death and reported that staff will continue to keep Mrs. Kathy Stone, Mr. Stone’s wife, informed about what the County was doing to honor Mr. Stone, who was the Lake County Soccer Club President.

On a motion by Commr. Sullivan, seconded by Commr. Conner and carried, the Board approved the appointment of Mr. Michael A. Stephens who is a resident of unincorporated Lake County as an at-large member to the Parks, Recreation and Trails Advisory Board to complete an unexpired two-year term ending May 20, 2018 formerly held by Michael Stone.

reports – county manager

items to discuss at joint work session with school board

Mr. David Heath, County Manager, asked the Board to send him by next week a list of any additional items the Commissioners would like to discuss at the joint work session with the School Board on September 19, 2016, at 4:00 p.m. at the ECOC (Emergency Communications and Operations Center) so that he could publish an agenda of this meeting.


announcement about opening of fire station 90

Mr. Heath reported that County Fire Station 90, which was built as a joint station with the City of Clermont, is now operational and that the firefighters were finally out of the temporary hotel location; and he mentioned that it will also be Clermont Station 104.

city of fruitland PARK INQUIRIES about fire system

Mr. Heath related that the City of Fruitland Park has expressed interest in opting into the County’s fire system, and he believed that there were many reasons to pursue this cooperative effort.  He elaborated that the Cities of Astatula, Howey-in-the-Hills, and Lady Lake have already joined the County’s system.  He added that Fruitland Park’s volunteer fire station is less than a mile from the County’s Fire Station 53.  However, he noted that it was too late this year for Fruitland Park to put the County’s fire assessment on its tax bill, but this year would be a transition year whereby the City will pay the County cash, with the County giving the City credit for some of their equipment.  He explained that anything that they negotiate would be subject to an interlocal agreement that staff would bring back to the Board for its consideration.

reports – commissioner sullivan – district 1

four corners council meeting

Commr. Sullivan reported that the Four Corners Council Meeting discussed the improvements to that area that were approved in that day’s rezoning agenda, and he thanked Economic Development staff for attending that meeting to explain those improvements.  He elaborated that South Lake Hospital will be building a medical facility that will enhance the quality of life for that area, and he assured the Board that he will keep them informed about what is happening in the Four Corners area.


forward paths luncheon

Commr. Conner mentioned that he went to a Luncheon for Forward Paths, an organization whose mission is to positively influence at-risk youth and forever revolutionize their path to independence, and was touched by the testimony of some of the children about their needs, struggles, and challenges.  He asked the Board to think about how the County can help that organization with housing needs.

Commr. Campione expressed a desire to be part of that effort, noting that the Board recently approved a change to the housing policy that was recommended by the Housing Advisory Committee, which was now working directly with Forward Paths on the rapid rehousing process in order to connect the young people to available rental housing.  She suggested utilizing the HOME Grant that the County has applied for after defining some parameters on how that would actually be implemented when they receive that money in the next budget cycle.  She opined that the Forward Paths concept and purpose would be a perfect fit for the HOME Grant funding, and there would be direct benefits received by the young people leaving foster care aged 18 to 23 years old that would improve their lives and ultimately improve the community as a whole.


bicycle signs on roads

Commr. Campione presented an idea to make Lake Shore Drive from Tavares to Mount Dora safer for bicyclists with a “Sharo” painted bicycle sign on the road to remind motorists to be aware of bicyclists using the road after getting requests from residents who live on that road for a number of years about opportunities to make it safer for pedestrians and bicyclists.  She related that she wanted to utilize the infrastructure that was already there to promote connectivity for bicycles and pedestrians, since there has been a backlash from the residents in the past when paved shoulders and trails were deliberated.  She presented a photograph depicting an example of a roadway that contains this kind of symbol, and she stated that she will be getting feedback from residents on Lake Shore Drive to determine whether those residents would be in favor of those roadway symbols.  She summarized that this would be something they could do in the immediate future to create a bicycle connection between Tavares and Mount Dora, as well as making motorists more aware of the presence of bicycles.

Commr. Conner commented that he was in favor of that idea and believes that people will utilize it.

Commr. Cadwell pointed out that those kinds of signs were not available the last time the County discussed widening that road, and he opined that the signs will make it safer for the bicyclists who are using that road regardless of the lack of shoulders.

beautification efforts along railroad tracks

Commr. Campione suggested that they have officials from the City of Tavares contact businesses on the stretch of road between Tavares and Mount Dora where the sight-seeing train runs regarding beautification efforts to make the area more attractive.  She elaborated that a lot of that stretch goes through an unattractive industrial area that does not leave a good impression on those who ride the train.  She related that she will be taking a train ride with city officials who could help with this effort.

reports – commissioner parks – chairman and district 2

olympic medalists from lake county

Commr. Parks pointed out that eleven medalists in the recent Olympics had Lake County connections.

health clinic

Commr. Parks mentioned that he had visited the medical clinic in Pasco County with the County Manager and other County staff, and he commented that he was extremely impressed with everything about the clinic, including the cleanliness, the qualification of the doctor, and the cost savings.  He stated for the record that although he initially expressed uncertainty about going forward with the employee clinic, he is in full support of it now, believes that implementation of the health clinic will be positive for the County, and would use it for his family.

Mr. Heath announced that the Board would be presented with a more detailed briefing on the implementation of the clinic at the next meeting.

letter from sheriff of orange county

Commr. Parks announced that Lake County had received a letter from Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings thanking them for the resolution they passed in regard to the Pulse shooting in Orlando and the help from the Lake County Sheriff’s Office during that time.  He reported that $24 million had been raised by various sources to help the victims and the families of the victims of the shooting.


There being no further business to be brought to the attention of the Board, the meeting was adjourned at 11:25 a.m.



sean M. parks, chairman