October 11, 2016

The Lake County Board of County Commissioners met in regular session on Tuesday, October 11, 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 Angela Harrold, Deputy Clerk.

INVOCATION and pledge

Pastor Rick Fountain from First Baptist Church of Tavares gave the Invocation and led the Pledge of Allegiance.

Agenda update

Mr. David Heath, County Manager, stated that an addendum was released adding Tab 22, a discussion item on medical marijuana, and Tab 23, an update on Hurricane Matthew that also had some follow up actions required for the cleanup and storm damage. He suggested that after the Employee Awards were completed, the Board then present the proclamations in Tabs 1 and 2 and then hear the hurricane update in Tab 23, immediately following the Consent Agenda.

employee awards

Mr. Robert Anderson, Human Resources Director, recognized employees who have reached significant milestones in their career with Lake County, as follows:

five years

Robert Chandler, Economic Growth Director

Economic Growth



Wendell Nichols, Stormwater Inspector I

Public Works/Environmental Services Division/Stormwater


fifteen years

Shannon Bush, Fire Lieutenant/EMT

Public Safety/Fire Rescue Division


Robert Isom, Firefighter/EMT (not present)

Public Safety/Fire Rescue Division


Mark Ricci, Fire Lieutenant/EMT (not present)

Public Safety/Fire Rescue Division


Jennifer Roland, Firefighter/Paramedic

Public Safety/Fire Rescue Division


Thomas Rose, Fairgrounds Worker (not present)

Public Resources/Fairgrounds

Edward Simon, Firefighter/EMT (not present)

Public Safety/Fire Rescue Division


twenty-five YEARS

Russell Cheatham, Entomologist Supervisor

Public Works/Environmental Services Division/Mosquito Management



            10 YEARS:     James Brown/ Mobile Irrigation Specialist

                                    Public Resources/Extension Services


Mr. Jeff Cole, Public Resources Director, recognized James Brown with ten years of service as a Mobile Irrigation Specialist with the Lake County Extension Service.  He stated that Mr. Brown helped grow the Mobile Irrigation program by working with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, the Lake County Soil and Water Conservation District and the agricultural community to save thousands of gallons of water a day and helping to protect one of Florida’s most important resources. He commented on Mr. Brown’s current activities when he is not working and elaborated on his plans for his retirement.

presentation – native plant month

Commr. Parks presented Proclamation 2016-98 to the Lake Beautyberry and Passionflower Chapters of the Florida Native Plant Society proclaiming October 2016 as Native Plant Month in Lake County.  He stated that protecting the Florida native plants is one of the reasons Lake County is “Real Florida, Real Close,” gave the background of the Native Plant Society and read the proclamation. 

Ms. Lavon Silvernell, a resident of Astatula and President of the Lake Beautyberry Chapter, stated that Nadine Foley created the Beautyberry Chapter 20 years previously and mentioned that there was a new chapter called Passionflower in south Lake County. She said that the proclamation shows that Lake County values native plants not just because of their beauty but because of their function and economic value.  She commented that everything of value needs to be taken care of, and native plants require a level of knowledge and understanding as they serve as an important part of the County’s motto, “Real Florida, Real Close.”  She reported that the plants help to preserve water quality, and they beautify the rolling hills of the county.  She stated that she appreciated the funding for programs that benefit the native plants in natural areas.

Ms. Susan Knapp, secretary of the Passionflower Chapter, stated that the chapter was located in Clermont, primarily serving south Lake County and that the meetings were usually held at the Cooper Memorial Library.

Mr. Jon Pospisil, President of the Passionflower Chapter, expressed the chapter’s appreciation to the Board for the support of native plants.  He stated that the work being done between County staff and Lake-Sumter State College to develop a demonstration and shaded area on the trails near Cooper Memorial Library was exciting, and he felt it would be a good attraction and educational opportunity for the Clermont area.

Commr. Parks thanked the Native Plant Society and noted that a lot of the members of the Native Plant Society are volunteers who put in hundreds to thousands of hours of time at places around the County.

Presentation – Mediation week

Commr. Campione presented Proclamation 2016-99 proclaiming October 16 through 22, 2016 as Mediation Week to Judge Terry Neal and then read the proclamation and meaning and benefits of mediation. 

The Honorable Terry Neal thanked the Board for the recognition and expressed her appreciation for the mediators that put in thousands of hours and are a valuable resource.

presentation – sales surtax committee

Mr. Keith Mullins, Chairman of the Sales Surtax Committee, gave a brief background on the creation of the Sales Surtax Committee, which was created in 2001 after the residents of Lake County voted to extend the sales tax.  He elaborated that the sales tax was meant to be split equally among the Cities, the County and the School Board.  He stated that an oversight committee was then created to ensure the taxes were spent appropriately.  He noted that on September 12, 2016 the committee looked over the proposed budgets provided from the Cities, County and School Board for Fiscal Year 2017. He reported that there were no major issues, and the committee found that all of the proposed budgeted uses of the sales tax were shown to be used in the correct manner.  He commented that staff created a new reporting form that simplified the process and was very helpful.

citizen question and comment period

Ms. Silvernell stated that she attended the Constructing a Better Lake County Summit and that she has been working with Commissioner Campione on Keep Lake Beautiful.  She wanted express her thanks for all that the Board does to keep on top of what is happening in the county.

Ms. Karen Creasy, a resident of Clermont, stated that she is in support of passing Amendment 2, which was legislation making medical marijuana legal.  She said that if the legislation passes, she would like to see the Board create ordinances to control where the businesses that sell the marijuana are located and asked that the Board treat them as respectable businesses as opposed to pushing them to the outskirts of the cities.

Mr. Pospisil commented that he was appreciative of the Hancock Trail Landscaping support and noted that he has spoken to several residents using the trail who would be interested in volunteering.


On a motion by Commr. Cadwell, seconded by Commr. Sullivan 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 the list of warrants paid prior to this meeting, pursuant to Chapter 136.06 (1) of the Florida Statutes, which shall be incorporated into the Minutes as attached Exhibit A and filed in the Board Support Division of the Clerk's Office.

City of Minneola – Resolution 2016-18

Request to acknowledge receipt of Notice of Public Hearing from the City of Minneola for Resolution 2016-18 stating that the City’s Planning and Zoning Commission will hold its public hearing on the resolution on Monday, October 3, 2016 at 7:00 p.m.at the Minneola City Hall, and the Minneola City Council will hold a public hearing on the resolution on Tuesday, October 18, 2016 at 6:30 p.m.at the Minneola City Hall.

Village Center Community Development Adopted Budget

Request to acknowledge receipt of the adopted budget for the Village Center Community Development District for Fiscal Year 2016-2017, in accordance with Chapter 190.008(2)(b)(c), Florida Statutes.

Country Greens Community Development District Public Meeting Schedule

Request to acknowledge receipt of the public meeting schedule for the Country Greens Community Development District, in accordance with Chapter 189, Florida Statutes, which also states that the bi-monthly meetings for the Fiscal Year 2017 will be on the fourth Monday at 5:30 at the Sorrento Christian Center, 32441 CR 437, Sorrento, Florida.

Central Lake Community Development District Public Meeting Schedule

Request to acknowledge receipt of the annual meeting schedule for the Central Lake Community Development District for the Fiscal Year 2017, in accordance with Chapter 189.015, Florida Statutes.

Pine Island Community Development District Public Meeting Schedule

Request to acknowledge receipt of the annual meeting schedule for the Pine Island Community Development District for the Fiscal Year 2017, in accordance with Chapter 189.015, Florida Statutes.

Founders Ridge Community Development District Public Meeting Schedule

Request to acknowledge receipt of the annual meeting schedule for the Founders Ridge Community Development District for the Fiscal Year 2017, in accordance with Chapter 189.015, Florida Statutes.

Consummating Order of the Florida Public Service Commission

Request to acknowledge receipt of Consummating Order before the Florida Public Service Commission in re:  Order No. PSC-16-0363-TRF-EI has become effective and final.  It was further Ordered that this docket shall be closed. 

By Order of the Florida Public Service Commission as of the 23rd day of September 2016.


On a motion by Commr. Cadwell, seconded by Commr. Sullivan and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the County Manager’s Consent Agenda, Tabs 4 through 19 as follows:


Request approval of Proclamation No. 2016-119 recognizing the 80th Anniversary of the Florida Forest System, per Commissioner Parks.

Community Services

Request for approval to provide free LakeXpress (fixed route) transit rides on October 31, 2016 in support of the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) - District 5 Mobility Week activities. The estimated fiscal impact is $533.18.

Request for approval and signature on the Fifth Supplemental Agreement with Ride Right Transit, LLC for Transit Operator (RFP #13-0209). This is a modification to the contract to provide for the continuation of services during the course of re-solicitation of transit services under a revised scope. The agreement includes an increased trip rate with a fiscal impact of $54,900. The total fiscal impact for the term of the agreement is $1,582,005.

County Attorney

Request for approval for Property Manager to execute the South Lake Medical Arts Center Association's Limited Proxy. There is no fiscal impact.

Request for approval to accept tax deeded properties that escheated to the County and declare the following County owned properties (75 Alternate Keys) as surplus for the purpose of disposal.  There is no fiscal impact at this time.

Economic Growth

Request for approval of the Interlocal Agreement with the City of Leesburg for coordinated efforts regarding the 5th Annual Wings & Wildflowers Festival.  The fiscal impact is not to exceed $1,000 (expenditure). This will be offset by anticipated revenue funding in the amount of $15,000.

Facilities Development and Management

Request for approval to award contract 16-0221 to American Janitorial, Inc. (Umatilla) for monthly sweeping and cleaning of the County parking garage located in Tavares.  The estimated annual fiscal impact is $26,340 (Expenditure).

Fiscal and Administrative Services

Request for approval of contract 17-0401 to Interior Contract Services (Orlando) for purchase and installation of furniture associated with the Lake County Tax Collector at two new facilities (Clermont and Eustis), and authorize the procurement office to execute all implementing documentation.  The fiscal impact is estimated to be $429,996.71.

Request from Fiscal and Administrative Services for approval of request from the Sheriff's Office for reimbursement from the Law Enforcement Trust Fund for Fiscal Year 2016 expenditures. The fiscal impact is $69,078.38.

Request from Fiscal and Administrative Services for approval of the request from the Sheriff submitted in the September 2016 monthly request for the transfer of $100,000 from Contingency to the Salaries account, as noted in his June 1, 2015 budget submittal letter. The fiscal impact is $100,000.

Public Safety

Request for approval of Agreement for the purchase of new EMS 911 position equipment and Amendment to CenturyLink Service Agreement supporting the new equipment. 1) Approve, authorize, and sign the CenturyLink Custom Cover Agreement for the equipment purchase; and 2) approve, authorize, and sign Amendment to 2014 Centurion Maintenance Services Agreement to provide maintenance and on-going support of the E911 equipment for the remaining term.  The fiscal impact is $35,556 funded by Lake EMS for the workstations and equipment. The fiscal impact for the Communications Technologies Division is $3,751 for on-going maintenance for the additional workstations over the remaining term of the agreement. (Expense).

Public Works

Request for approval of the Local Agency Program Funding Agreement (LAP) and the supporting Resolution No. 2016-121 between Lake County and Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) for the construction of paved shoulders along CR 466A (Picciola Road) between Dogwood Drive and south of Twin Palms Road; and request approval to advertise for Bids, (FPN# 434422-1-58/68-01). The fiscal impact is $480,021 (100% Grant Funded in FY 2017). Commission District 5

Request for approval of a Transportation Impact Fee Agreement with Avalon Groves, LLC for the construction of Sawgrass Bay Boulevard Extension from its current terminus west to Fleming Road at the Lake County & Orange County boundary. The fiscal impact is $6,929,712.00 in future Impact Fee Credits.  Commission District  1

Request for approval and Chairman’s signature on the One Year Traffic Signal Maintenance Agreement with the City of Leesburg. The fiscal impact $145,380.50 (Revenue). Commission Districts 1 and 3

Request for approval to award Oswalt Road Widening and Resurfacing Project No. 2016-06; Bid No. 16-0035, to Goodwin Bros. Construction, Inc., (Brooksville, FL) in the amount of $910,226.03, and to encumber and expend funds in the amount of $910,226.03 from the Renewal Sales Tax Capital Project fund.  This project is located South of Clermont off Lakeshore Drive. The fiscal impact is $910,226.03.  Commission District 2

Request for approval to accept the final plat for Pretty Lake Ranch and all areas dedicated to the public as shown on the Pretty Lake Ranch final plat, accept a trust fund check in the amount of $222,227.41 as surety for construction of infrastructure, and execute a Developer’s Agreement for Construction of Improvements between Lake County and Florida Land Sales, LLC for the Pretty Lake Ranch Plat.  Pretty Lake Ranch consists of 64 lots and is located on the east side of State Road 33, South of Florida Boy’s Ranch Road, in Section 17, Township 23 South, Range 25 East.  There is no fiscal impact.  Commission District 1

hurricane matthew update

Mr. Tommy Carpenter, Emergency Management Division Manager for Public Safety, gave a brief update on the preparedness actions during Hurricane Matthew.  He reported that Emergency Management started preparing for the hurricane on September 29, 2016 in conjunction with schools, the Lake County Sheriff’s Office and Red Cross, and briefs were provided over the weekend.  He stated that the following Monday the track of the hurricane significantly changed, showing that the impact to Florida was obvious, and a meeting took place with the Executive Policy Group, which recommended that sandbags be made available at 5 fire stations and shelters be opened.  He commented that the process had not been done since 2004, and it is a large undertaking.  He explained that timing was the issue for all of the Central Florida counties, because it was unknown when the storm would impact the area.  He elaborated that the Executive Policy Group received information that the county would start receiving tropical storm force winds on Thursday, October 6, and into Friday, October 7, and it was determined that shelters would need to be opened on that Thursday. He reported that the Chairman signed a Local State of Emergency on Tuesday October 4, 2016, which moved the process forward.  He stated that on Wednesday, October 5, 2016 the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) went to Level 2 activation, and the Citizen Information Line and Transportation Team went through the special needs registry identifying individuals that would need transportation to shelters. He reported that there were 45 residents that needed transportation, and the information was given to the Transit Authority, which they processed and used to schedule pickups of those residents identified.  He commented that Lake County Schools remained open normal hours that Wednesday, and then once closed the 9 public schools were prepared by Lake County School staff and Health Department staff to become shelters.  He stated that on Thursday the EOC went to Level 1 activation and shelters were opened at 6:00 a.m., adding that all shelters were pet friendly and staffed with appropriate personnel from Lake County Schools, the Lake County Sheriff’s Office and Amateur Radio Operators.  He reported that a flood warning went into effect later in the day on Thursday for the Town of Astor; it was described that it would be the highest flood level the town had seen and due to the size and intensity of the storm, the town would see storm surge.

Mr. Carpenter reported that because of that information, the Executive Policy Group decided to issue a voluntary evacuation order for the residents along the St. John’s River in Astor, and the Sheriff’s Office took flyers to the residents alerting them of the voluntary evacuation.  He relayed that when the shelters closed on Thursday evening, there were 779 residents, 63 special needs residents and 24 pets sheltered. He reported that Friday morning between 10:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m. the strongest winds occurred and were between 45 miles per hour and 60 miles per hour sustained. He stated that the shelters began to clear between 4:00 pm and 5:00 p.m. on Friday and were completely empty by the morning of Saturday, October 8, 2016. He commented that when the special needs residents were transported back to their homes, the transit drivers made sure they had electricity and that the homes were not damaged before leaving. He reviewed that Saturday morning the focus shifted to power restoration and Astor flooding, and he mentioned that Sumter Electronic Cooperative (SECO) Energy and Duke Energy stayed on site through the process to ensure resident’s electricity service was restored. He reported that the flooding was still being monitored in Astor and that it was at a moderate flood level.  He relayed that on Saturday after the EOC moved to Level 3 activation, power was being restored and the flooding issue in Astor was subsiding.  He stated that over 12,000 sandbags were handed out and 1,657 calls were handled on the Citizen’s Information Line, and he commented that he was very proud of the integration between the different county entities to ensure the public was safe and taken care of during the hurricane. He said that social media was used to reach over 19,000 residents and 208 volunteer hours were put in immediately after the storm.

Commr. Parks commended Sheriff Gary Borders and the Lake County Sheriff’s Department team for helping and being a real part of the team. 

Mr. Jim Stivender, Public Works Director, commented that a process book was put together in 1998 for Public Works that listed each employee and their corresponding role in the event of a storm, adding that it is updated annually. He reported that Public Works started preparing on Thursday, September 29, 2016 by making sure all equipment was checked for fuel and was operational. He noted that the fire stations started receiving sand for sandbags on Monday, October 3, 2016, and it was replenished often, which made it the largest amount of sand delivered since 2004. He relayed that trash collection service was suspended, and final preparations were made on Thursday, October 6, 2016. He pointed out that equipment was staged throughout the county for quick access, with most of it placed in the Umatilla area so that it could reach the areas quicker that had the potential to be hit hardest.  He stated that ten crews were mobilized countywide, and each road in Lake County was surveyed and addressed.  He thanked the Lake County Sheriff and Lake County Fire and Rescue Department for their assistance in clearing the roads, which made them passable for the larger equipment. He reported that south Lake County was the least hit and was cleared of debris by Friday evening, west Lake County was cleared up by Saturday evening and east Lake County would be cleared of debris by the end of the week.  He commented that on Saturday and Sunday the clay roads were graded. He noted that the water subsided and it was expected for the St. John’s River to remain high but not to increase in height.  He mentioned that two traffic signals were damaged but would be repaired within budget. He reported that all of the convenience centers were open on Saturday with double the normal business, and it went smoothly. He stated that the call volumes were higher than normal, but the staff was able to handle the call volume in the office.  He pointed out that there was more debris on the ground than what normal haulers were used to but that it was not enough to bring in a third party.  He stated that the debris was being assessed, and pricing would be gathered within the confines of the existing contracts with the goal to have all debris cleaned up within 30 days.

Mr. Steve Koontz, Director of Fiscal and Administrative Services, explained that there were two immediate fiscal impacts from the storm. He requested the authorization of the County Manager to waive building permit and inspection fees for homestead properties that have verifiable storm damage from Hurricane Matthew. He stated the waiver would only be to the extent necessary to repair storm damage and would be in effect for up to 180 days from the date of the Board’s approval.  He explained that based on the damage assessments done, the staff did not believe that the amount would not exceed $15,000. He stated that giving the Public Works department the ability to work with the haulers to pick up the debris, which would exceed the contract amount, would help get the debris cleaned up and moved off of the right of way quicker.  He asked for the authorization of the County Manager to expend funds for the removal of storm debris, not to exceed $75,000, to pay for the additional services provided by the County’s garbage haulers that exceed the current contract requirements, and it would remain in effect through November 4, 2016.

Commr. Conner asked if the costs under the requested action were reimbursable through the State or Federal Government. He stated that he felt that it takes some time for the reimbursements to come through and suggested obtaining help from Congressman Daniel Webster to help the process. He commented that he felt the County Manager and staff’s idea of waiving the permit fees was a very good idea, and he thanked them for the gesture.

Mr. Koontz explained that there are thresholds with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) that have to be worked towards.  He stated that information would be gathered, but at that point he did not believe the thresholds would be met for reimbursement; however, it would be under review.

Mr. Carey Baker, Lake County Property Appraiser, reviewed that there were 27 properties identified with storm damage.  He stated that three of the properties had major damage, three or four with moderate damage and the rest of the properties experienced minor damage.  He reported that there was an estimated $412,513 worth of damage in total. He relayed that there were 8 crews from the Property Appraiser’s office that went out to assess damage and were back within 4 hours. He attributed the quick completion time to having iPads which allowed for photos to be taken while inputting the assessment digitally right at the property.  He commented that he appreciated the support of the County Commission, and he opined that the Board should be very proud of the staff as they were professional, they did an incredible job and they showed a genuine concern for the citizens of Lake County.  He reported that the County and Public Works had done good work in Astor to elevate the roads and with homeowners in that area, which he felt helped minimize the damage there during the storm.

Commr. Parks commented that Mr. Baker was a valuable part of the Executive Policy Team, and the process in place served the county very well.  He pointed out that Lake County faired very well compared to other counties that saw more devastation. He stated the data that was coming prior to the storm showed it could have been worse, and he felt very confident in the process, the Executive Policy Team and the professional staff that was in place to take care of the residents and county, adding that the team did an amazing job.

Commr. Cadwell commented that every report he received stated that Commr. Parks did very well as the Chairman and represented the Board well by being there if he was needed, making decisions if needed and by letting the staff do their job to the best of their ability. He commented that he appreciated Commr. Park’s service.

Commr. Sullivan thanked the staff, Lake County Fire and Rescue, Lake County Emergency Medical Service, the volunteers and the utility companies who put together a task force to get out into the county to get things cleaned up.  He stated that the coordination and cooperation between departments and entities was needed for it to be successful, and he felt they accomplished that and thanked them for their work.

On a motion by Commr. Conner, seconded by Commr. Sullivan and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the authorization of the County Manager to waive building permit and inspection fees for homestead properties that have verifiable storm damage from Hurricane Matthew. The waiver would be only to the extent necessary to repair storm damage and would be in effect for up to 180 days from the date of the Board’s approval.  The authority was not expected to exceed $15,000. The Board also approved the authorization of the County Manager to expend funds for the removal of storm debris, not to exceed $75,000, to pay for additional services provided by the County’s garbage haulers that exceed the current contract requirements and would remain in effect through November 4, 2016.

Presentation – sales surtax application

Mr. Koontz introduced the Infrastructure Sales Surtax Tracking Application, stating that Ordinance 2001-123 authorized the creation of a citizen committee to monitor the expenditure of sales tax proceeds.  He elaborated that Ordinance 2001-130 was then approved and defined what the purpose, duties, membership and procedures of the citizen committee would be.  He pointed out that the sales surtax oversight committee was created to review the expenditures of the revenue generated by the sale surtax to ensure it was being used only for the purposes specified on the November 6, 2001 referendum and Ordinance No. 2001-123.  He stated that the committee shall review the expenditures of the one-cent sales tax revenue, provide semi-annual written and oral reports in April and October on the expenditures of the sales tax revenue at a joint public meeting of the Lake County Board of County Commissioners, the Lake County School Board and the municipalities that receive the surtax revenues. He added they will include in the bi-annual reports written recommendations as to the needs and concerns of the citizens and provide methods of addressing those concerns.  He specified that the committee would consist of no more than nine members and no less than six members as appointed by the Board, and he listed the current committee members. He noted that originally there were standardized forms for the cities, School Board and County to fill out which were given to the committee to review, and the paper copies were filed after the review and report to the Board.  He pointed out that there were a lot of public records requests for the forms, and it was becoming difficult to pull them together, adding that the format was unfavorable for viewing on the internet. He stated that the Information Technology (IT) Department came up with a better process to keep the records and to pull reports after reviewing all of the challenges.

Mr. Erikk Ross, Information Technology Department, reviewed the new process using the tracking application created by the IT Department.  He reported that the IT Department created a new web based tracking system called the Sales Surtax Tracking Application, which was completely built by the internal IT staff.  He stated that no additional resources or money were spent on the development of the project.  He relayed that the first step to using the application is to enter in the surtax revenues; the second step is to enter in the project details; and step three is to review the information that has been entered.  He pointed out that a benefit was that no manual work had to be done to create the reports because once all of the data is entered the reports can be generated through the application.  He commented that an immediate benefit was to be able to provide the community with more information through a more detailed description section.  He stated that the application eliminated all of the paper work and reduced manual work. He noted that all of the reports would be available on the website, www.lakecountyfl.gov and would be easily found by using the keywords, “sales surtax,” which would lead the user to the sales surtax committee page and would list all of the meetings, agendas and meeting minutes as well as the reports. He stated that on August 4, 2016 there was a meeting for all of the City Managers to receive a demonstration of the application, and following that the application was launched on August 8, 2016.  He commented that a request was made that all of the cities have their information inputted by the end of August, and during that time there were few questions on how to use the application and most of the feedback was positive.  He thanked all of the cities and School Board for entering in the information as requested and stated that on September 12, 2016 the committee met to review the information entered.  He reported that in March 2017 the cities and School Board would start using the tracking application to input all of their Fiscal Year 2016 actual numbers, and the committee would meet on April 10, 2017 to review the data.

Commr. Campione commented that the new tracking application was a wonderful way to access the information, and she appreciated the work done to create it.

Commr. Parks stated that he appreciated the work and that it is a good example of efficiency and transparency.


The Chairman called a recess at 10:16 a.m. for 15 minutes.

presentation – third quarter economic growth update

Mr. Robert Chandler, Director of Economic Growth, presented an update on economic development and tourism activities through the third quarter of 2016.  He commented that he first wanted to point out that the response and professionalism like what occurred during the hurricane does not go unnoticed by potential businesses because they can trust the way the response teams will take care of the community and handle the issues that come up. He stated that the unemployment rate as of August 2016 was 4.7 percent, which is one of the lowest rates for the county in the last four to five years, adding that the county had been below the state percentage for a number of years. He pointed out that the county reached a 3 percent employment growth, which had been positive each month since December 2010. He showed in December 2015 there was 4.5 percent Lake County job growth, which are jobs that are located within the county, and that had been continuing to increase toward pre-recession amounts. He noted that Lake County job growth is trending well and had been better on a percentage basis than the Orlando Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) and the State of Florida, which is another indicator that shows the health of the job market in the county.  He commented that 64 percent of the population of Lake County could currently find employment within Lake County; however, the goal would be to have the percentage in the low seventies. He stated that there had been year over year percentage growth in wages and pointed out that in the fourth quarter of 2015 there was 3.84 percent growth, which was almost double what the average had been since the recession. He reviewed that the unemployment rate was down 0.8 percentage points, employment was up 3 percent, the labor force was up 2 percent, job growth was up 4.5 percent, wages were up 3.84 percent and the job to labor force ratio was up 0.2 percentage points.

Mr. Chandler presented the business attraction update, pointing out that the lead generations going directly to the county office were almost double than what was coming in through other sources.  He commented that this is due to the economy picking up as well as marketing efforts done by staff.  He stated that there is high probability that the county will receive about 1,201 new jobs, which would bring about $142 million in capital investment. He opined that part of the reason for the increase is a renewed marketing effort for economic development and presented a pamphlet that gave the general feel and look of the marketing collateral. He added that all of the marketing material was done by staff in the Communications Department.  He gave an update on the Wellness Way Area Plan, noting that the ruling by the administrative law judge regarding the Cemex challenge was still being awaited and that right of way discussions had begun between private land owners and Conserv II. He stated that the Wolf Branch Innovation District interchange at State Road 46 was currently under construction with a proposed completion date of 2019, and to date there was one application received for a Planned Unit Development. He reported that the Minneola Interchange and access roads were well under way in construction with a completion date of 2020 for the system, and there had been four approved projects with 9,800 units and 4 million square feet of non-residential space. He relayed that Coreslab was under construction at 470 Commerce Park with a completion date of July 2017, and there were still 1,200 acres of land available but a lot of significant interest from potential buyers. He reviewed that the Wellness Way Strategic Advisory Committee request for proposal (FRP) would be finalized and issued in late October, and the Economic Development Incentive Revenue Program (REV) Grant incentive policy would be brought before the Board in December 2016. He reported that on October 4, 2016 there was a “Constructing a Better Lake County” Summit hosted in Clermont, the County hosted a “Partners in Progress” tour with Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer and his staff on August 31, 2016, and a presentation was given at the Four Corners Area Council on how to collaborate with the other counties to ensure that area has the right type of growth and programs that would benefit it.  He reported that a lot of larger projects were happening in the third quarter and pointed out that between site visits and community outreach events there had been over one thousand visits by the Economic Development Coordinators.  He noted that in the previous six months the Business Opportunity Centers (BOC) have had 206 distinct clients, 322 consulting sessions, 773 hours of consulting, and 14 distinct training events with 283 attendees.  He commented that the Manufacturing Task Force meeting was held on August 16, 2016, and it was determined that a Lake County Chapter of the Manufacturing Association of Central Florida would be started and the Work Force Task Force decided to move forward with the Summer Youth Employment Program, Career Tree and Ready to Work projects.

Mr. Chandler stated that the Tourist Development Tax (TDT) revenue continued to be strong and was up about 7 percent year to date and was projected to hit $2.7 million for 2016, which would be a record for Lake County. He pointed out that the State was down 3 percent from January through June 2016 due to issues happening around the state while the county was up. He reported that the average daily room rate back in 2012 was $66, and in 2016 the average daily room rate was currently $89, which was helping the revenue numbers to increase; however, there will be a cap to the increase based on the occupancy rates, which had been relatively flat.  He explained that AirBnB, which is an online home booking agency and vacation rental website that allows homeowners to rent out their homes or rooms to travelers, had grown significantly over the last three years. He described that historically no tourist development taxes had been collected on AirBnB transactions, but they were working with tax collectors across the state on agreements to collect the TDT.  He stated that 22 counties have agreements in place and that the Lake County Tax Collector was in on-going discussions with AirBnB, as there are 500-750 Lake County homes for rent and an estimated $250,000 to $500,000 in additional TDT revenue available.

Mr. Chandler reported that the Welcome Center was closed and that staff was continuing to research the viability of the kiosk program with mixed reviews coming in on it.  He elaborated that it was suggested that a pilot program be implemented with three to five kiosks placed in existing, high-visitation locations or to invest the funds in digital marketing to drive more traffic to the existing website. He stated that both of these viable solutions were brought before the Tourism Development Council (TDC), and the TDC decided to move forward with the pilot program.  He stated that staff had attended the Destination Marketing Association International, Florida Association of Destination Marketing Organizations, the Forest Wood Cup Expo, the Governor’s Conference on Tourism hosted by Visit Florida, and the Florida Festivals and Events Association where Lake County won two first place awards for best photo and best program, both related to the Wings and Wildflower Festival.  He mentioned that paid advertising had been done in the Orlando Sentinel, American Automobile Association (AAA) Living South Magazine and in the Allegiant Airline’s Sunseeker Magazine. He noted that the County had sponsored 90 events through the third quarter with a total grant amount of $438,175, which generated 26,669 room nights. He reviewed the 5th Annual Wings and Wildflower Festival that would take place on October 14 through 16, 2016 and he listed other notable events that took place in the third quarter, the successfully recruited events and the notable bids that had been submitted. He stated that there had been one capital project application submitted by the City of Clermont for their Victory Pointe project which is a $1.5 million renovation to the Waterfront Park that could become the epicenter for triathlons and waterfront events.  He said the City of Clermont requested $700,000, and it would come before the Board for final approval on November 8, 2016 if approved by the TDC.  He gave an update on the Lake County Welcome Center, stating that on June 7, 2016 the Board approved the surplus sale of the building, and the City of Groveland had expressed an interest in purchasing it to use as a new fire station.  He reported the progress that had been made on the Hickory Point Beach Fieldhouse, which was estimated to open in spring 2018.  He relayed that six cities and Lake Sumter State College had verbally committed to participating in Lake County Disc Golf, stating that the next step was to develop interlocal agreements with each partner and to start designing courses.

Commr. Campione stated that she appreciated all of the hard work being done and the work that went into the presentation. She said she was impressed and that it was nice to see items coming to fruition that had been in the works for some time. She asked if the marketing collateral was being passed out to city partners and chambers.

Mr. Chandler responded that the collateral was being finalized, and there would be a whole package created, which would be available for all partners and to be passed out at any trade shows the staff attends.

Commr. Parks opined that the collateral was done very well and done better than if it was outsourced. He noted that there was to be a rowing regatta that had to be moved to December due to Hurricane Matthew and that there would be some rowing teams coming over in the winter to train for extended periods of time.

Commr. Cadwell pointed out that work was being done with Lake Eustis Sailing Club as well, and efforts had been stepped up to offer assistance with promotion to gain more room nights.

Commr. Parks clarified that more business opportunity leads were coming directly to the Economic Growth Department as opposed to through a third party.

Mr. Chandler responded that it could be a result of a transition period that was taking place with Enterprise Florida, Inc. (EFI), and now the companies are doing their own work where historically the companies would have gone straight to EFI. He felt the County was being recognized as a valuable option due to increased transportation options.

Commr. Parks asked if there were any other specific items besides transportation that would draw these new businesses to Lake County.

Mr. Chandler stated that it cannot be pointed to one specific thing, but that a good example was the 470 Commerce Park, which is attractive to businesses because it is municipal owned land that already had the correct land use, zoning, and utilities and had gone through the Duke Energy of Florida, LLC study.

Commr. Cadwell pointed out that the quality of leads and bids being received in the tourism department were a direct reflection of the investments made to promote the county as a place for niche sports.  He stated that the Central Florida Sports Commission had a clear focus on what the county offers, which made it easier to sell and promote the area.  He commented that the bass tournaments that the county was holding were national events that are being televised and bring in a lot of money for the county.

Commr. Parks noted that the dialogue with the City of Orlando was important because it brings in major sporting events to the city, and having the county included in the brand was important to capitalize on for the niche sports.

Commr. Cadwell commented that the City of Orlando reaching out to the county was due to know them knowing what Lake County had to offer, which in turn helped them generate opportunities.

Medical marijuana ordinance

Commr. Parks asked that this be placed on the agenda because he believes Amendment 2, regarding the legalization and access to medical cannabis, will pass, and he wanted to be proactive in addressing some of the more common concerns that would come from the amendment passing. He suggested that there be options of an ordinance that was a business regulatory approach, an ordinance that requested a moratorium, as well as a zoning ordinance. He stated that a business regulatory ordinance could guarantee safe access to the medical marijuana but at the same time address concerns about the quantity and location of the dispensaries.   He commented that being proactive would ensure more control at the local level.

Mr. Vance Jochim, a writer of a blog on local government issues, commended Commr. Parks for bringing up the subject and doing some preplanning. He opined that the amendment should be turned down and encouraged the Board to campaign against it. He recalled his experience in dealing with people who had taken marijuana, and he feels as though those people are unreliable. He reported that he receives news information from conservative outlets in Colorado where a law similar to Amendment 2 was passed and is allegedly destroying the economy there.  He opined that the reason the amendment was placed on the ballot was so that companies could profit from it but also to use it as a way to attract younger voters to vote on progressive issues. He believed that it was a dangerous situation and that the public should be fighting against it. He suggested that the term “medical marijuana” is not an actual term as it had not been approved by the Federal Government, and while it had benefitted some individuals, he did not feel that Amendment 2 should be passed.

Commr. Parks clarified that there were three different ordinances to be discussed; however, the only action needed at that time would be to approve the advertisement of one, two or all three ordinances. He stated that he was personally supporting the business regulatory approach because it was specific to guaranteeing safe access to the individuals who need and use it in the right way as well as more control at the local level over quantity and location of the dispensaries.

            Commr. Campione stated that she was in support of advertising the temporary moratorium approach which would be in effect until it was determined what the state legislature regulations would be. She commented that she did not favor the ordinance that would make the County responsible for regulating the businesses, which she felt would be extra cost and policing for the County, when she believed the legislature would already be putting those regulations in place.

            Commr. Cadwell pointed out that if the temporary moratorium was passed, he would like to see additional verbiage added in regards to working with the cities to find a uniform zoning application which would allow for consistency.

            Commr. Campione opined that it was a good idea to have uniform zoning and stated that there needed to be dialogue with the cities that looked at the whole picture. She commented that having the temporary moratorium would protect the county, especially in the unincorporated areas.

            Commr. Conner stated that his first reaction was to vote “no” to the amendment because there was not a lot known about medical marijuana, but the more he learned about the process to distract Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and how it is used, he felt that it legitimately helped very ill individuals. He opined that the County should not regulate something they do not know much about, so the first thing that needed to happen was to gain real unbiased knowledge on what medical marijuana is and how it is used.

            Commr. Parks said that he felt the moratorium approach was better than no approach, but he opined that the problem is that legislation would be written behind the amendment, which states there would be five areas throughout the state where it would be legal, but it did not specify the quantity and location of the dispensaries within those areas. He commented that his concern is that if the legislation is overly conservative a local court could overrule the conservative approach, and the County would be left with either no or less than desirable regulations in place. He stated his main concern was where it would be dispensed to the public.

            Commr. Campione stated that if the amendment passed the legislature, they would need to do rule making that involved the State of Florida Department of Health (DOH) and to put an ordinance in place before knowing if the state regulatory side is efficient.

            Commr. Cadwell relayed the overall process, stating that there would be an acting legislation, then there would be a rule making process and then at that time the County would have an idea of what it could to do.  He suggested that the County make sure to stay engaged during the rule making process to ensure that it does not lose any of its local governing powers.  He added that a lot of the questions being raised would be answered through that process, but he felt that even though it was a conservative legislature, they would review the voting results, which could make it more available if the amendment passed substantially.

            Commr. Parks stated that if there was nothing in place and the amendment passes, the County could lose some of the local governing power.

            Commr. Campione relayed that because this was something new for the state, the legislature could put something more uniform in place across the State of Florida so that each county was not different. She reiterated that she felt the moratorium protects the County the most while waiting to see how the legislature responds, and then they could address any outstanding concerns and reach out to the cities.

            Commr. Sullivan agreed that the moratorium would be the best way to move forward, and it would give the County time to see what the state legislature sets in place, which would trump what the County would do if they put regulations in place now. He suggested having someone in place at the Florida Association of Counties to have a voice in the issue.

            Commr. Conner clarified that the regulatory ordinance being presented that day was not to regulate where the marijuana was grown but to regulate where it would be dispensed. He asked if a moratorium would delay the dispensing in any way.

            Commr. Campione stated that it was a temporary moratorium, because putting something in place permanently if the amendment is passed would be unconstitutional.  She relayed that putting the moratorium in place would keep a business from starting a dispensary until the regulations are in place.

            Commr. Parks commented that it would delay individuals from receiving the medical marijuana for the length of the temporary moratorium.

            Commr. Cadwell mentioned that as soon as the regulations were set, the Board would move forward with what the legislature had put in place and any applicable zoning regulations.

            Commr. Conner suggested that protections be placed in the ordinance so that the commission can lift the moratorium earlier if the legislative regulations were put in place sooner than the ordinance describes. He was concerned that if the legislature developed the regulations sooner than the length of time the moratorium sets forth, the Board would not be able to lift the moratorium to allow for dispensing. 

            Mr. Heath stated that the State of Florida Legislature would have six months to develop regulations if the amendment is passed. He clarified that if the moratorium was approved at six months, it would match the time frame the legislature had to develop the regulations. He commented that nothing precluded the Board from revisiting the moratorium and repealing it.

            Commr. Conner asked why there needed to be a moratorium.

            Commr. Parks responded that if nothing was done then there will be no protection for the county in place.

            Commr. Campione added that it was possible that the Board would know how to proceed on a local level based off of what the state legislature puts in place.

            Mr. Heath commented that the moratorium keeps the County and all of the cities on the same page and would instruct the Lake County Tax Collector not to issue business receipt taxes for any new dispensaries. He recalled different land uses that had been applied for in the past which caused some cities to join with the County in creating uniform regulations and zoning while other cities saw it as a chance for economic development and were willing to issue permits with different regulations. He clarified that the action needed that day was to choose one, two or all three ordinances to be advertised as public hearings and to waive the requirement for a 5:05 PM public hearing time.

Commr. Cadwell pointed out that if anything other than the moratorium was advertised, it did not allow for input from the cities, adding that the moratorium allowed time for dialogue with the cities.

Commr. Conner asked if the Board was planning to involve the cities prior to passing the moratorium. He stated that he would like it to be a smooth process and wanted to be sure that the very sick who could benefit from the use of medical marijuana would be able to get access to it. He suggested that a special meeting be requested with the League of Cities to discuss the issue so that the cities understand they will be included from the beginning and all could agree to a moratorium to put uniform regulations in place if they are needed.

Commr. Sullivan responded that there was an upcoming meeting, and he could take the moratorium approach to them for discussion.

Commr. Cadwell stated he agreed with the moratorium if the language in the ordinance included verbiage that allowed for discussion with the cities.

Commr. Parks clarified that at that time, the only ordinance that was being considered would be the moratorium approach, and he would like to have the language of the motion include that the reason the moratorium was being considered was to reach out to the cities and to coordinate location criteria and the number of dispensaries.

Commr. Conner asked why the 5:05 PM public hearing time was being waived, because he felt that there could be residents that would want to attend who would not be able to make an earlier public hearing time due to their employment.

Commr. Campione stated that the hearing was only to address the moratorium, not to debate the amendment or regulatory issues.

On a motion by Commr. Campione, seconded by Commr. Sullivan and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the advertisement of an ordinance for a temporary moratorium and that as part of the motion the Board reaches out to all of the cities of Lake County to discuss embarking on the moratorium jointly and working together on locational and regulatory issues that protect the County and all of the cities as a whole as well as waiving the requirement that the public hearing be held after 5:00 PM.

reports – Commissioner SULLIVAN – district 1

league of cities

Commr. Sullivan stated that he attended the League of Cities sponsorship dinner, and he appreciated all of the staff support. He commented that he would speak to the cities about the temporary moratorium concerning Amendment No. 2 during the next League of Cities meeting taking place on Friday October 14, 2016.


career online high school graduation

Commr. Campione stated that she was honored to give the commencement address for five graduating students of the pilot Career Online High School Program through the Lake County Library System. She commented that it was inspiring to hear the students’ stories and is hopeful that the State of Florida will continue the program.


better lake county summit

Commr. Parks thanked staff and Mr. Robert Chandler for putting together the Better Lake County Summit where 70 builders and developers attended to discuss best practices as the County moves forward with new development.


There being no further business to be brought to the attention of the Board, the meeting was adjourned at 11:52 a.m.




sean M. parks, chairman