june 20, 2017

The Lake County Board of County Commissioners met in regular session on Tuesday, June 20, 2017 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:  Timothy I. Sullivan, Chairman; Leslie Campione, Vice Chairman; Sean Parks; Wendy Breeden; and Josh Blake.  Others present were:  Jeff Cole, 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

Mr. David Hopkins, Executive Director of the Benton House of Clermont, gave the Invocation and led the Pledge of Allegiance.

Agenda update

Mr. Jeff Cole, County Manager, announced that there were several changes to the agenda, including pulling the item regarding commercial design standards originally under Tab 27 and the citizen appointment to the Keep Lake Beautiful board originally under Tab 29.  He related that they added an addendum to the agenda under a revised Tab 29, which was a consent item under the County Attorney’s office requesting approval to execute the South Lake Medical Arts Center Association’s limited proxy and for the Chairman to execute an agreement with the Belgian Capital Fund LLC.

Minutes approval

On a motion by Commr. Breeden, seconded by Commr. Blake, and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved the Minutes of April 4, 2017 (Regular Meeting) and April 18, 2017 (Regular Meeting) as presented.

citizen question and comment period

Mr. Carl Ludecke, an American Legion representative, requested that the Board fund two more veterans service officers to supplement the two they have in order to be in line with the other seven surrounding counties in the number of service officers.


On a motion by Commr. Parks, seconded by Commr. Campione and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved the Clerk of Courts’ Consent Agenda, Items 1 through 4, 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.

Comprehensive Annual Financial Report and CRA Annual Report from City of Clermont

Request to acknowledge receipt of the City of Clermont’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report and the Community Redevelopment Agency Annual Report for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2016.

Proposed Budget for Estates at Cherry Lake CDD

Request to acknowledge receipt of the proposed budget of the Estates at Cherry Lake Community Development District for Fiscal Year 2017/2018 scheduled for Public Hearing on Tuesday, August 1, 2017, in accordance with Section 190.008(b), Florida Statutes, and for posting on the website of the Lake County Board of County Commissioners at least two days prior to the public hearing, pursuant to Section 189.016(4), Florida Statutes.

Southwest Florida Water Management District’s AFR and CAFR

Request to acknowledge receipt of the Fiscal Year 2016 Annual Financial Report (AFR) and a CD of the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) for the fiscal year ended September 30, 2016 from the Southwest Florida Water Management District, pursuant to Section 373.5071, Florida Statutes, along with a transmittal of these items dated June 2, 2017.


On a motion by Commr. Breeden, seconded by Commr. Blake and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the Consent Agenda, Tabs 3 through 23 and Tab 29, as follows:


Request for approval of Proclamation No. 2017-70 designating July 2017 as Park and Recreation Month. There is no fiscal impact.

Community Services

Request for approval of the Florida Commission for the Transportation Disadvantaged (CTD) Trip and Equipment Grant Application and supporting Resolution No. 2017-71 for FY 2017-2018. The fiscal impact is $851,576 (County Portion: $85,157 / Grant Funded: $766,419) (Expense).

Request for approval of the Lake County Mental Health Transportation Plan in accordance with F.S. 394.462 (2016).

Community Safety and Compliance

Request for approval of the Department of Children and Families Criminal Justice, Mental Health and Substance Abuse reinvestment grant final report. This was a 3-year grant for $1.2 million from 2014-2017. There is no fiscal impact.

Request for approval to execute agreement with the Michelson Found Animals Foundation Inc. (Found Animals Registry, Los Angeles) for continued purchase of identification microchips used within the County's animal shelter.  The estimated annual fiscal impact is $25,000 (expense).

Request for approval of Resolution No. 2017-72 for unanticipated revenue of up to $15,000 from the Florida Department of Transportation Drive It Home Grant to benefit the Keep Lake Beautiful Program.  (Fiscal Impact: up to $15,000 Revenue and Expense).

County Attorney

Request for approval of the Lease Agreement between Lake County and Hunt Family III, LLC d/b/a Hunt Industrial Park for new location of the South Lake Business Opportunity Center (BOC) at 15390 County Road 565A, Suite F, Groveland; and approval for Property Manager to send letter to City of Minneola terminating the existing Lease Agreement effective June 30, 2017, which includes waiving the 60-day notice requirement.  The fiscal impact for FY17 is $4,930 for July through September 2017 ($19,720 for FY18).

Request for approval to award bids for the sale of surplus County-owned property to the highest bidders to purchase the following Alternate Keys: 1205557, 1319323, 1538718, 3684940, and 3871976; and approval for Chairman to execute any necessary closing documents.  The fiscal impact is $9,151.99.

Request for approval of Settlement Agreement with NWS Holdings, LLC.  The fiscal impact is $2,000 (Revenue).

Request for approval of a Stipulated Settlement Agreement in Virginia Diane Hicks a/k/a Diane Hicks (Circuit Court Case No. 2017-CA-764) and authorization for County Attorney to execute the Stipulated Settlement Agreement.  The fiscal impact is $8,990.86 (Revenue).

Request for approval for Property Manager to execute the South Lake Medical Arts Center Association’s Limited Proxy and Chairman to execute agreement between Lake County and Belgian Capital Fund, LLC, regarding South Lake Medical Arts Center.  There is no fiscal impact.

Facilities Development and Management

Request for approval of four (4) contracts for the provision of vehicle painting and body repair services on an as-needed basis under Request for Proposal (RFP) 17-0614 to Beverage Body and Trailer (Leesburg), Caliber Collision (Clermont), Coachcrafters, Inc. (Tavares), and Prestige Ford (Mt. Dora), and authorize the Procurement Office to execute all supporting documentation. The fiscal impact will vary dependent on need. Prior fiscal year expenditures for these services were approximately $175,000.

Fiscal and Administrative Services

Request for approval of Unanticipated Revenue Resolution No. 2017-73 for the receipt of funds from the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) for the Supervisor of Elections Office. The fiscal impact is $52,151 (revenue).

Request for approval to (1) declare the items on the attached list surplus to County needs, (2) authorize the removal of all of the items on the attached list from the County’s official fixed asset inventory system records, (3) authorize the Procurement Manager to execute any required title documents.

Human Resources

Request for approval to award a contract to Florida Combined Life, Jacksonville, Florida, to provide Group Dental Insurance Services for the employee benefits program and to approve the employee premium shares as attached.  It is also requested that the Board authorize the Procurement Manager to sign the appropriate forms necessary to bind the coverage associated with this agenda item.  The estimated fiscal impact for FY 2018 is $465,000 of which $281,000 will be paid by the County and $184,000 will be paid by the employees.

Public Safety

Request for approval of the Interlocal Agreement between Lake County and City of Leesburg, Florida, for Continuity of Operations Plan.  There is no fiscal impact.

Request for approval to accept grant award (M5064) from the Florida Department of Health EMS Division. The grant award is $90,000 for paramedic training and requires a local match of $30,000 from Fire Rescue for the purchase of ALS equipment. The grant total budget is $120,000 and will assist in converting BLS units to ALS status. The initial request for the grant submission was brought before the Board and approved on January 24, 2017.

Public Resources

Request for approval and signature of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Florida Communities Trust Grant Agreement for improvements, amenities and nature-based activities at Lake May Reserve and approval for the County Manager to sign any subsequent grant documents as necessary.  The fiscal impact is $1,500,000.00 (100% Grant-Funded Revenue/Expenditure). Commission District 4.

Public Works

Request for approval and signature on Resolution No. 2017-74 to establish the speed limit of 25 MPH on Mathews Road (7720) in the Lady Lake area, Section 7, Township 18, Range 25. There is no fiscal impact.  Commission District 5.

Request for approval and signature on Resolution No. 2017-75 authorizing the reduction of the speed limit on Good Hearth Blvd (1262) from 30 MPH to 25 MPH and to establish a speed limit of 25 MPH on Abbey Hill Court (1262B) in the Clermont area, Section 26, Township 22, Range 26.  There is no fiscal impact.  Commission District 2.

Request for approval to accept the final plat for Love’s Landing Hillside Phase 1 and all areas dedicated to the public as shown on the Love’s Landing Hillside Phase 1 plat. Love’s Landing Hillside Phase 1 contains 2 lots and is located off Marion County Road in Northwest Lake County, in Section 3, Township 18 South, Range 24 East.  There is no fiscal impact.  Commission District 5.

Request for approval and authorization for the Chairman to sign (each page) of the FY 17/18 Detailed Work Plan Budget - Arthropod Control for the Lake County Mosquito Management Program. The projected amount to be received from the State of Florida for FY 17/18 is $32,468.00.  Fiscal impact: 100% Grant Funded.

public hearings: rezonings

rezoning consent agenda

Mr. Tim McClendon, Planning and Zoning Manager, Economic Growth Department, displayed the advertisements for that day’s rezoning cases on the overhead monitor and noted that Tabs 1 through 7 were approved by the Planning and Zoning Board on May 31.  He added that Tab 7 was an extension to a sunset provision in Ordinance No. 2014-32, and one of the conditions in that ordinance requires Board approval for that extension.  He requested that the Board approve the Consent Agenda consisting of Tabs 1 through 7.

The Chairman opened the public hearing.

There being no one who wished to address the Board regarding any cases on the Rezoning Consent Agenda, the Chairman closed the public hearing.

On a motion by Commr. Campione, seconded by Commr. Breeden and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the Rezoning Consent Agenda, Tabs 1 through 7, as follows:

Tab 1.  Ordinance No. 2017-28

Rezoning Case RZ-17-06-1

Charitable Ministry CFD Amendment


Tab 2.  Ordinance No. 2017-29

Rezoning Case RZ-17-04-4

Insight Christian Center CFD Rezoning


Tab 3.  Ordinance No. 2017-30

Rezoning Case RZ-17-05-5

Harmony Hills CFD Amendment


Tab 4.

Rezoning Case CP-17-03

Naval Undersea Warfare Center Okahumpka

Mission Impact Zones Overlay District


Tab 5.

Rezoning Case CP-17-04

Family Density Exception

Comprehensive Plan Amendment


Tab 6.

Rezoning Case CP-17-05

Amendment to Policy 1-7.1.3

Existing Lot Exception for Density


Tab 7.  Ordinance No. 2017-31

Rezoning Case MCUP# 14/5/1-5

Goose Prairie Mining Conditional Use Permit Sunset Extension

departmental business

county manager

letter from sumter county administrator regarding mpo

Mr. Cole recapped that he and the County Attorney, who also served as the MPO attorney, met on June 5 with the Lake-Sumter Metropolitan Planning Organization’s (MPO) Executive Director for the purpose of executing the Executive Director’s separation agreement, which was scheduled to be considered by the MPO on August 23.  He related that he then received a copy of a letter from Mr. Bradley Arnold, the Sumter County Administrator, to the Governor dated June 6 recommending that the MPO board should be reduced in size from its current 16 voting members to 5 voting members and that the MPO should act as an independent entity.  He requested direction from the Board regarding any formal response to Mr. Arnold’s letter, and he pointed out that there was a draft letter in the backup from Commr. Campione for the Board’s consideration.

Commr. Sullivan commented that he believed that they needed to respond accordingly.

Commr. Breeden stated that she would like to take a closer look at the letter from Commr. Campione and make some minor changes to it; however, she expressed agreement that they needed to send the letter.  She added that the County Attorney’s Office had done some research regarding other MPO’s in Florida which indicated that the number of voting members in the Lake-Sumter MPO was not out of line with other MPO’s, which mostly range from 9 to 27 members, although she believed that the Lake-Sumter MPO website could be more clear about which members were voting members.  She opined that during this transition that they are currently experiencing is not the time to make quick decisions, and more research should be done to be sure that the organization was still viable.

Commr. Sullivan stated that his intention was to get consensus on the direction the Board wants to take, and he commented that they should incorporate as many things as they could from Commr. Campione’s letter into the letter the Board would send to the Governor, since she had written a great letter.  He mentioned that he believed they needed to discuss many of these issues at the MPO meeting rather than in this forum.  He indicated that he was not opposed to looking at a possible change in the organization, but he believed that five members were too few.  He pointed out that since transportation planning affected every municipality, the cities needed to have at least some representation, and he reiterated that the structure of the MPO was consistent with others. He opined that it was not in the best interest of Lake County to be a member of Metroplan Orlando and indicated that he was willing to sign the letter they would send.

Commr. Campione explained that the idea behind the letter was to have a starting point and noted that the Commissioners might all have different views regarding this issue.  She commented that she felt it was important to put forth her impression as tactfully as possible after reading the Sumter County letter that was sent to the Governor without being copied to any of the Lake County Commissioners or the MPO governing board.  She pointed out that Lake County would only have one seat at Metroplan, with the cities possibly rotating one seat among themselves, although they were in three separate urbanized areas.  She noted that a five-member board would thwart the whole purpose of an MPO as stated in both the state and federal regulations, which was based on the urbanized areas and representation of the cities that are in those areas in order for collaboration, participation, and prioritization, and would be contrary to the best interest of the residents within those cities and Lake County.  She urged all five Commissioners to sign the letter to show that the Board was unified on this issue and to travel to Tallahassee to present their position, noting that the Governor does not know that the Board is opposed to the options presented in Sumter County’s letter and that their silence could be construed as acquiescence.

Commr. Parks stated that he fully supported Commr. Campione’s comments and recapped that the MPOs were set up when highways and large roads were constructed without a thought to consulting the local community, and the MPO was a tool which gave the local communities and governments a way to stay involved with the major road projects.  He opined that going to Metroplan would be a big mistake for Lake County and would give more power to bureaucracy by taking it out of the local elected officials’ hands.  He added that he believed they needed to send the letter soon.

Commr. Campione pointed out that Lake County currently only has one common project with Metroplan, which was the Wekiva Parkway that was actually being managed by CFX and FDOT (Florida Department of Transportation).  She stated that the comparison she had done of the issues that their MPO was dealing with that were mentioned in their operational audit with that of other entities indicated that the most serious issue regarding recordkeeping and time tracking were not nearly as serious as the issues and problems faced by other entities.  She pointed out that they had been also instituting a new procedure at the same time that FDOT was putting in a new procedure, which compounded the problem.  She opined that the focus on the Executive Director was at least partially a guise masking other issues, although she realized that there were valid issues that needed to be addressed.  She commented that she believed it was important to mention some context about the administrator and the circumstances in the letter, including that the MPO board was in the process of putting in place initial corrective action and a multitude of policies, including a change to the policy regarding staff working from home which required staff to be present at their office.  She summarized that many issues were addressed which had a positive impact on the organization, and she wanted to convey enough context in the letter to illustrate that the MPO was in the process of fixing some problems in the organization.  She concluded that being part of Metroplan was not in the best interest of Lake County.

Commr. Breeden agreed that it was important to include some background in the letter in order to give the Governor information about what brought them to this point.

Commr. Campione suggested that they could add an addendum that would give some chronology.

Commr. Blake commented that it was obvious everyone on the Board agreed that they should not join Metroplan, and he expressed concern that there were a lot of nonvoting members on the MPO, which he noted was a peripheral and not serious issue.  He stated that he agreed that they should write a letter, but he would like some more time to look at and work with staff on it.

Commr. Sullivan commented that time was of the essence, and he asked Ms. Marsh whether the letter needed to be approved during a public meeting.

Ms. Marsh answered that her office could put the Board’s comments into a document that was signed by all five Commissioners to be presented at their July 11 meeting when this would be on the agenda, since circulating drafts could be a Sunshine Law violation.

Commr. Campione suggested that the County Manager contact the Governor’s office to request a meeting to discuss the fact that the Board was opposed to joining Metroplan.

Commr. Sullivan responded that he could send that letter and clarified that there was consensus for the Chairman to send a letter to the Governor requesting a meeting to discuss the implications of Sumter County’s suggestions regarding Metroplan Orlando or a reduced MPO board and the Board’s opposition to those ideas, with a letter containing more detailed comments to follow after their next BCC meeting on July 11 and a request to keep MPO in its current format with maybe minor changes.

Mr. Pat Kelly, Mayor of Minneola and Chairman of the Lake-Sumter MPO, mentioned that there were a lot of ongoing projects in Minneola which were very important for economic development that were collaborative with the County and the City of Clermont, and the MPO tied them together.  He expressed concern that they would have very little influence as part of Metroplan Orlando, and he opined that it was very important to keep the MPO intact.  He offered to add his signature to the letter that the Board was planning to send to the Governor as the Chairman of the MPO.  He concluded that he will support whatever the Board wanted to do and that the Minneola City Council will be addressing this issue at their meeting that evening.

Ms. Marsh responded that they will just send the letter signed by the Board at this point.

Commr. Campione stated that she did not think it would hurt for the cities to reach out to the Sumter County Commission to present the scenario Mr. Kelly just described of projects that needed the coordination that would not be available at Metroplan.

Mr. Kelly added that the MPO gives them the ability to have open dialogue with other parts of the county so that they are aware of why certain projects take priority to what is going on in South Lake County.  He also pointed out that Lake County has a lot more large cities than Sumter County has, and those cities needed a voice.

Commr. Campione elaborated one of the largest benefits of an MPO is that it prevented resentment among the municipalities regarding transportation projects, since they get a chance to see why a specific project is important to that particular area, especially in a county as geographically large as Lake County.  She explained that they have a large amount of nonvoting members so that they could answer questions and stay informed and involved.

Commr. Parks added that a dialogue regarding priority projects would not happen at Metroplan or if there were only a five-member board, and a lot of projects would be lost.

 Mr. Ray Goodgame, Clermont City Councilman, commented that the letter from Sumter County did not show another obvious option for Sumter County of joining the Ocala-Marion MPO, which he opined would be more compatible for them than the Lake-Sumter MPO, since Lake County and Sumter County were very different.  He also opined that the Lake County portion of the MPO was still a great organization and serves the purpose for which the MPO’s were established to do.  He commented that he believed that the Sumter County Commissioner has voted mostly negatively on most of the articles and issues that came before the MPO.  He added that Mr. T. J. Fish, Executive Director of the Lake-Sumter MPO, has had a hard time replacing a key employee who had died suddenly, but that he felt that Mr. Fish had been a great director for the MPO, citing Mr. Fish’s accomplishments over the years, his fairness in distributing the projects, and his expertise regarding Lake County’s needs.  He concluded that the Lake MPO was a great organization before Sumter County joined it and would be an even better organization if Sumter County finds a new group to join.

Commr. Campione mentioned to Mr. Goodgame that the Board had also discussed the possibility of the cities also sending a letter to the Governor and a letter to Sumter County constructively explaining why it was so important to have the cities involved in the consideration of the urbanized areas within Lake County.

Ms. Marsh asked that Commr. Sullivan bring any questions or comments to her directly while drafting the letter, so that she would be their point person for the new draft.

recess and reassembly

The Chairman announced at 9:42 a.m. that there would be a ten-minute recess.

work session - Budget summary for fiscal year 2018

Mr. Steve Koontz, Assistant County Manager, stated that the purpose of the workshop was to provide the Board with an overview of the FY 2018 budget, noting that it would include a culmination of all the presentations that the Board has seen over the last few months.  He displayed a chart of the June 1st best estimate of property values showing that a 7.92 percent increase in value from FY 2017 is expected for the General Fund Countywide Millage, the Ambulance MSTU (Municipal Service Taxing Unit), and the Public Lands Voted Debt; as well as a 5.76 percent increase in the Stormwater, Roads, and Parks MSTU and a 5.73 percent increase in the Fire Rescue EMS fund.  He summarized that there had been 16 budget workshops with the Board, gave the dates of those workshops which occurred from January 10 through June 6, 2017, and gave summaries of all of those presentations.  He mentioned that the Communications Department proposed budget had a slight increase from last year, maintained the current level of service, and included tracking software to track the work they were doing, a new video camera, and some online training for technical staff.  He related that the FY 2018 proposed budget for the Community Safety and Compliance Department included an increase to the Animal Shelter budget, which was a timing issue reflecting that the shelter would be under the County for a full year, and three new full-time employees for the Animal Shelter based on the consultant’s recommendation; eliminated one limited-term position in Probation Services as their work load has leveled off; and maintained the existing levels of service for the Keep Lake Beautiful program.  He recapped that the Information Technology Department’s proposed FY 2018 budget was status quo, maintained the current levels of service, included cybersecurity initiatives, and included cloud development and support.  He noted that the Public Resources Department’s FY 2018 proposed budget was also status quo and maintained the current levels of service, although it addressed the additional recreational needs in Parks and Trails and included Parks and Trails capital projects funded with the Sales Tax reauthorization; however, it did not include funding for outstanding capital repairs or for the County assuming ownership and operation of the Woodlea Sports Complex in Tavares.

Mr. Koontz reported that the FY 2018 proposed budget for the Community Services Department maintained the levels of service for the Housing and Transit Divisions, included an increase in the General Fund transfer for taking on a new contract for operation and maintenance of the Transit Division, and included one new position for an additional Veterans Service Officer; however, he pointed out that the requests for additional funding for LifeStream Behavioral Center and Lake Community Action Agency were not included in the proposed budget.  He mentioned that there would be a transit workshop to be scheduled later this year.  He related that the Solid Waste Division presented a status quo budget maintaining the existing levels of service, and he noted that there were no reserves under the Solid Waste Fund, since those had been absorbed.  He stated that he would come back before the Board at a later date with a bear container deployment plan.  He mentioned that there would be no change to the Solid Waste Assessment rates, and staff was working with the three haulers on budget-neutral items.  He recapped that the Public Safety Department’s presentation of their FY 2018 proposed budget included the three main divisions of Emergency Management, Communications Technologies, and Fire Rescue, all of which were status quo.  He specified that the Communications Technologies Division budget included a 911 recorder system that was offset by a grant, and the E911 fund was no longer in a position to transfer funds to the General Fund to offset the salaries of the call takers for the Sheriff’s Office.  He elaborated that the Fire Rescue budget maintained the current levels of service, included the conversion of two BLS (Basic Life Support) stations to ALS (Advanced Life Support), reclassified six positions to address organizational needs, and addressed the $672,000 shortfall in the fire assessment.  He related that the Fire Assessment Study included a staff analysis indicating that staff concurred with the Tindale Oliver study, noted that there was a slight change in incident and resource distribution, and pointed out that inclusion of vacant land would more equitably distribute the cost of the fire rescue services and that the rates for all land uses would increase if vacant land was not included in the allocation.  He stated that the staff recommended budget for fire services would maintain the current levels of service and provide a minimal amount of reserves, and he would be presenting a resolution on July 11 to the Board that would include vacant land as part of the assessment rate schedule for inclusion on the TRIM notices if approved.

Mr. Koontz pointed out that the Facilities and Fleet Management Department’s FY 2018 proposed budget reflected a reduction of 6 percent due to Transit maintenance being outsourced as part of the new Transit operations and maintenance contract but reflected a constant level of service for all other operations.  He recapped that there were a number of things that were discussed during the Human Resources Department’s proposed budget presentation, including that the budget was status quo, the Property and Casualty Fund would have an anticipated increase in the property and liability insurance premiums and will be closely monitored due to the declining balance and reserves in that fund, and the Employee Benefits Fund was adequately funded with an expected slight increase in medical claims included in the budget.  He related that based on that information, staff proposed that the employee health insurance premiums remain the same and that they continue the discount for completing the Health Risk Assessment as approved last year.  He reported that the three divisions within the Public Works Department all are expected to maintain a status quo budget and current levels of service for FY 2018; however, there were some slight increases in the Engineering Division budget due to an increase in professional services as well as some increase in material cost of the thermo-striping.  He noted that the Economic Growth Department’s FY 2018 proposed budget maintained the current levels of service for Economic Development, Tourism, and Planning and Zoning; as well as increased the levels of service for Building Services to accommodate the increase in building activity, included the funding for the Hickory Point Fieldhouse and Victory Pointe capital funding projects from the Tourist Development Council budget, and did not reflect potential Economic Development and Tourism reorganization.  He mentioned that except for the Tax Collector, who submits his budget on August 1, the Constitutional Officers are required to turn in their budgets by June 1, and he displayed a chart comparing those budgets from the FY 2017 amended budget after midyear illustrating that there were some increases in FY 2018 from FY 2017, including about $2.2 million for the Sheriff.  He noted that three-percent raises were included in the Property Appraiser and Supervisor of Elections (SOE) budgets, the Clerk of Court would request additional funding to give raises should the Board decide to do so, the SOE request included ADA compliant voting equipment in the amount of $490,980, and there was an increase of $223,000 in the Sheriff’s budget for School Resource Officers.

Mr. Koontz discussed some non-departmental budget items, including that the 15 Community Redevelopment Agencies (CRA) received incremental funding on property values over a set base, with General Fund CRA payments totaling $1.8 million in FY 2017 and $2.2 million in FY 2018 because of the increases in values within the cities and the CRA areas.  He listed some status quo non-departmental items that would stay the same as the current year, such as the federal and state lobbyists, the National Association of Counties, the Lake County League of Cities, Trout Lake, and the Lake County Historical Society, as well as those that are expected to show slight increases, such as the Florida Association of Counties of about $1,700 and a three-percent increase in the Medical Examiner’s budget.  He added that funding for employee raises has been included in the proposed budget to be effective in January 2018 and included a performance based component.  He reminded the Commissioners that the Board was now required to have a public hearing in August to review the FY 2018 infrastructure sales tax budget, which was when staff will bring projects back to the Board for the new authorization and finish out the old authorization, and he recapped that there was a presentation made to the Board on December 20, 2016 on priorities and a five-year funding plan for the infrastructure sales tax.  He pointed out that FY 2018 would be a transition year, since the current authorization will end on December 31, 2017, and they will have proceeds from the new authorization from January to September.  He specified that proceeds from the first quarter would be divided equally among public works projects and the funding of debt service, and the new authorization would be used for the funding priorities that the Board had previously discussed.  He announced that the public hearing to review the FY 2018 infrastructure sales tax budget was tentatively set for August 8, 2017.  He recapped that the goals and objectives were revised by the Board for the FY 2017 budget document, and some minor revisions have been made based on the discussion at the Board retreat in January, including the transfer of the Animal Shelter from the Sheriff and priority for building inspection funding.

Mr. Koontz related that the staff had been working on putting together the General Fund budget based on all of the presentations from the departments as well as the Constitutional Officers’ requests and the information that they had on the ad valorem revenue.  He commented that there was indication that the values might come in higher than the 7.92 increase in property values expected, and they would get the certified values on July 1, which was what they would actually use to put together the General Fund budget.  He pointed out that at this time the reserves met the minimum of the 7 percent per the Board policy, but they were still working through some challenges regarding the General Fund, so the departments have been directed to continue to look for efficiencies and possible reductions short term as well as long term.  He added that the County Manager has also been working with the Constitutional Offices to look for efficiencies and ways to reduce the budget.  He noted that some of the challenges with the General Fund was that expenses have exceeded revenues, which brings down the fund balance figure; the infrastructure sales tax that had been available to help offset debt service in the General Fund would be reduced; the E911 fund could no longer support a transfer to the General Fund for 911 takers; and there were increases in the funding requests from the Constitutional Officers. He mentioned that one of the future challenges was the potential increase to the homestead exemption and the fact that there would not be any sales tax available for debt service, which was about $5.4 million, starting in FY 2019.  He reported that the overall change in their revenue would only be about 3 percent rather than the 7.9 percent increase due to reductions in revenues in other areas.  He concluded that the next steps after the certified values were due on July 1 would be a discussion of the recommended budget, setting of the maximum millages for the TRIM notice, and adoption of the assessment resolutions on July 11; receipt of the Tax Collector’s budget on August 1; the Infrastructure Sales Tax and Road Program public hearings on August 8; the first budget public hearings on September 12; and the final budget public hearings on September 26.

Commr. Campione asked when the added homestead exemption would go into effect if it was adopted by referendum and how much revenue loss was estimated from that.

Mr. Koontz responded that it would go into effect in FY 2019-2020, which was two years from now, and $10 million was estimated to be lost countywide including city millages, $5.1 million of that from the County’s General Fund.  He added that it would affect all five millages that the Board oversees.

Commr. Breeden recapped that LifeStream had a request several years ago to increase the County’s contribution to them by $100,000 for three years.  She noted that although it was increased for the last two years, there has been no discussion this year about that, and she would at least like to discuss the possibility, since LifeStream does a lot of good in the county.

Commr. Sullivan commented that he was not opposed to that, but that he would follow the direction of the Board.  He clarified that there was currently no $100,000 increase for LifeStream in the proposed budget, which the Board has granted over the last two years.

Commr. Parks commented that the number of people with mental health issues and being detained under the Baker Act was growing exponentially, and he believed they should look at providing funding for taking care of this serious issue.

Commr. Breeden commented that they are fortunate to have the quality of service provided by LifeStream in this county in the non-profit sector.

Commr. Campione asked what that money would specifically be used for and whether it was directly related to the Baker Act needs.

Commr. Parks responded that it went for a variety of things last year, but they would need to know more about what it would be used for this year.

Commr. Campione pointed out that they were seeing definite increases in the Constitutional Offices’ budgets this year that would affect their budget and what the Board could fund and not fund.  She indicated that she was open to having a discussion to find out more, but she felt they needed to be diligent and careful, since there were other budget issues that they might have to deal with in the next year or two, including the increased homestead exemption.

Commr. Parks stated that he was confident that the new County Manager was looking for efficiencies in the departments but was also keeping in mind that people are a priority.

Commr. Blake commented that although he was completely in support of LifeStream and their mission, he was hesitant to give anyone that much of an increase without discussing and weighing what it would be used for, since the next two years would be uncertain regarding the County’s budget.

Mr. Cole stated that he would discuss this issue with the Director of LifeStream and get back to the Board with more information about how that additional $100,000 would be used.  He mentioned that he had met with all of the department directors to look at a broad range of ideas for efficiencies in this current year’s budget as well as next year’s budget, including the capital purchases planned for the remainder of this year as well as what is programmed in for next year, such as the reallocation of vehicles resources.

Commr. Sullivan commented that the homestead exemption issue had the potential to have a serious effect on funding for all of the government entities, and anything in this budget was subject to change in the years to come due to fiscal constraints they might have in the future.  He added that he also believed it was important to retain the 7 percent fund balance in reserves.

reports – county attorney

update on property assessed clean energy program

Ms. Melanie Marsh, County Attorney, gave the Board an update regarding the PACE (Property Assessed Clean Energy) program since the discussion the Board had in February regarding this issue when the PACE providers were seeking authorization from the Board to start offering that program to residents in unincorporated Lake County.  She recapped that the Board directed her office at that time to try to negotiate some agreements with those providers and bring them back.  She noted, however, that there had been several bills pending in the state legislature regarding PACE, and although no action was taken in the state legislature on the PACE program, there was a class action lawsuit filed in California against one of the PACE providers that might affect residents in Florida alleging numerous deceptive practices.  She elaborated that the lawsuit was currently at a fairly early stage and has not gotten to the point where a class action has been certified yet.  She recommended that the Board wait to see what happens and whether it gets certified as a class action lawsuit that would affect participants in the State of Florida before going forward with anything regarding this issue and assured the Board that she will keep them updated.

Commr. Sullivan opined that it was important to delay that, because the Tax Collector would have to collect that money, and they were currently having issues with the computer infrastructure after taking on added duties such as driver’s licenses.

reports – county manager

new animal services manager

Mr. Jeff Cole, County Manager, related that he had hired a new Animal Services Division Manager, Ms. Whitney Boylston, about a week ago who has been implementing some great new ideas for the Animal Shelter.  He added that the Communications Department was working closely with her to help publicize the availability of animals, and they were seeing some good results from that.  He also announced that this was the last day with the County for Mr. Brian Sheahan, Community Safety and Compliance Director.

reports – commissioner parks – district 2

appointment to central florida expressway right of way committee

Commr. Parks explained that the Florida Expressway set up various committees to give representation and fair coverage of certain important issues, and Mr. Sandy Minkoff, the County’s former County Attorney, was leaving the Central Florida Expressway Right of Way Committee.  He requested approval of Mr. Sheahan and Ms. Anita Geraci-Carver as the two Lake County representatives on that committee.

Ms. Marsh pointed out that the Board would need to appoint one individual as a primary and one as an alternate member, but they could work between themselves who would attend which meetings.

On a motion by Commr. Parks, seconded by Commr. Breeden and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the appointment of Mr. Brian Sheahan as a primary member and Ms. Anita Geraci-Carver as an alternate member to the Central Florida Expressway Right of Way Committee effective June 21, 2017.

military deployment of board of adjustment member

Commr. Parks related that his appointee to the Board of Adjustment, Mason Gathye, has not been able to attend meetings for the last six months due to being deployed by the National Guard to Afghanistan and asked whether that individual could regain his position and continue to serve on that committee when he returns.

Ms. Marsh answered that a Land Development Regulation update and ordinance contained a provision that will allow the Board to appoint alternate members to the Board of Adjustment and the Planning and Zoning Board as necessary to temporarily fill a position when a member leaves to serve in the military.

recognition of mr. sheahan

Commr. Parks thanked Mr. Sheahan for his service to the County and reminisced about when he first met Mr. Sheahan when Commr. Parks was a member of the Local Planning Organization.

reports – commissioner breeden – district 3

attendance at flag day event

Commr. Breeden stated that she had attended an event last week in celebration of Flag Day at the Eustis Elks Lodge, which was interesting, well done, and included a history of the American flag.  She added that there was a World War II veteran in attendance, and they burnt their own flag in a ceremony.

agreement with city of LEESBURG REGARDING seaplane ramp

Commr. Breeden related that she wanted the Board to be aware of an agreement with the City of Leesburg and the request by the city for funding assistance for their seaplane ramp for $125,000 and possible dock through Economic Development that would be coming before the Board on July 11.  She mentioned that Leesburg may come back after two years to request some additional funding.

Mr. Cole elaborated that Mr. Robert Chandler, Economic Development Director, worked with the County Attorney’s Office on the draft agreement which was sent to the City of Leesburg on June 19, and it is expect back from the city to be voted on by the Board on July 11.

Commr. Sullivan commented that this was an economic development issue, and he noted that the largest remanufacturer of seaplanes in the nation had relocated to the Leesburg Airport from Minnesota.

reports – commissioner campione – district 4

opportunity for application for state funds

Commr. Campione commented that there may be an opportunity with the changes to Enterprise Florida for the County to make application for state funds to be allocated for infrastructure projects that would be related to economic development.

Commr. Sullivan added that there were FDOT (Florida Department of Transportation) funds that were also available for those types of projects.

Commr. Campione elaborated that the application process for the changes to Enterprise Florida have not yet been formulated, but that should be coming out relatively soon, since the money was set aside in the state budget.

meeting regarding proposed eustis isba

Commr. Campione stated that she attended a meeting for people in the Sorrento Springs area regarding the proposed Eustis ISBA (Interlocal Service Boundary Agreement) and noted that the overwhelming majority of residents who attended were opposed to the annexation, were very happy with the services they received from the County, and were very familiar with the nearby fire station, library, school, and park.  She related that the Board would be discussing at their next meeting a proposal that the City of Eustis had made as a compromise, and she opined that annexation that far from an urban center is contrary to the best interest of the residents and would cause confusion about who would provide services to that area.  She emphasized, however, that she supported the City of Eustis and wanted it to be successful, but she did not believe this was the way for them to realize their goals for economic prosperity and that she wanted to honor the wishes of the residents in that area.

grant awarded for bear-proof trash containers

Commr. Campione mentioned that the County received the grant for bear-proof trash containers and asked when they would be able to start using them.  She added that the wildlife festival that the City of Umatilla and the Chamber sponsors would be coming up in the fall, and they were hoping to display those containers at that time.

Mr. Jim Stivender, Public Works Director, answered that the containers were ordered, but he is not sure when they would be delivered.

Commr. Campione asked that staff keep her updated regarding those trash containers so that she could pass that on to the group that was organizing the wildlife festival.  She elaborated that the County still needed to decide who would be eligible to receive those containers, how they would prioritize where they would go, and what the cost would be.

open space definition

Commr. Campione asked whether staff could look at their open space definition to allow for active uses within those open space areas as opposed to pure conservation land, which was costly to maintain if done properly.  She elaborated that this issue came up during a discussion in the Wellness Way area in South Lake, where there was a provision made for the recreational use of open spaces, and she noted that the County has development requests coming in for high quality active use areas that would facilitate the kind of activities that people were interested in, such as active trails, meeting places, and landscaped areas as opposed to just preservation-type areas.  She opined that those types of places would contribute greatly to the quality of those neighborhoods.

Commr. Parks stated that he supported her on that issue and believed that they should look at expanding the Wellness Way open space requirements to other areas in the county.  He pointed out that the old definition of open space could lead to the taking of certain properties to meet that limited definition.  He mentioned that currently quality public spaces, public squares, and active recreation areas that builders provide did not count towards open space when he believed it should be.

Commr. Campione commented that she was not involved when the current open space rules were put into place, and although she understood the concept behind open space and that it promoted a positive result in the neighborhood, she believed that having flexibility would be much better.

Mr. Cole assured the Board that he would evaluate that and bring that back to them.

separate agreements for automatic aid provisions

Commr. Campione related that there was a recommendation from the consultant working on the EMS study to have the automatic aid provisions as separate agreements rather than as part of the Interlocal Service Boundary Agreements (ISBA) and to dispatch automatically for the high-priority delta echo calls.  She pointed out that since those agreements were the County’s agreements, they would need to start working on getting that done.

warning about bricks thrown at vehicles from overpasses

Commr. Campione described an incident of bricks being thrown through windshields of passing vehicles from the side of overpasses in the Orlando area and cautioned everyone to be aware of that situation.

recognition of mr. sheahan

Commr. Campione mentioned that she has worked with Mr. Sheahan for a long time in various capacities and thanked him for his dedication and professionalism, his efforts with the Animal Shelter, and being instrumental in making the Keep Lake Beautiful program happen and getting the level of volunteerism that the program has had which enabled them to build that program to the level that they have.  She commented that he will be greatly missed.

Commr. Blake also thanked Mr. Sheahan for his assistance to him during the short time he has been County Commissioner.

Commr. Sullivan commented that Mr. Sheahan was instrumental in helping him when he was first elected to the Board four years ago.  He thanked Mr. Sheahan for all of his service to Lake County and its citizens.

commissioner sullivan – chairman and district 4

designated delegate for florida association of counties

On a motion by Commr. Parks, seconded by Commr. Breeden and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved to complete and submit NACo's (National Association of Counties) 2017 Credentials Voting form naming Commr. Parks as Lake County's Designated County delegate and the President of the Florida Association of Counties as County Alternate, to authorize the delegate to pick up and to cast the County's votes, and approval to designate for the President of FAC to pick up and cast Lake County's vote if Lake County's ballot is not picked up at the conference.

minneola turnpike exchange opening

Commr. Sullivan thanked the Commissioners for attending the event for the Minneola Turnpike Exchange opening.  He opined that the Turnpike exchange will be a huge economic generator for Lake County as well as the municipalities, and he was looking forward to the benefits that would bring to the citizens of Lake County.  He added that the project took a lot of cooperation with FDOT, the Turnpike enterprise, the Minneola CRA, and Family Dynamics.

Commr. Campione commented that there has been so much focus on the Minneola Interchange in regard to housing and subdivision construction, but there has not been a lot of focus on the fact that a lot of that land is designated for job creation and light industrial by targeting particular uses and has the potential to be a huge economic generator for their entire area.  She expressed appreciation to the Minneola City Council, Family Dynamics, and all those who worked hard to make sure it was a good balance of land uses.

Commr. Parks stated that the County could be a partner with the City of Minneola to accomplish even greater things with the interchange and to bring the light industrial and high-wage jobs.


There being no further business to be brought to the attention of the Board, the meeting was adjourned at 11:00 a.m.



timothy i. sullivan, chairman