september 19, 2017

The Lake County Board of County Commissioners met in regular session on Tuesday, September 19 2017 at 9:00 a.m., which was rescheduled from September 12, 2017 due to Hurricane Irma, 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

Reverend Isaac Dees gave the Invocation and led the Pledge of Allegiance.

Agenda update

Mr. Jeff Cole, County Manager, requested that a few items related to Hurricane Irma be discussed at the beginning of the meeting, including Tabs 34 and 36 and an update by Mr. Tommy Carpenter, Emergency Management Division Manager, on the storm and recovery efforts which was not originally on the agenda.  He commented that he was impressed and proud to be part of the staff’s efforts regarding this event as well as the leadership of Mr. Carpenter and Chief John Molenda, Public Safety Director, regarding all of those efforts.

update on hurricane irma

Mr. Carpenter gave an update regarding Hurricane Irma, starting with a brief chronology and describing where they currently were in the process.  He specified that they began monitoring the hurricane on Friday, September 1, 2017, before Labor Day, using information they had received from the National Weather Service, and they activated their citizens’ information line on Tuesday, September 5, 2017.  He elaborated that by Wednesday, September 6, 2017, Commr. Sullivan signed the local state of emergency for Lake County and the EOC (Emergency Operations Center) went into a level 2 partial activation and worked toward finalizing the emergency shelters.  He related that the Executive Policy Group had issued a voluntary evacuation order for Astor residents along the St. Johns River and Lake George by Friday, September 8, 2017, since those areas were known to historically flood with rainfall, and 72 National Guard members arrived later that afternoon to assist Lake County with shelter management in response to their request made earlier in the week.  He added that they were at full activation by Friday, September 8, 2017; opened 14 shelters at 8:00 a.m. on Saturday, September 9, 2017, which was the first time that many shelters were opened in Lake County in his 25-year career; and began the transportation process of residents who did not have a ride to a shelter.  He noted that despite earlier forecasts to the contrary, it was determined that Lake County would be impacted on late Sunday into Monday evening.  He reported that the best estimates from the National Weather Service reported 65 to 75-mile an hour sustained winds throughout Lake County with higher gusts up to 100 miles per hour and that a tornado touched down in Umatilla on Sunday evening, September 16, 2017, at about 6:30 p.m. with winds of up to 110 miles per hour.  He mentioned that the Sheriff provided two disaster response teams with armored vehicles and Lake EMS (Emergency Medical Services) paramedics helped respond to calls and responded to four calls during the period of high winds.  He stated that on Monday evening, they were able to consolidate the 14 emergency shelters to one shelter at Leesburg Elementary School, and the Executive Policy Group extended the local state of emergency on Tuesday, September 12, for another 7 days. He elaborated that they began looking at host sheltering at Real Life Christian Church in Clermont for the 37 to 40 people who still needed shelter.  He mentioned that the Lake County Sheriff’s Office and Lake County Fire Rescue established a unified command operation center in Astor because of the power outages and other utility outages and issued a curfew order for Astor in the areas affected by the voluntary evacuation.  Also, they opened an additional shelter at Grand Island Baptist Church on Wednesday, September 13, for the Astor residents seeking shelter from flooding as well as a comfort station in Astor for water and restroom facilities.

Mr. Carpenter related that their priorities over the past weekend were focused on recovery, including power restoration, large tree removal, and tarp installation, with volunteers who provided about 891 volunteer hours.  He assured the Board that their humanitarian efforts would continue in Astor, and debris pickup was currently being managed by the Solid Waste Division.  He reported that staff from FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) were on their way to the area at that time and would work with the Lake County Property Appraiser to gather data into maps to better assess where the disaster assistance teams were needed.  He pointed out that they have requested a static response team from FEMA but may not be able to get the requested recovery center as quickly as they would like because of resources being diverted for the recovery from the previous hurricane affecting other areas of the country.  He commented that volunteer efforts and donations have increased over the weekend, and the EOC was working to get those donations to the nonprofit and faith-based groups to manage that effort.  He summarized that they had provided about 45,000 sandbags through public distribution points, and the citizen information line answered 13,975 calls.  He added that the County had posted 252 Facebook posts related to the storm with almost 1.7 million unique users; public transportation had provided 450 rides for residents to and from shelters; over 65,000 bottles of water were provided throughout the county; the initial damage assessment by the Property Appraiser’s Office was $32 million, excluding the Astor area; and 77 percent of the county was without power at some time during or after the storm.  He thanked everyone who lent assistance, including Real Life Christian Church and Grand Island Baptist for providing shelter space, those who donated time and goods for those in need, staff assigned to the EOC, the Lake County Schools, the Lake County Health Department, and the Lake County Sheriff’s Office.  He cautioned everyone to be prepared by having food for at least five days and enough water as well as hygiene items and a weather radio.  He concluded that this storm affected a large percentage of the county at once.

Mr. Cole added that Mr. Carpenter was extremely successful in this mission, along with the vast team of County employees that helped from all levels of the organization and sacrificed being home with their families in order to do so, and he would compile all of those names for the Board to have in the future.

Commr. Sullivan thanked the school system, which was tremendously helpful in putting all of the response efforts together, as well as their first responders and the volunteers.  He opined that the County ran one of the most efficient operations that he had seen.  He added that many calls came in to the citizens’ information line and were handled by people who normally did other jobs.

Commr. Parks thanked the County staff and Mr. Carpenter for his leadership, as well as the volunteers, Real Life Christian Church, and the Chairman, who spent a lot of time at the EOC before, during, and after the storm.

Commr. Campione gave her sympathies to those in Lake County who still did not have electrical service and assured them that the County was still trying to get them the services that they need.

Commr. Breeden mentioned that many people still had a lot of questions concerning debris removal.

departmental business - economic growth

waiver of building permit and inspection fees due to storm

Mr. Robert Chandler, Economic Growth Director, reported that the County Manager decided to waive building permit and inspection fees through that day’s date to help with the recovery effort due to the extensive damage that occurred across the county, and he asked for approval to extend those waivers of the permits and inspection fees, for a period of 90 days from that day, for replacement or repair of both residential and commercial structures.  He elaborated that those waivers would require a damage assessment report that could either be conducted by the County’s Building Services Division, LASER (Lake and Sumter Emergency Recovery), or another County authorized contractor.

On a motion by Commr. Breeden, seconded by Commr. Blake and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the request to authorize the County Manager to waive building permit and inspection fees for all structures in Lake County that have verifiable storm damage from Hurricane Irma for a period of 90 days from the date of Board approval.

county manager

resolution seeking fema assistance for storm debris removal

Mr. Cole explained that the County currently had a contractor in place who was removing debris throughout the county, which he estimated would take several weeks; however, although the County does not have responsibility for storm removal along private and non-County maintained roads, he believed it was an appropriate mission to include those roads in their approach to removing the debris.  He asked for approval of a resolution and a letter to be signed by the Chairman to be sent to FEMA seeking assistance for the removal of debris along private and non-County maintained roads.  He commented that he would revisit this issue with the Board if FEMA did not approve this assistance or if that approval was prolonged, and he opined that it was incumbent upon them to at least determine whether they would be eligible for that FEMA reimbursement.

On a motion by Commr. Campione, seconded by Commr. Breeden and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved Resolution No. 2017-113 seeking Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) assistance for the removal of storm debris from private and non-county maintained roads within Lake County; and authorized the Chairman to sign a letter on behalf of the Board to formalize the request to FEMA. The fiscal impact is to be determined.

citizen question and comment

Commr. Sullivan noted that some of the speaker cards he received were regarding storm debris removal.

Commr. Campione suggested that they get an update on debris first so that the residents who were speaking about debris may get their questions answered.

Mr. Cole recapped that the contracts the County has with their haulers who collect yard waste, solid waste, and recycling on a weekly basis contained very specific terms which did not include an allowance for them to incorporate the volume of storm debris that they had from Hurricane Irma, so they had to mobilize a contractor last week to collect specifically designated storm debris throughout the entire county.  He pointed out that resources and employees were very hard to find during a storm that affected the entire state.  He specified that the contractor would be collecting the debris seven days a week and mentioned that they have waived the fees at the landfill for residential debris so that the public could take their debris directly to the landfill.  He commented that it would be difficult to know exactly where the contractor would be at any given time, and they had to determine where debris pickup was needed the most.  He also remarked that they expected the debris removal to take about a month, and Public Works would be assisting the effort to expedite that process, including clearing off sidewalks for the return of students to school.  He added that they would provide a phone number to the public once they believed they had collected all or most of the debris in order for the public to inform the County if they still had debris in their neighborhood.  He elaborated that the County also had an agreement with some of the cities in Lake County for the County to activate their contractor for debris collection in those cities, and the County was required to pick up debris under FEMA guidelines in order for them to be eligible for FEMA reimbursement, which required monitoring and an approach that was approved by FEMA.  He explained that the County had to fund all of the costs for debris removal upfront for both the unincorporated areas and the cities they had agreements with and then seek up to 75 percent reimbursement from FEMA in the future, which could take up to 10 years.  The cities would reimburse the County for the costs associated with their city that would not be reimbursed by FEMA.  He announced that residents could also take their yard waste to the convenience centers, which were open from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday, as well as to the central landfill, which was open 7 days a week from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. at no cost.

Mr. Gregg Monin, a resident of Lady Lake, asked about debris removal for the private roads in the Harbor Hills community and whether the FEMA standards allowed for pickup of debris on private roads.  He commented that there were a lot of elderly people in their development who have pulled the debris off of their property and into the street, and the residents were concerned about animals and other hazards that might materialize in that debris.

Mr. Cole responded that it would not be an automatic reimbursement of funding to the County unless they demonstrated that it was of public interest and need, and they were currently attempting to do that with FEMA.  He assured Mr. Monin that the County was cognizant of the fact that that could take some time and would not let it go on too long before discussing it again, but they needed to go through the process of requesting approval from FEMA before they made any other decisions.  He related that the Florida Department of Health was beneficial to them in supplying a letter to go with the request to FEMA that articulated the problems that Mr. Monin expressed.  He asked for the public’s patience with this process, since it would take them time to collect the volume of debris throughout the residential and public areas, and he assured Mr. Monin that his neighborhood and other neighborhoods that were on private or non-County maintained roads were part of that consideration as well.

Ms. Margra Grillo, a resident of Lady Lake, commented that she appreciated the update on the debris as well as the overall work that the County had done and noted that her initial questions had been answered by the previous update.  She thanked the Board for all of their efforts.

Mr. Cole commented that they were trying to be good stewards of the local property tax dollars and ensure that they got everything they could from the federal government to offset those costs, and he noted that he would discuss that further during the budget hearing.

Mr. Michael Rich, President of the Harbor Hills Homeowners Association, asked for the County’s assistance for debris removal as well as for obtaining FEMA assistance for his community.  He elaborated that they had about $180 million worth of property value at Harbor Hills and were paying approximately $4 million in real estate taxes.  He added that they maintain their own roads and that they had received no assistance from the County after Hurricane Charley in 2004 and the Groundhog Tornadoes in 2007.  He opined that FEMA would not pick up debris in the private communities, and he mentioned that a lot of unscrupulous tree cutters had come into their community and promised the retirees that the County would pick up the trees that they cut and leave in the street, which had resulted in most of the streets becoming one-lane roads throughout the development, making accidents more probable.  He commented that he did not think the residents in their community should wait for several months before getting an answer from FEMA.

Mr. Cole clarified that they certainly would not wait four or five months and assured him that they would revisit that process very soon after they submit the request to FEMA.  He asked for patience and pointed out that their situation is not unique in Lake County right now.  He emphasized that the County needed to work towards getting funding reimbursement, since the County could not fund those expenditures themselves.

Commr. Sullivan assured Mr. Rich that the County was moving judiciously and was very fiscally conservative.  He added that they have gotten the Health Department involved in the process, since the situation was a health hazard as well as a public safety hazard, which were reasons why the County believed FEMA might help them pay for that.

Commr. Campione pointed out that there were many other communities with private streets throughout the state, and they would be looking at what FEMA was doing in those areas.  She assured Mr. Rich that they would not let this issue linger and would revisit it at the BCC meeting the following week.

Mr. Rich suggested that the County look at the landscape ordinance regulations and the building codes concerning the types of trees that were required to be planted, noting that the root system of palm trees could sustain the winds of a hurricane better than hardwood trees.

Commr. Campione responded that that was a great point.

Commr. Blake recapped that he had mentioned revisiting some of the landscape regulations at the retreat.

Commr. Parks added that where and how trees were planted played a large role in their stability, and he suggested that they revisit that issue when they look at the codes.

Mr. Vance Jochim, a resident of Tavares and writer of a blog regarding fiscal and governmental issues, thanked the County staff who assisted during the hurricane.  He opined that two employees who were no longer employed by the County, Mr. Bob Melton, Inspector General who was an effective internal auditor, and Mr. Steve Koontz, Fiscal and Administrative Services Director, had both contributed to the fiscal responsibility and transparency of the County, and he believed their impact would be missed.  He informed the Board about a plan by the City of Tavares to annex property off of Shirley Shores Road and Deer Island and noted the opposition of the residents who live in that area to this plan.  He elaborated that many of the residents owned acreage in that rural area and expected the area to stay rural, but the City intended to change the future land use to three units per acre or 660 homes in a 222-acre parcel that was next to homes on 25-acre lots or more.  He noted that the City of Tavares had been working to mitigate a number of issues, and the case has been deferred for 30 days in order for the City to meet with the residents.  He suggested that the County follow up on this issue to protect the residents in the area and help them to maintain the quality of life as well as to warn homeowners that the cities might have the right in the future to annex property around areas that were currently rural for high-density development.  He concluded that he would send the Board some information about that.

Mr. Cole noted in relation to what Mr. Rich had previously stated that the County did pick up storm-related debris in gated communities along private and non-maintained roads following the 2004 and 2007 storms after a protracted negotiation with FEMA, including in Harbor Hills.

Commr. Parks asked whether there was a way to provide regular updates to the public regarding the debris pickup.

Commr. Breeden commented that Ms. Kelly Lafollette, Communications Director, had done a great job on the general updates and she suggested that they pull out specific information about debris on the website.

Mr. Cole responded that those were great suggestions, noting that the Communications Department had done a great job before, during, and after the storm and would continue to put out information as it evolves.  He mentioned that lately the emphasis had been on debris and power, and he assured the Board that they would focus on making sure information about debris was continually distributed and start looking at putting a map together.  He commented that they wanted to make sure everyone had the right expectations because of the volume of debris, and they expected it to take about a month to collect it all.  He recapped that part of the plan also included having a phone number later on to allow residents to call to register their address if their debris had not been picked up by that time.


On a motion by Commr. Parks, seconded by Commr. Breeden and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved the Clerk of Courts’ Consent Agenda, Items 1 through 6, as follows:

List of Warrants

Request to acknowledge receipt of list of warrants paid prior to this meeting, pursuant to Chapter 136.06 (1) of the Florida Statutes, which shall be incorporated into the Minutes as attached Exhibit A and filed in the Board Support Division of the Clerk’s Office.

Ordinance from City of Minneola

Request to acknowledge receipt of Ordinance 2016-33 from the City of Minneola providing for a Comprehensive Plan Amendment amending the land use designation from “Rural Transitional” on the Lake County Comprehensive Plan to “Multi-Family High Density” on the Future Land Use Map of the City of Minneola’s Comprehensive Plan for approximately 20.2 acres of property generally located south of the Turnpike and east of Triple E Road, as well as a copy of the public notice for this ordinance and a map of the Minneola Adjunct LLC property.

Lake County’s Semi-Annual Investment Report

Request to acknowledge receipt of the Lake County’s Semi-Annual Investment Report of June 30, 2017.

Greater Lakes/Sawgrass Bay  CDD Fiscal Year 2017-2018 Budget

Request to acknowledge receipt of Greater Lakes/Sawgrass Bay Community Development District’s Fiscal Year 2017-2018 budget pursuant to Section 189.016, Florida Statutes, along with transmittal letter of same dated August 23, 2017.

Estates at Cherry Lake CDD Fiscal Year 2017-2018 Budget

Request to acknowledge receipt of Estates at Cherry Lake Community Development District’s Fiscal Year 2017-2018 budget pursuant to Section 189.016, Florida Statutes, along with transmittal letter of same dated August 23, 2017.

Cascades at Groveland CDD Fiscal Year 2017-2018 Budget

Request to acknowledge receipt of Cascades at Groveland Community Development District’s Fiscal Year 2017-2018 budget pursuant to Section 189.016, Florida Statutes, along with transmittal letter of same dated August 23, 2017.

Recognition of Susan Boyajan’s Retirement

Mr. Neil Kelly, Clerk of the Court, recognized Ms. Susan Boyajan’s retirement, commenting that she has spent over 13 years in the Clerk’s Office, with 11 of those years being as Senior Secretary, Board Support, which takes records of the Board meetings.  He thanked her for her years of service and wished her the best in her retirement.

Commr Sullivan thanked her for all of her hard work and support and stated that she would be missed.

Commr Breeden also commented that Ms. Boyajan would be missed.

Mr. Kelly also recognized Ms. Kathleen Bregel, who is in training with Ms. Boyajan for Senior Secretary, Board Support, and welcomed her.


On a motion by Commr. Campione, seconded by Commr. Blake, and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved the Consent Agenda, Items 2 through 27 , as follows:

Community Services

Request from Community Services for approval to award contract 17-0020 to Hunt Insurance, LLC (Tallahassee) for inmate catastrophic insurance coverage with a premium of $51,516.00; authorize the County Manager to approve subsequent contract extensions; and authorize the Procurement Services Division to sign all related implementing documents. The fiscal impact is $51,516.00 (expense).

Request from Community Services for approval of Resolution No. 2017-114 for the Lake County Board of County Commissioners to continue as the Community Transportation Coordinator. There is no fiscal impact.

Community Safety and Compliance

Request from Community Safety and Compliance for approval for the Chairman to sign a letter of agreement with the Florida Attorney General regarding the Crime Stoppers Grant Program. There is no fiscal impact.

Request from Community Safety and Compliance for approval of an Interlocal Agreement with the Florida Department of Health – Lake County for Administration of the Water Safety Advisory Committee.   There is no fiscal impact.

County Attorney

Request from County Attorney for approval of Mediated Settlement Agreement between John and Frances Fluitt and Lake County.  The fiscal impact is $50,000.00, a portion of which will be paid by the County’s reinsurer.

Request from County Attorney for approval of four resolutions, Resolution No. 2017-115, 116, 117, and 118 instituting Eminent Domain proceedings for acquisition of property needed for the CR 466A Road Project (portions of Phases 3A and B), and approval to proceed with pre-suit negotiations offers. The fiscal impact cannot be determined at this time.

Request from County Attorney for approval for the Board to order the 2017 tax roll be extended prior to completion of the Value Adjustment Board hearings.  There is no fiscal impact.

Economic Growth

Request from Economic Growth for approval of an agreement between Timothy Frederick and Lake County for Tourist Development Sponsorship for the 2018 and 2019 fiscal years.  The fiscal impact is $47,500.00 annually (expenditure).

Request from Economic Growth for approval to advertise an ordinance banning medical marijuana treatment center dispensing facilities from being located within the boundaries of unincorporated Lake County, Florida, and request authorization, if accepted by a four-fifths majority, to hold the Second Public Hearing of the proposed Ordinance at 9:00 a.m. on a date to be determined.  There is no fiscal impact.



Facilities and Fleet Management

Request from Facilities and Fleet Management for approval to purchase and install a heavy duty lift and related items under Request for Quotation Q2017-00151 to Sunshine State Sales, Inc. (Apopka, FL), and authorize the Procurement Services Division to execute all supporting documentation. The fiscal impact is $27,613.00 (expenditure).

Fiscal and Administrative Services

Request from Fiscal and Administrative Services for approval for continued access to various State of Florida IT contracts and directly related services, and all related successors to those contracts.  There is no fiscal impact at this time.

Human Resources

Request from Human Resources for approval to renew the Excess Loss Insurance for Lake County's Self-Insured Medical Plan with Symetra Life Insurance Company, and authorize the Procurement Services Division to execute all supporting documentation.  The estimated premium for FY 2017-2018 is $705,190.00 (expenditure).

Request from Human Resources for approval to renew the County's annual Loss Control Program insurance policies with Princeton and other insurance companies ($1,460,683.00), Brown & Brown's annual fees for professional services ($55,000.00) and pre-funding of the Tenant Users Liability Insurance Program ($2,000.00); and authorize the Procurement Services Division to execute all supporting documentation.  The estimated fiscal impact is $1,517,683.00.

Information Technology

Request from Information Technology for approval to award contract 17-0430 to SunView Software (Tampa, Florida) for the purchase of Information Technology Service Management Software.  The fiscal impact is estimated to be $59,687.00 (expenditure).

Public Resources

Request from Public Resources for approval of FY 2018 State Aid to Libraries Grant Application and Agreement. The estimated fiscal impact is $200,000.00 (revenue).

Public Safety

Request from Public Safety for approval of the Hazards Analysis Grant Agreement with the State of Florida, Division of Emergency Management, and request authorization for the County Manager to sign future amendments/modifications that do not involve fiscal impact. The fiscal impact is $7,975.00 (revenue).

Request from Public Safety for approval of an Agreement between Lake County and Rave Wireless, Inc. for the Smart911 system and services. The fiscal impact is $162,000.00 ($54,000.00 annually) over a 3-year term.

Public Works

Request from Public Works for approval of contract award to Trademark Metals Recycling LLC (Ocala, FL) under Request for Quotation Q2017-00144 for the recycling of scrap metal and white goods, and authorize the Procurement Services Division to execute all supporting documentation. The estimated annual fiscal impact is $46,000.00. (revenue)..

Request from Public Works for approval of contract 17-0447, Delivery of Granite Rip Rap Rock, to Florida Dirt Source (Brooksville, FL), and authorize the Procurement Services Division to execute all supporting documentation.  The annual estimated cost is $13,508.00 for Public Works requirements, with potential usage by other County departments.

Request from Public Works for approval of an agreement with A.E. Langley and Mary S. Langley for their contribution of right of way for future road improvements at the intersection of Hammock Ridge Road and Lakeshore Drive, Clermont. The estimated value is $13,900.00.  Commission District 2.

Request from Public Works for approval to award a term and supply agreement for the provision of hazardous waste disposal services on an as-needed basis under Request For Proposal 17-0628 to Perma-Fix of Florida, Inc. (Gainesville, FL), and authorize the Procurement Services Division to execute all supporting documentation. The annual fiscal impact cannot be determined at this time.  Previous annual impact was approximately $75,000.00 per year.

Request from Public Works for approval to award a term and supply agreement for the provision of recycling and reclamation services for end of life electronics on an as-needed basis under Request For Proposal 17-0625 to A1 Assets Inc. (Longwood, FL), and authorize the Procurement Services Division to execute all supporting documentation. The annual fiscal impact cannot be determined at this time.  Previous annual impact was approximately $101,860.00.

Request from Public Works for approval of the FY 2018 Annual Certified Budget for the Lake County Mosquito Management Program for submittal to the State of Florida. The estimated fiscal impact is $31,540.00 (revenue).

Request from Public Works for approval of five Purchase Agreements for right of way and easements needed for the CR 466A – Phase 3A road widening project in the Fruitland Park area, and authorize the Chairman to execute all supporting documentation. The fiscal impact is $576,444.76 (expenditure). Commission District 5.

Request from Public Works for approval of a County deed to the City of Clermont for any interest that the County may have in a parcel of railroad property, which was formerly part of CR 561, in the Clermont Waterfront Park, on the south side of Lake Minneola. The fiscal impact is $27.00 in recording fees (expenditure).  Commission District 2.

Request from Public Works for approval to execute a Proportionate Share Mitigation Agreement with the School Board of Lake County, Oswalt Investments, LLC, M3 Development, LLC, and the Lake County Board of County Commissioners for Florence Lake Ridge subdivision.  There is no fiscal impact to the Lake County.  Commission District 2.


Career Connextions’ Summer Youth Job Program

Mr. Chandler introduced Jason Lietz, Youth Program Manager for CareerSource Central Florida.  He stated that at the beginning of the summer he brought before the Board an agenda item to partner with CareerSource on their Youth Connextions Program which gave opportunities to local school students to enter the work force, go through an internship program and get paid for their work over the summer.  He opined the program was a big success and these programs helped Lake County in moving the economy forward by improving the work force and helping the community with job education.

Mr. Leitz mentioned he was thankful to be here and to report on the wonderful summer internship program they were able to bring to Lake County due to the support of the Board of Commissioners and the Economic Development Department.  He stated he represented CareerSource Central Florida and that the Youth Program Career Connextions serves a 5 county area to include Orange, Osceola, Lake, Seminole and Sumter counties.  This program is unique in that it focuses on students in school where most of their programs are for students out of school and it gives the opportunity to impact talent development, specifically in the youth department.  He was pleased to have the support of Lake County in bringing this program to the county.  He stated that usually they are conservative when bringing a new program into a new county; however, when Erica Green approached him and stated that there was interest in Lake County, they raised their numbers of participants from 10-15 to 40.  Looking at the demographics, there were more male students then female, and the largest age group were juniors in high school.  They targeted Leesburg High School with about 90% coming from that school.  The program received 76 applications and targeted 40 students with 33 students actually going through the program from start to finish.  The program started with a boot camp because many of these students do not have the skills to transition from school to work.  Lake Community Action was the provider of the Boot Camp, which introduced the students to skills and expectations once they were on the job, helped them develop a resume and prepared them for a job interview.  Lake-Sumter State College helped provide this to show them the next level of education past high school.  CareerSource Central Florida subsidized the students’ wages of $8.50 an hour for a 30 hour work week for 7 weeks during the summer and hours varied based on needs of the business.  Throughout the program $46,257 was paid out in wages to the students who participated, which is equivalent to about 5,442 work hours completed by the students.  He stated he was very impressed by the response of the business community and their desire to get involved, giving credit to the Economic Development Commission which provided many leads of businesses that wanted to participate in the program.  The students in the program served in a variety of areas such as landscaping, healthcare, childcare, administrative assistant and maintenance.  Businesses that participated were Arden Place, Comprehensive Psychological & Assessment Services, Genesis Center, Frontier Church, Lake-Sumter State College, LifeStream Behavioral Center, New Beginnings of Central Florida, Nu Life By Design and The Villages Rehab.  The program cost totaled $74,590.00, with Lake County investing $22,087.50 and CareerSource Central Florida investing $52,502.50.  Some of the successes of the Program: 75% of the businesses were pleased (17%) or extremely pleased (58%) with the interns’ performance which indicates they may be a network to help bring in new companies into the program, all employers rated the internship program as excellent or good and all worksites would like to continue to participate in the program.  One of the work sites was so impressed with their intern that they took steps to help them apply for a scholarship to attend Lake-Sumter State College.  Mr. Lietz stated that their desire is for Lake County to see the true value of this program and how this helps to set up a talent pipeline for businesses. 

Commr. Sullivan stated that workforce is an important component of what the county is working on and looked forward to doing this again. 

recess and reassembly

Commr. Sullivan recessed the meeting at 10:11 AM for a 10 minute break.

Public Hearings

Road Impact Fee Transportation Construction Program

Ms. Lori Koontz, Road Operations Division Manager for Public Works, started the 2018-2022 Transportation Construction Program Public Hearing by presenting the funding sources for the 5-year road program, which included legislative appropriations and grants, Road Impact Fees, funding partnerships, Renewal Sales Tax Capital Projects and the County Transportation Trust.  She displayed a slide showing a snapshot of Transportation Revenue from 2011-2017.  She noted that the Transportation Trust Fund is designated for transportation related salaries, operating expenses and capital.  She explained that Road Impact Fees funding is for capacity enhancement capital, Renewal Sales Tax revenue is capital only and Grants and Aids is project specific revenue.  She reported that the Transportation Trust Fund or Gas Tax spending source stayed relatively flat and that the fluctuations throughout the year were due to Road Impact Fee revenue and the Grants and Aids.  She mentioned that the highest funding during this period was the $29.9 million in FY2015 and that FY2017 is projected to be $28.9 million.  She elaborated that the Road Impact Fee Collections totaled $7.5 million from the North, Central and South districts.   She presented the Federal and State Grants project list which included the intersection of CR 455 and CR 50, Phase 3A and 3B of CR 466A, sidewalks and paved shoulders on CR 473, Phase 1 of Citrus Grove Road, and safety and sidewalk projects on Lakeshore Drive in Clermont.  She reported that the Road Impact Fee Proposed Project List included: CR 455, from Wellness Way to Scofield Road; CR 561 intersection with CR 561A; a new two-lane road from Hartwood Marsh Road to Lost Lake Road; Citrus Grove Road Phases 1 and 3 to complement the federal and state grants; the Fosgate Road extension from Hwy 27 to Grassy Lake Road for the south district; a new alignment on Lake Ella Road and widening of Rolling Acres Road from CR 466 to Griffin Avenue in the central district; a new two-lane realigned road on CR 437, Round Lake Road from CR 46 to CR 44; and a PD&E Study on Round Lake Road in the north district.  She also went over the project lists for infrastructure sales tax which included: intersection improvements and turn lanes at Hancock Road and Sunburst Lane, as well as Hartwood Marsh Road and US 27; a countywide resurfacing program; a water quality improvement project at Country Club Drive in Astatula, associated with the Lake Harris Basin; and various sidewalk projects for ADA compliance, school access, park access, or access for the general public.  She added that they have also added Challenger Drive and Lenz Drive special assessments to the road program to be funded out of the Transportation Trust Fund.  She summarized that there was a proposed total $3.8 million transportation expenditure for FY 2018, $8.4 million in FY 2019, $9.8 million in FY 2020, $8.6 million in 2021, and $11.2 million in 2022.  She related that they would not be able to spend those anticipated amounts if any fluctuations in revenue resulted in a shortage of those funds.  She summarized that the presented program was funded through various stages of design and permitting, right-of-way acquisition, and construction of projects consisting of sidewalks and trails, traffic signals and intersection improvements, water quality improvements, widening and resurfacing projects, addition of new lanes, and construction of new road corridors.

The Chairman opened the public hearing.

There being no one who wished to address the Board regarding this issue, the Chairman closed the public hearing.

Commr. Blake asked if the sidewalk projects in Umatilla from 19 to North Lake Park were currently in the program.  He also asked about the right of way situation in that area.

Ms. Koontz responded that the sidewalk projects in Umatilla were in the program.

Mr. Fred Schneider, County Engineer, clarified that the east section of CR 450, from S.R.19 to North Lake Park, was originally requested to be a multi-use trail and a request was put in for a sidewalk this year.  They will survey to determine right-of-way needs.  He clarified that it would need to be laid out and designed with a request for donations or come to the Board for acquisition.

Commr. Blake mentioned that Mr. Scott Blankenship came to him stating that a property owner was interested in donating right-of-way to allow that connection to happen. 

Mr. Schneider stated he has a map that shows the right-of-way and the width of it.  He commented that there were quite a few property owners that have needed right-of-way and that they will work with them on this.

Commr. Blake clarified with Mr. Schneider that there would be a survey and design in 2017-2018 with inclusion in the road program in 2018-2019.

Mr. Schneider confirmed that survey and design would be done this year to identify right-of-way needs for sidewalks with consideration for roadside drainage and swales. 

Mr. Cole asked Commr Blake to confirm what he wanted done for this year and next year.

Commr. Blake formerly requested that the survey and design happen in 2017-2018 and be considered inclusion for the road program for 2018-2019.

Commr. Breeden stated the next step might be right-of-way acquisition.

Commr. Campione asked whether a commitment had been made on the Max Hooks Road for the park in regards to the developer’s contribution.

Mr. Schneider responded that he received information that the agreement had been signed and was sent on September 12, 2017, although he hadn’t received it yet.

Commr. Campione specified that commitment was needed before the road was built.

Mr. Schneider mentioned that it was scheduled to be discussed on the October 10th Board’s agenda with the Max Hooks Road presentation that same day.

Commr. Campione reiterated that without the developer’s agreement, funds should not be put into it.

Mr. Cole acknowledged understanding of what Commr. Campione was conveying and stated they would continue to work on it.  He stated they had indication that the developer’s agreement was executed but they would confirm that before they proceed.  He mentioned he has a meeting with the interim city manager at Groveland who expressed interest in making a financial contribution to the park which would allow some reallocation of financial resources.  He stated all of this would be explored before they reached their conclusion and asked for a decision.

Commr. Parks stated some of the funds from Groveland could be used for the park as it would go towards their level of service they are trying to reach for their parks and trails.

Commr.  Campione asked to clarify whether the transportation program gets amended if changes occur.

Mr. Schneider remarked that the legislative request can take until the next calendar year to see an agreement for funding.

Commr. Sullivan agreed that it typically hits in the following year’s budget.

On a motion by Commr. Campione, seconded by Commr. Breeden and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the FY 2018-2022 Road Impact Fee Transportation Construction Program and approval of the FY 2018-2022 Transportation Construction Program that includes funding from Federal/State Grants, Renewal Sales Tax Capital Projects-Public Works/Roads, and the County Transportation Trust.  The estimated fiscal impact for FY 2018 is $38,641,000.00.

Fire Assessments

Ms. Jennifer Barker, Budget Manager, presented both the fire assessments and solid waste assessment.  She explained the fire assessment is used to fund fire protection services which includes fire suppression, fire prevention, fire building inspections and first response medical services and noted the fund cannot fund Advanced Life Support services.  Tax exempt institutional properties currently receive a 64% discount on their assessments.  She reported that the total estimated revenue for FY 2018 was $18,047,500.  She noted that the Fire Assessment Study is updated annually and that Tindale Oliver and Associates presented the it to the Board on May 23, 2017.  The findings included the following: an essentially stable property units by land use, a very slight change in incident and resource allocation, assessment rates discounted below the maximum allowable assessment level, and improved equity when vacant land is incorporated into the allocation.  County staff does concur with the study results from Tindale Oliver.  A proposal for the single assessment rate for vacant land parcels was also made if they met the following criteria: they must be in a subdivision platted before January 1, 1985, no infrastructure (such as paved roads) has been constructed within the platted subdivision, lots to be aggregated are contiguous, and a single owner retains the title to the contiguous lots to be aggregated.  After research, 51 parcels were found to meet this criteria in FY 2018.  Approval of the additional provision for vacant land would not affect any other fire assessment allocations for other land uses. 

The Chairman opened the public hearing for the fire assessment. 

There being no one who wished to address the Board regarding this issue, the Chairman closed the public hearing.

Commr. Campione stated she appreciated the work staff did to identify the parcels and that she had received feedback from residents that the previous assessment was inequitable because they had multiple contiguous parcels in unimproved subdivisions, which meant they would be assessed at a higher rate due to multiple units.  She commented that this change addressed those situations and made it fair. She noted the extra work it took to isolate the real issue in regards to the multiple parcels. 

Commr. Sullivan shared his appreciation for the comment regarding follow through with the public’s interest.

Ms. Melanie Marsh, County Attorney, added that if approved, staff would bring back a code change addressing the reduction for the vacant parcels in older subdivisions, which would create this exemption for future years.  Those individuals who fell into this category would be notified that they need to actively reapply as well as any other parcel owners.  The process would be similar to what is done for homestead exemption and would need to be done on a yearly basis.

Commr. Parks indicated that this was the third time the Board had voted on this and that he had been opposed to it previously.  He stated that this was a little different because of the work that had been done recently with the exemption process, which would help individuals who might have been assessed unfairly.   

Commr. Campione mentioned that it was more of a reduction for commercial.

Commr. Parks commented that he was changing his vote to support this because there was now a process in place to bring an exemption in assessment to the greatest number of people.

Ms. Marsh clarified that the vacant property section was not an exemption but was a discount.  She stated owners would still pay for lots that are aggregated for the assessment portion but just not pay per lot.

Commr. Campione stated they would be treated as aggregate which would take care of the inequity.  She stated that some question the need for the fire department but the community can see how many benefits they receive from the fire department.  These fire fighters, as seen in recent events, will go anywhere and do anything to help people, and the community goes to them to take care of their needs.  She reiterated that this showed the service level that the County is able to provide to its citizens.

Mr. Cole added that during the height of the storm, one of the Battalion Chiefs was concerned about the Umatilla area so they both drove up there to check on the area before units were pulled off the road.  He continued to state how the fire fighters were immediately back on the road once it was safe and they were the ones checking on citizens by going door to door and responding to any calls they received.  It was amazing to see the level of service they provided.

On a motion by Commr. Breeden, seconded by Commr. Campione and carried by a vote of 4-1, the Board approved the request and execution of a resolution for Fire Assessments for the fiscal year beginning October 1, 2017; of the rate of assessment; of the assessment roll; and providing for an effective date.  The fiscal impact if $18,047,500.00 (revenue).

Commr. Blake voted no.

solid waste ASSESSMENT

Ms. Barker stated that the Solid Waste Assessment Program is used to fund collection, management and disposal of solid waste and recovered materials.  She noted that vacant lots were not assessed, that the assessment cannot fund countywide services, that rates are based on geographic area and service level and that estimated revenues would be $12,614,476.  She mentioned that the FY 2018 Solid Waste Assessment rates were unchanged since 2015 and that this was the third year with the current contracted vendors.  She presented a chart that showed the annual per household fee based on geographic area and service level. 

The Chairman opened the public hearing for Solid Waste Assessment. 

There being no one who wished to address the Board regarding this issue, the Chairman closed the public hearing.

On a motion by Commr. Parks, seconded by Commr. Blake, and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved the request and execution of a resolution for Solid Waste Assessment for fiscal year beginning October 1, 2017; of the rate of assessment; of the assessment roll; and providing for an effective date.  The fiscal impact is $12,614,476.00 (revenue).

library system long range plan of services

Dr. Ava Barrett, Library Service Division Manager, stated the presentation would include the State Aid to Libraries Program, the Long Range Plan of Services, the history of the plan, the current plan, the proposed new plan, the public hearing and then the requested action.  She started with the State Aid to Libraries Program which exists to assist local governments in developing and maintaining professional public library services for all Floridians.  She explained  this was accomplished through providing equal access to free public library services to all residents of the service areas of participating governments, by coordinating library service throughout the service area, and by providing consistent plans, programs, policies and procedures in the operation, maintenance and development of library service throughout the service area.  The State Aid to Libraries Program has 12 requirements for funding including a long range plan, adopted or approved by the library’s governing body, outlining the library’s operation and development over a three to five year period.  She remarked that Florida Statutes, Section 257.17, enables this requirement by stating that a county must “have a long-range plan, an annual plan of service, and an annual budget” to receive State Aid to Libraries Program funding.  She presented a slide showing funding for Lake County from 2012 to present with a projected amount of $200,000 in funding for 2018.  She continued the presentation by giving the history, current plan and proposed new plan for the Long Range Plan of Services.  The first Long Range Plan for Lake County libraries was adopted in 1982, with seven updated and revised plans since then, and the most recent plan was adopted in 2011.  This plan provided guidance to the Library System for five years covering 2011 through 2016.  The Board of Commissioners approved an extension in FY 2016 through 2017 which included six goals with objectives and strategies to meet those goals.  The current proposed plan was retitled with the new title “Long Range Plan for the Library System 2018-2023, Lake County Library System” with the purpose being to guide improvement of library services and the methods and procedures used to accomplish this.  She continued with explaining that the plan was developed with the community as follows: eleven consultant facilitated community meetings and focus group meetings; oversight provided by a Steering Committee; input by the LCLS (Lake County Library System) Library Advisory Board, which approved the plan on August 17, 2017; municipal library directors’ input facilitated; promotion on social media sites; survey on the website for public comments; and a large distribution of fliers/posters/local post cards in order to attract public comment.  This plan was developed as a guide for six county libraries including Astor, Cagan Crossings (Four Corners), Cooper Memorial (Clermont), Marion Baysinger (Groveland), East Lake and Paisley.  There are also nine municipal library members: Fruitland Park, Howey-in-the-Hills, Lady Lake, Leesburg, Minneola, Montverde, Mt. Dora, Tavares and Umatilla.  The proposed Long Range Plan of Services included six areas of focus with goals, objectives and strategies to support the service areas of administration, program and services, collections, facilities, marketing, and technology.  She then provided additional information for the six areas of focus starting with administration.  The first aspect of administration was the service plan, which had a goal to develop an annual plan of service, while encouraging all libraries to develop individualized plans of their own by 2018.  All plans should address technology (to include STEAM: science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics), collections, programming and services.  The second aspect of administration was adequate funding to ensure viability of library services through evaluating funding opportunities and re-assessing the funding formula for the Interlocal Agreements.  Administration also covered training; with the goal of implementing professional training for all management staff by September 2023 and encouraging LCLS Library Advisory Board, member library boards and interested friends of the library groups to participate in appropriate training.  Finally, administration incorporated relevancy, accuracy, consistency and timeliness in statistical reporting with the goal to form an ad hoc committee by January 2018, which would complete their work by September 2018. 

Dr. Barrett continued with her presentation by explaining Programs and Services which has a goal of providing services to youth and adults to stimulate the ability to read, write and interact across a variety of media.  The youth programs aim to expand support for Lake County school students and provide support by partnering with charter, private, virtual and home schools.  It also has a goal to focus on early childhood programming, integrate STEAM related activities and develop a teen outreach plan.  The adult program goal is to provide opportunities for Lake County’s adult residents, visitors and the business community to experience resources, services and recreational interests.  The plan also includes a literacy program with the goal to provide learning tools, services and support to build skills essential in today’s society.  It will reach this goal through expanding the presence and offerings of the literacy program, supporting tutors and teachers to improve quality of instruction, strengthen literacy development within the content areas and provide professional development for volunteer tutors.  She explained that the third area of focus on the plan was Collection, with the goal of providing resources to excite imagination, expand horizons, and further learning by means of reading, viewing, listening and creating.  It will do this through the update of the system-wide collection development policy, “book store approach” to shelves and by evaluating the reinstatement of the Interlibrary Loan (ILL).  In the area of Facilities, she reported that the goal was to provide inviting physical spaces where all Lake County residents can read, reflect, collaborate and connect.  The objectives for this facilities goal are: optimize hours of access to the library, develop meeting spaces, re-purpose smaller libraries to enhance circulation and facility utilization, prioritize completion of  the second floor build-out at the Cagan Crossings Library, develop a new facilities plan, and encourage the Eustis library to join LCLS by 2023. 

The last two areas of focus for the Library Proposed Plan were shared by Dr. Barrett to include Marketing and Technology.  Marketing’s goal is to promote relevant resources, services and support through the six objectives of community engagement, branding, online presence, partnerships, outreach and development of a focused marketing plan in 2019.  Lastly, the goal of Technology is to provide effective access to the latest technology by 2018, through updating the current technology, refreshing equipment as needed, embracing new technologies and continuing to assess bandwidth and Wi-Fi. 

The Chairman opened the public hearing for the Library System Long Range Plan of Service.

There being no one who wished to address the Board regarding this issue, the Chairman closed the public hearing.

Commr. Blake thanked Dr. Barrett for the work she did to complete this.

Commr. Sullivan mentioned the need to meet certain requirements for the state and how libraries are like community centers.  He thanked Dr. Barrett for all she does.

On a motion by Commr. Blake, seconded by Commr. Breeden and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the Long Range Plan for the Library System 2018-2023, Lake County Library System.  There is no fiscal impact.

departmental business

county manager

reorganization of county functions and positions

Mr. Cole stated that the purpose of this presentation was to present the details of a proposed reorganization of certain County functions.  He noted that he has spent a considerable amount of time evaluating the organizational structure since he began as County Manager on June 3rd, working with key leadership staff in identifying opportunities for enhancements and efficiencies that would reduce overall costs, streamline operations, empower their staff, reduce supervisory layers, and positively impact the way they do business.  He explained that these organizational changes entailed eliminating three vacant senior management positions, which were the Public Resources Director, Community Safety and Compliance Director, and the Fiscal and Administrative Services Department Director, and then reclassifying four other leadership positions.  He elaborated that Mr. Kristian Swenson, Fleet Department Director, was to be reclassified to an Assistant County Manager; Chief John Molenda, Public Safety Department Director, to Assistant County Manager; Ms. Jennifer Barker, Budget Manager, to Director of the Office of Management and Budget; and Deputy County Manager Bill Veach would assume some additional responsibilities as it relates to the reorganization.  He presented the new organizational chart, noting that he as well as Ms. Barker, Chief Molenda, Mr. Veach, Mr. Swenson, and Mr. Robert Chandler, Agency for Economic Prosperity Director, would make up the leadership team.  He commented there were a number of leaders within that organizational structure that would be involved in many aspects of county functions.  He then named some of the divisions that would be under each leadership role and noted that the Public Works Department Director position was still currently open but could be filled sometime in the future, and that Mr. Swenson was temporarily filling in as interim director due to his vast amount of prior experience in Public Works.  He added that Mr. Veach would be taking over certain areas, such as the County Probation Division.

Mr. Cole reported that they focused on evaluating the Economic Development and Tourism organizational structure to enhance, rebrand, and elevate their economic development and tourism functions to more closely align those functions with those of the private sector and to reduce overall costs.  He explained that the proposed changes included forming the Agency of Economic Prosperity, having the Planning and Zoning and Building Services functions report directly to Assistant County Manager John Molenda, and renaming the Economic Development and Tourism Divisions as Elevate Lake and Visit Lake respectively.  He specified that currently the fairgrounds enterprise was imbedded within the Public Resources Department, but he believed that it would be a good nexus for the fairgrounds and events center to be relocated into the Agency of Economic Prosperity to enhance those experiences as well as relocating all of the agency’s staff to the former Welcome Center in Groveland, which was owned by the County.  He also mentioned that two positions would be added for economic development and tourism functions.  He presented the updated organizational chart reflecting the changes to the previously mentioned functions, noting that they were focusing on how the staff interacted with the private sector.  He commented that he was very proud of the fact that the leadership reorganization would result in a $331,276 reduction, and the Economic Development and Tourism reorganization would result in a $98,937 reduction, for a total reduction of $430,213.  He reported that the next steps would be to incorporate the savings into the FY 2018 proposed budget with the Board’s approval, implement the changes by October 1, 2017, and continue to identify opportunities for enhancements and efficiencies in FY 2018 through a collaborative effort with the staff.  He requested authorization to execute the reclassifications and compensation changes as part of that reorganization.

Commr. Blake thanked Mr. Cole for putting that together in a short amount of time, and he commented that his efforts were impressive and fulfilled what he had promised to do.

Commr. Breeden commented that although the changes were very different than what they were used to, she has come to embrace those changes as independent, creative, and efficient; and she appreciated his efforts.

Commr. Parks echoed the same sentiments and opined that Mr. Cole had done a great job finding those efficiencies and putting together a good leadership team.  He thanked Mr. Cole for his leadership on this.

Commr. Campione commented that Mr. Cole certainly met their expectations and looked at this from another angle to try to find a better and more efficient way to do things.  She opined that this was definitely a step in the right direction.

Mr. Cole thanked the Commissioners for their support and for giving him the latitude to explore things that were out of the norm.

On a motion by Commr. Breeden, seconded by Commr. Parks and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the requests from the County Manager for authorization to reorganize the previously-mentioned functions, execute the reclassifications and compensation changes as part of that reorganization, advertise a Notice of Intent to designate certain positions as Senior Management Service Class (SMSC) if such notice is required by the Florida Retirement System, providing there is no net increase in County SMSC positions, and institute any future management and non-management reclassifications and compensation changes in accordance with approved employment policies and procedures.

economic growth

ordinance amending land development regulations

Mr. Tim McClendon, Planning and Zoning Manager, presented information regarding the Land Development Regulation (LDR) and requested approval to advertise an ordinance that amends the LDR’s.  The purpose of his presentation was to give the background and structure of LDR’s, the proposed ordinance, the staff analysis, next steps and the requested action.  He stated that the Land Development Regulations are part of the Lake County Codification, specifically Appendix E, and that the current form was adopted in 1992.  He commented that Appendix E contains fifteen chapters and that the Board had made several amendments through the years including replacing the entire sign code, the Mount Plymouth Sorrento CRA commercial design standards, inclusion of Florida Water Star standards for irrigation and the entire new landscape ordinance in 2008.  He remarked that where they currently were was a result of the 2030 Comprehensive Plan which was adopted in 2011 with certain goals, objectives and policies requiring LDR updates within a specified time frame.  He remarked that very few of the updates had taken place and at the January 2017 Board retreat, the BCC identified the LDR updates as a priority.  As a result of this prioritization, staff had produced an ordinance that would streamline and correct inconsistencies that existed between the LDR and the Comprehensive Plan.  Some of the highlights in the ordinance included: amending some definitions, removing the density point scale that had been in the plan since 1992, removing the twice a year Comp Plan amendment cycle, revising the permitted use table, providing dark sky standards which would focus light toward the ground rather than the sky, providing clarification to public hearing notifications and prohibiting LED/digital signs within the Clermont JPA as requested by Clermont. 

Mr. McClendon continued with the presentation by mentioning that the staff worked with the Land Planning Group (LPG) and he thanked Mr. Greg Beliveau for his assistance.  He explained that the proposed ordinance was consistent and compatible with the Comprehensive (Comp) Plan and that the Planning and Zoning Board unanimously recommended approval of the ordinance in June.  Next steps were to continue identifying inconsistencies that existed between the Comp Plan and the LDR’s by reaching out directly to customers, continuing to work with LPG to write the new code, implementing the four year internal work program and considering future amendments on a chapter by chapter basis.  He reiterated the actual requested action was to request approval to advertise the ordinance and to hold the second meeting at 9:00 am instead of the 5:05 pm as required by Florida Statutes. 

Commr. Parks noted that one of the inconsistencies was the commercial criteria between Lake County and Clermont along Highway 50 and Highway 27 and the need to come up with better codes.  He asked Mr. McClendon the timeline of when this would happen.

Mr. McClendon replied that the commercial design standards could happen faster than the entire Chapter 3.

Commr. Parks stated he would prefer that and realized that cooperation needs to happen between Clermont and Lake County.

Commr. Breeden thanked Mr. McCendon and LPG and opined it was a good start.

Commr. Sullivan remarked how this was an example of what comes out of the Board’s work sessions and that it was a priority from the Board Retreat.

On a motion by Commr. Parks, seconded by Commr. Breeden and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the request to advertise an ordinance amending multiple chapters of the Lake County Land Development Regulations to eliminate unnecessary provisions, clarify existing definitions, and provide consistency between the Land Development Regulations and the Lake County 2030 Comprehensive Plan.

public works

Bear-resistant garbage carts

Ms. Mary Hamilton, Environmental Services Manager, stated the purpose of the presentation was to provide an overview of the deployment of the garbage cans, some background information, ongoing outreach and requested action.  She started with some background information mentioning that Solid Waste provides collection and disposal services to 69,155 unincorporated residential units including weekly trash, recycling and yard waste collection as well as construction material and bulk items pick-up.  In 2015, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) ranked Lake County as having the second highest number of bear complaints in the state.  In 2016, the Board amended the Lake County code to allow for bear carts with the County’s mechanical collection system with the caveat that the ordinance would not go into effect unless FWC awarded funds to purchase the bear resistant carts.  In 2017, FWC awarded Lake County $200,000.00 to purchase 864 of the 95 gallon bear-resistant garbage carts with the following specifications: carts would be distributed on a first-come, first-serve basis for residents identified in bear complaint areas, residents would be charged a $40 standard delivery fee, residents qualifying for low income eligibility would have the $40 fee waived, the County would be responsible for the collection of current carts and the roll-out of the bear-resistant carts and would provide education regarding use of the bear-resistant carts.  As part of the process, FWC provided three vendors that had products which had met the grizzly bear protocol and were compatible with the County’s automatic collection systems.  All three of the vendors’ products were tested multiple times with all three of the County’s haulers’ equipment.  After weeks of testing, only one vendor consistently achieved success with all of the haulers’ equipment and that was Northland Products’ Kodiak bear cart which was then purchased.  A soft deployment started with 24 residents who were on a waiting list and 19 of the carts were deployed as five owners declined for various reasons.  Public Safety also partnered to test two carts at fire stations located within bear complaint areas.  She reported that 15 of the residents responded to request for feedback, with five residents stating they had seen bears attempting to get into the carts, without success, and that there were no reported hauler issues.  The feedback received indicated a successful soft deployment, and with the Board’s approval, full deployment would be initiated on Monday, September 25, 2017.  The full deployment would review the existing waiting list of 155 residents interested in receiving the bear-resistant carts with other interested unincorporated Lake County residents instructed to contact Solid Waste.  Requestor location would be verified to confirm they were in a bear complaint area with the focus on the North quadrant being deployed the first round of carts.  The $40 delivery fee would be collected, with low income assistance available, and then Solid Waste would perform the swap of existing carts.  The outreach efforts would include working with the media and FWC to communicate the program as well as participation in the 18th Annual Florida Wildlife Festival in Umatilla on October 21, 2017 to include a display cart, educational brochures and a sign-up sheet for the next order of carts.  Since the Board approved the application for FWC during the August 22, 2017 meeting, a request for another $200,000.00 will be applied for in October.  She concluded with the request to approve the bear-resistant garbage cart deployment.  She then demonstrated how the cart worked.

Commr. Breeden thanked Ms. Hamilton and stated this would make a lot of people happy.

Mr. Jochim commented he would like to see the pick-up scheduled later than 6:00 AM in the morning which might reduce the need for the bear-resistant garbage cans. 

On a motion by Commr. Campione, seconded by Commr. Blake and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the request for the bear-resistant garbage cart full deployment.  There is no fiscal impact.

other business

appointment to lake emergency medical services board

On a motion by Commr. Breeden, seconded by Commr. Parks and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved Ray Lewis to fill the seat on the Lake Emergency Medical Services Board of Directors.


County manager

Executive director, lake sumter Mpo

Mr. Cole mentioned that from the Lake Sumter Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) Governing Board meeting in August, the Board asked for Sumter County Administrator Mr. Bradley Arnold and himself to identify a potential recruitment process for the Executive Director of the Lake Sumter MPO.  He reported that it was completed and that a potential process had been compiled and provided to Mr. T.J. Fish, Executive Director Lake Sumter MPO, to be included in the agenda for the September 25, 2017 Lake Sumter MPO Executive Board Meeting and the September 27, 2017 Lake Sumter MPO Governing Board meeting. 

Bcc meeting times

Mr. Cole also indicated that the September 26, 2017 BCC meeting was moved from a 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. start with the budget meeting starting at 5:05 p.m.  The regular BCC meeting on that date had been compressed with most items shifting to the October 10, 2017 BCC meeting.


commissioner parks – district #2

appointment of jennifer barker

Commr. Parks requested approval to add Ms. Jennifer Barker, County Budget Manager,  to the Central Florida Expressway Authority Finance Committee in order to fill an opening on the committee.

On a motion by Commr. Campione, seconded by Commr. Breeden and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the request to appoint Jennifer Barker to the Central Florida Expressway Authority Finance Committee.

clermont annexation of property near anderson hill road

Commr. Parks requested the April 4, 2017 letter from the Chairman to Clermont, regarding the Anderson Hill Commercial Project, be updated and sent again with the following additions.  First, information should be inserted after the first paragraph describing what the current land use was in the county, making it very clear to Clermont so there was no question regarding what the County would allow.  Secondly, a sentence should be added at the very end respectfully requesting that the County Engineer be able to review and add comments pertaining to the applicant’s traffic study.  He reiterated that it should be a joint planning process.

Commr. Breeden remarked that the second bullet on the second page of the letter seemed to be conflicting with the remainder of the letter.  The bullet stated that “access to Anderson Hill Road from the proposed commercial development shall be prohibited except for emergency vehicle access.”  She opined that statement stands alone because you do not need traffic measures for emergency vehicles but the letter seemed to move in a different direction with comments regarding traffic mitigation. 

Commr. Campione commented that the sub bullets in the letter would apply if access to Anderson Hill Road was being allowed, but according to the letter, it seemed to imply access was not allowed but was conflicting with the requirements listed in the sub bullets. 

Commr. Parks indicated an understanding of what Commr. Breeden and Commr. Campione said; however, he clarified that because of the intensity of the commercial development and what was being proposed, there would be more traffic coming and going on Anderson Hill Road even though access would be limited. 

Commr. Campione asked if this was due to the increased square footage.

Commr. Parks clarified that it was 58,000 square feet of some of the highest trip generating traffic and that even though Lake County was encouraging commercial development, it would affect traffic and the houses on Anderson Hill Road.

Commr. Breeden commented that residents were not in favor of the development but opined that they might want Anderson Hill Road to be a cul-de-sac at some point. 

Commr. Parks indicated that the letter mentioned a Lake County driveway connection permit and that might be something the commission needed to consider at some point.  If something with high intensity did get approved, then it might be an option to cul-de-sac the road. 

Commr. Campione remarked that based on the letters from residents asking for quietness in the neighborhood to be reserved, that a cul-de-sac might accomplish that goal. 

Commr. Sullivan noted there were a few citizens who wanted to address the Board.

Ms. Cecelia Bonifay, an attorney with Ackerman, LLP and representing the Anderson Hill Commercial Project, stated that Mr. Peter Pensa, staff planner and applicant who did all the exhibits and drawings, was planning to speak but had to leave for another meeting.  However, Mr. Quint Roberts, the development owner, was knowledgeable and would speak as well as Mr. Vasu Persaud, the transportation planner who did the traffic analysis with the methodology as required by Lake Sumter MPO.  She reported their professional traffic engineer went through a joint process that exists throughout Lake County, where it is required to do a traffic study in compliance with Lake Sumter MPO, but opined why Lake County had no input, and that even Mr. Fred Schneider, County Engineer, had not seen this even though the study had been available since December or January.  She specified that there was a planning process but the County Engineer had not been involved and that Mr. Persaud had talked to the Lake County staff several times and had gone back to the Lake Sumter MPO with additional data and information.  She opined that their project seemed to be singled out in Lake County in regards to driveway permits, which she stated is usually not required and noted that Commr. Parks previously stated this earlier in this meeting.  She asked if Mr. Schneider had reviewed their traffic study, done in compliance with the Lake Sumter MPO, or made any statement on the record regarding the impact of traffic from this development. She stated that their traffic study showed that only 17 percent of the capacity of Anderson Hill Road was used currently and that after their development, only 21 percent would be used, which was less then what was permitted in the county.  She indicated there was no road access that needed to be mitigated, legally pursuant to Florida Statutes Chapter 163, Section 3180, because the County could not require mitigation if the road was not overburdened and not failing.  She opined that poor road construction should not fall on the applicant and that restricting access and then requiring the developer to reconstruct the roadway and switch back curves, traffic calming, speed limits, etc. is unprecedented, unfair and unequitable.

Commr. Parks clarified that Mr. Schneider had reviewed the information.

Mr. Quint Roberts, Anderson Hill DLSU, owner and developer of the property, went through an overview including some of the information that Mr. Pensa was planning to share.   He presented an image of the commercial space and stated they had about 68,000 square feet of commercial space which included a 33,000 square feet, 2-story commercial retail building, that had access to Anderson Hill Road; an approved church parcel on the back five acres of about 25,000 square feet; and a 9,500 square feet building on the top of the land.  The proposal was to reduce that amount to 58,000 square feet, therefore taking an approved County project from 17 percent intensity to 14 percent.  The Future Land Use for the project, including all three parcels, was urban low which required 25 percent, so this project was significantly under the intensity allowed by the County for commercial development.  He reiterated they were not requesting a variance but taking what was approved, putting it together in one project, reducing the intensity, and were actually taking two accesses to Anderson Hill Road and reducing it down to one access because the church parcel had its own access to Anderson Hill Road.  As far as the project and its impact to Anderson Hill Road, they did a traffic study and found the volume capacity of the road was currently 17 percent, which was less than a quarter of the capacity allowed.  He specified that this project would add about 270 trips to it, over a 24 hour period, so a car about every five minutes and during peak hours it would add about 40 trips, which would take the volume to capacity ratio up to 21 percent which was still under a quarter of its capacity.  He opined that no one was coming to this project from Anderson Hill Road but the majority would be using Highway 27 from the north and the south with the traffic study showing that 43 percent of the trips came from north Highway 27 and 40 percent from south Highway 27, which was a road well designed for that type of impact.  The applicant wanted to do their part to help with the road impact but did not want to redesign an entire road if their impact to that road was negligible.  He reported that what they proposed with the Planned Unit Development was to do work to the shoulders and curves, to stripe the road along the property, to add sidewalks, and to do their proportionate share of improvements to Anderson Hill Road.  He opined that the road did not have any current problems and yet there seemed to be concern about the impact of traffic to it.  He clarified that their traffic analysis was sent to the Lake Sumter MPO, who reviewed it, accepted it and found no concerns.  He reported that they pulled the accident data for this road for the previous five years and it showed only five accidents, which averaged one accident per year, as compared to the intersection on Highway 27 just down from Anderson Hill Road that had fifty accidents the previous year, meaning this road was far less dangerous than other roads in the county. 

Mr. Roberts summarized that the project would be bringing to Lake County jobs and services that the county needs and realized this would impact the county.  He restated they were willing to pay their fair share, but when told they would have no access but still had to improve roads, changes that he estimated would take a million dollars to do, then they ask that they be shown why it needed to be done and the numbers that support it, and then they were willing to consider it.  He concluded that the type of development they would be bringing was upscale, healthy, active uses that were unique to the county.  He also elaborated that there were some visibility issues with houses along the back of the property, and stated they would put a nice masonry wall to separate the development from the houses.  He closed with reminding the Board that this was a commercial piece of property, with other commercial development along the same section of Highway 27, and to consider that if this development does not get done, then other commercial development might be put there instead.

Commr. Breeden mentioned that she does not have any concerns with the use of the property as it seemed appropriate for Highway 27 but she asked Mr. Roberts what impact it would have to the property if they were denied access to Anderson Hill Road and only had the one access point from Highway 27.

Mr. Roberts opined that it would negatively impact the project because the tenants would question it and the affect it would have on their business.  He also opined that this would make it dangerous for residents who live off of Anderson Hill Road and wanted to come to the development because they would have to utilize Highway 27, making two U-turns, one of which was the sixth most dangerous intersection in the county.

Commr. Parks opined that people already use Lake Shore Drive and would use Anderson Hill Road to get to that property, adding that there was data to support that people already use Anderson Hill Road to get off of Highway 27.  He indicated that the County Engineer and planning staff should continue to be a part of the process and the letter does not say denial, but says they should look at the data with Mr. Schneider continuing to be a part of the process and looking at the impact to Anderson Hill Road. 

Mr. Roberts responded that the letter he had seen stated that access to Anderson Hill Road from the proposed commercial development shall be prohibited.

Commr. Parks confirmed that was correct and something he thought that the BCC supported.

Mr. Roberts offered for consideration that since they were prohibited prior to the traffic study, that now the additional data might be considered.

Commr. Parks indicated that the county engineers already made their recommendation to prohibit access, which is why it was supported by the Commission.

Mr. Robert opined that was done prior to the traffic study was submitted.

Commr. Blake added that he did not approve of writing the letter initially because the traffic study had not yet been done.

Commr. Campione asked if there was right-of-way available to accomplish the bullet in the letter regarding “reconstructing the roadway and switch back curves of Anderson Hill Road from US 27 to the west, approximately 900 linear feet to near the development western boundary line.”

Mr. Schneider responded that the right-of-way on the switch back curves was something additional they would request because the right-of-way was not adequate to improve the curves, and since they were putting the building on the corner, they were not proposing to dedicate any additional right-of-way.  He clarified that while the traffic study might have gone to the Lake Sumter MPO, it had not yet been received by his staff nor had he seen it yet.  In regards to level of service on roadways, he reported that the road was designated as a collector road and the planning manual could state that 10,000 cars a day could drive on it but realistically they could not, so sometimes you have to balance what the traffic study says with practical experience and how the road functions today verses how it was adopted in the comp plan. Every ten years they work with the Lake Sumter MPO and revise functional status of roadways and that section of Lake Shore and Anderson Hill was starting to function more as local road rather than a collector road.  He indicated that the County Engineer’s office was willing to work with the County Manager on the decision of how this development would access the roads.

Commr. Breeden asked what the probability of FDOT (Florida Department of Transportation) allowing a cut through there.

Mr. Schneider replied that Anderson Hill Road was currently a right in and right out, and the development property to the north had a left turn into it.  He explained that the applicant was proposing a plan to request a left turn into their property but he did not know if FDOT would agree to that.  There was a possibility to have a left turn that both properties would share but they would need the cooperation of the property to the north. 

Mr. Vasu Persaud, professional traffic operations engineer and certified planner, stated his firm works specifically with traffic operations and safety analysis and that he has worked on several Lake County projects and was familiar with the area.  He recapped a few items that Mr. Roberts had mentioned reiterating that their proposal would reduce morning peak hour trips during school hours and slightly increase afternoon/evening peak hours by approximately twelve trips.  He clarified that although this was classified as retail, 20,000 square feet of it was a gym which, would not generate as many trips as normal retail.  He continued by stating that the traffic study was reviewed by the Lake Sumter MPO and they found no deficiency in level of service, and that they did verify U-turns as requested by the Lake Sumter MPO in the first traffic study.  He indicated that the analysis and transportation engineering portion seemed clear but that there were some judgment issues to consider.  He opined that even though the development would add trips, they were not extensive and that even without the project, the cut through issues would not be solved.  He stated he had respect for Mr. Schneider and the Board but believed that making the changes requested would be even more than the one million dollars Mr. Robert had quoted, and he had concern since they had followed every element required and had not found any issues with traffic or safety.  As a traffic engineer, he would not recommend elimination of the Anderson Hill Road access point as he opined that the issue was an existing deficiency and the Florida Statutes 163.3180 does not require a developer to fix an existing deficiency.  He mentioned that in the meeting with the residents, they expressed that they did not want those improvements because it would produce more cut through traffic, and that as a planner and traffic operations person, one of solutions to preserve the character of the corridor was best accomplished through a traffic calming study and he shared some examples that could be used.  He expressed concern if denying the commercial project would still solve the existing issues. 

Commr. Parks asked if two traffic studies were done.

Mr. Persaud replied that a traffic study was done for the first application and they received an approval letter with the caveat that the intersection of Johns Lake Road and US 27, as well as Johns Lake Road and Citrus Tower Boulevard, be monitored for U-turns.  He stated they did traffic counts at those intersections and would share the information with the county, and opined that from an operations perspective, it was not a very congestive situation.

Commr. Campione asked how the site plan would be changed if they were not permitted to use Anderson Hill Road.

Mr. Persaud replied that there were preliminary discussions with FDOT regarding straightening out the curves on the road.  One of their concerns was on south US 27, because of the right turn on Johns Lake Road and the turn lane there, they did not want to move the current location of Anderson Hill Road, where the curves tie into US 27, any more south.  The residents did not want the road improved as it would increase cut through traffic.

Commr. Campione explained that the residents did not want the road to be straightened, even though that makes it safer, because that would bring more traffic, so in essence, the nature of the road itself was traffic calming.  She asked how the site plan would change if there was only one entrance.

Mr. Persaud commented that safety improvements could be made without increasing the volume to the road. 

Mr. Roberts replied that the ordinance in Clermont or Lake County would not allow the project to have just one access so the very minimum would be an emergency crash gate access on Anderson Hill Road, which meant the site plan would not change significantly.

Commr. Campione elaborated that since there would be the emergency gate access, and if the site plan remained the same, then there was the option to later turn the emergency access into a left turn only for people to turn left and go to Highway 27.

Commr. Parks clarified that was his goal in writing the letter and hoped to coordinate with Mr. Schneider to make recommendations, and to remember that to residents, it was more of a local road even if classified as a collector road. 

Ms. Jennifer Cotch, a Clermont resident who lives off of Anderson Hill Road, stated she has lived in the area for 15 years and wanted to share some of the residents’ concerns.  She described that the road had no sidewalks, curbs or shoulder to walk on, there were visibility issues and the road was splitting in two, which had led the Public Works department to be out there on a regular basis.  She commented that the site plan for the church portion was approved in 1994 and the commercial property approved in 2006, and that in accordance with LDR 14.09.03, site plans are approved for 18 months and therefore these approvals did not exist anymore.  She remarked that the area has changed vastly since the time of these approvals and this was why the residents were frustrated.  She stated that the church zoning was a buffer for the residents with the commercial zoning in the front section.  She shared that residents were asking for help because they desire to be safe and they felt like they could not walk the road safely with all the traffic, cannot walk safely to the beach parcel area, and that their property values were going down.  She explained that she was not opposed to development but this property had been vacant for a long time and asked that it be looked at in light of the surrounding uses, keeping in mind that side of Highway 27 was residential. 

Commr. Campione asked if having curbs, a shoulder, sidewalks and some traffic calming speed tables would satisfy Ms. Cotch.

Ms. Cotch replied that would help and that even considering a four way stop at the corner of Sunshine, Katherine and Anderson Hill Roads would help to diminish the speeding happening down the road.  She also stated she supported the letter the commissioners wrote to the Mayor of Clermont.

Commr. Campione remarked she had concerns with the letter and would like to concentrate on improving what already existed through traffic calming measures and utilizing the development as an opportunity to get this done and help the community.

Commr. Parks stated he did not find issue with the letter and that four commissioners supported access to Anderson Hill Road being prohibited, but remarked they should get Mr. Schneider involved with the traffic study to see what mitigation measures could be put in place, and to create some solutions in a timely manner since Clermont would hear this on September 26, 2017. 

Commr. Sullivan noted that there were two separate issues: working with the developer to see what mitigations they could do for the exit from their property to Anderson Hill Road and then staff needs to determine what traffic calming issues needed to be done on the road itself. 

Commr. Campione reiterated using this as an opportunity to correct some of these issues and make it safer for residents.  She noted that if traffic experts were unable to find a way to utilize traffic calming measures to make this better, then the alternative was to just have an emergency access. 

Commr. Parks agreed to have Mr. Schneider’s professional opinion heard as an engineer regarding the traffic study data.

Commr. Campione suggested the letter be amended to say “access to Anderson Hill Road from the proposed commercial development shall be prohibited, except for emergency vehicle access, unless traffic calming can be effectively implemented to the satisfaction of the Lake County engineer, subject to review by the Board of County Commissioners”.  Then she included the provision that stated “Lake County Commercial Driveway Connection permit will be required for the driveway connection” making this the vehicle by which the Public Works Department could grant or deny that access.

Ms. Melanie Marsh, County Attorney, encouraged Commr. Sullivan to take a vote, therefore giving him authorization to sign the letter on behalf of the Board. 

On a motion by Commr. Parks, seconded by Commr. Campione and carried by a vote of 4-1, the Board approved to write the letter with the changes Commr. Campione had indicated: “access to Anderson Hill Road from the proposed commercial development shall be prohibited, except for emergency vehicle access, unless traffic calming can be effectively implemented to the satisfaction of the Lake County engineer, subject to review by the Board of County Commissioners.  Prior to the City of Clermont’s final approval, the City should coordinate with the Lake County Public Works Department to structure the planning and implementation of the aforementioned traffic calming measures.  A Lake County Commercial Driveway Connection permit will be required for the driveway connection.”  This change would therefore delete the four sub bullets on the second page of the letter, leaving the rest of letter the same.

Commr. Blake voted no.

water authority update

Commr. Parks asked for an update via email from the Lake County Water Authority on the Cherry Lake structure and water levels through the Clermont Chain of Lakes.

Commr. Sullivan commented that was a great idea and would help with questions he gets regarding the Harris Chain of Lakes and the concern about vegetation.  He requested the Board to give their questions regarding this to the County Manager and he would have him come and speak to the issues.

laser hurricane recovery update

Commr. Parks recognized LASER for their recovery efforts from Hurricane Irma.  He opined that what Mr. Michael Tart, Chairman of LASER, had done with LASER on his own time was amazing and would help in the coming months as the Board gets questions about insurance, assistance, FEMA, etc.  He reiterated the value of having LASER and asked the Board to consider helping to get funds to them quickly so they could continue to help with recovery.

Mr. Cole replied that Mr. Tart might be able to speak to their efforts and elaborated that they had spoken last week and he had learned what LASER had been doing in the Astor area to help people who had been impacted.  He authorized $10,000.00 in funding to LASER to help with that immediate assistance and it was received within two days.  He mentioned that Mr. Tart presented an additional funding request yesterday, but that he was not aware of any funding availability. 

Commr. Parks suggested that Mr. Tart should present at the BCC meeting the following week to show everything his organization had done and mentioned that Mr. Tart was requesting around $100,000.00 in order to help Lake County.  He proposed that this amount could possibly be funded from the County reserve as a one-time award since it was a large disaster and asked the Board to discuss this option.

Mr. Cole stated this might be something to defer until the budget meeting that evening.

Mr. Tart stated they were the avenue to receive funds for the Florida Disaster Recovery Fund and that he had been on the phone with Volunteer Florida’s Emergency Manager and told him he was waiting to hear about funding.  He clarified that LASER’s process was to put case managers in the area to facilitate long term needs, and that even with the thousands of hours the 67 volunteers had already done, they had not even really started the recovery process as this event was still very real for those affected by it.

Commr. Campione remarked that their work was going directly to individuals who had damage but did not have the money to get things done in order to protect their homes and families.

Mr. Tart confirmed that was correct and reported that for the funding awarded, they would be receiving three people, two case managers for the North and the South, and one person to run the entire operation.  They would run long term recovery and continue to work on tree removal from private properties for quite a while.  He explained that this situation was different from the Groundhog Day tornados because there was money coming in for that but they did not have that for this disaster.  He explained that his organization depends on donations, giving the example that the county used to fund LASER with $52,500.00 per year but they also brought in over a million in private donations.  He opined that LASER was the best investment the county had and that once the citizens’ information line and emergency operations shut down, they were willing to help for the long term recovery.  He expressed his appreciation for Mr. Cole and all his help and stated his willingness to do a presentation but would prefer to not have to come back to the Board and shared his desire to get back out in the area to help.

Commr. Campione stated it had to be an item on the agenda for the Board to take action. 

Commr. Breeden expressed appreciation for all Mr. Tart and LASER were doing but suggested Mr. John Molenda and Mr. Tommy Carpenter meet with Mr. Tart to see if they could negotiate a lesser amount.

Mr. Tart specified that he was counting on faith based organizations to help but what they could provide was not enough and clarified that he was not asking for everything needed but for a minimum amount.  He reminded the Board that in 2004, Governor Jeb Bush wanted a long term recovery organization in every county in Florida for these very reasons. 

Mr. Cole recognized the value LASER provides to the community which was why he gave the funding to them the previous week, but felt the responsibility for the Board to have the complete picture of the financial situation and related costs of this storm to the county.  He mentioned he would bring to the budget meeting a list of the financial resources that were already being utilized for the storm so the Board could have a full understanding and then could decide how to redirect some of the resources.

Commr. Sullivan agreed with Mr. Cole’s recommendation to bring more details to the budget meeting.

Commr. Campione recapped how the funding used to be given stating that years ago it was a budget item, approximately $52,000.00, every year so LASER could mobilized when needed.  Then the Board decided to make it a minimum amount with the caveat to implement funding when needed instead of just paying to have it available.  She remarked how Mr. Tart was gracious to accept this and keep the non-profit status in order but ramped it up when needed.  She opined that this was where they are now with the non-profit available, Mr. Tart’s expertise is available and he has people he can put in these positions immediately to work these cases, and she felt that the Board needed to fund it so the Board can refer residents to LASER to get the assistance and help they need.

commissioner breeden – district #3

Commr. Breeden expressed her thanks and gratitude to Mr. Carpenter, Mr. Molenda, the Sheriff’s Office, the first responders, the county staff who gave help in a variety of different areas, the municipal and volunteer partners like LASER, and donors such as Budweiser and Niagara who donated 65,000 bottles of water.  She also thanked Big House and Real Life who provided shelters and all the numerous organizations and volunteers who helped in the wake of Hurricane Irma.

Commr. Sullivan indicated that he asked staff to make a list of community partners and staff who they could recognize for their great attributes.

Mr. Cole acknowledged how all of the Commissioners lent a helping hand and how that made a difference to the staff and to all who volunteered.



commissioner campione – district #4

ISBA meeting on september 20, 2017

Commr. Campione reminded everyone of the ISBA meeting on September 20, 2017, in Eustis at 5:30 p.m. and inquired about the next steps if the Board does not take action.

Ms. Marsh replied that the Board could take action if all three elected bodies come to an agreement on certain terms, and then an agreement could be drafted with those terms that would go back to each of the three bodies for an approval vote.  If the three entities were unable to come to an agreement, then the next stage would be mediation, keeping in mind that Eustis had the ability to stop the impasse if they desire.  After mediation, if there were no results, there would be a final joint public meeting with all three elected boards again. 

Commr. Campione indicated that issues with ISBA’s continue to arise and one of the bigger issues was the transportation side because when municipalities want to annex, they must be willing to take on maintenance issues associated with the roads, otherwise it creates other issues with public safety and law enforcement and the question of who will pay for road maintenance. 

hurricane irma

Commr. Campione also mentioned that she was looking forward to seeing the list of everyone who helped out during the storm so they could do some type of recognition for them.  She shared one example and thanked how Mission Inn set up a water station in order for people to come and get what they needed and she also thanked Niagara for donating free water twice.

commissioner blake – district #5

hurricane irma

Commr. Blake remarked how incredibly impressed he was with how everyone took action and how smoothly things ran, and that he appreciated how Chief Molenda helped him with so many public safety issues, and he shared his appreciation for everyone working the citizen information line.

meeting recess and reassembly

The Chairman called recess at 1:43 p.m. until the 5:05 p.m. Budget Public Hearing Meeting.

5:05 budget public hearing

presentation of Millage Rates over rolled-back rates

Commr. Sullivan thanked the audience for attending the meeting and explained they would be given time to address the Board regarding the FY 2018 budget and also clarified that if anyone had questions regarding the assessed value or taxable value on their property, the property appraiser had representatives out in the rotunda to provide information and forms about the Value Adjustment Board process.  He also thanked the Sheriff for being present at the meeting.

Mr. Cole shared details regarding the proposed budget stating that when the Board set the maximum millage rate in July, that they set a status quo millage and instructed him to identify opportunities for efficiencies and where expenses could be reduced in order for the Board to consider a reduced millage rate.  He indicated that he worked with department directors and a variety of leaders and staff during the summer to evaluate all of the county operations and provided a memo to the Board on September 1, 2017, with a copy of this letter in their packet.  He reported that with the reorganization approved by the Board and with the saving opportunities found throughout the organization, they identified $1,123,483.00 in reductions for the FY 2017-2018 budget in July, which was a combined savings from the current year’s budget and the next year’s budget, therefore allowing more money to be carried forward and reductions for next year.  He thanked everyone involved and appreciated the cooperation throughout the organization to accomplish such a monumental task.  He explained that these details were in the September 1, 2017 memo and that his recommendation was to reduce the current millage from 5.118 to 5.0546 in order to provide some tax relief.  He detailed that millage rate would balance the budget, fully fund the Constitutional Officers’ budget, and leave a surplus of $500,000.00 to add to the County’s reserves.  He explained his goal was to increase the reserves incrementally since the Board’s policy states that County reserves need to be maintained between seven and twelve percent, and in recent years they had been at seven percent.  He noted that was his intent in the September 1, 2017 memo, but then Hurricane Irma came and had significant impacts to the County and its budget. 

Mr. Cole recognized all the response from the County staff and agencies to that storm but clarified that the county must upfront all the costs related to it and that typically eighty percent of the cost was debris cleanup, which they were undergoing now.  He explained that it was too early to fully understand what the storm would cost, but that he would share some examples of previous storm costs.  He remarked that it was important to understand they would seek FEMA reimbursement for storm related costs but it was then up to FEMA to determine whether costs were eligible with a typical scenario being seventy-five percent reimbursement.  He reminded the Board that the county has to fund upfront any costs related to this event plus any other future events that happen later this year.  He gave an example that in 2004, Lake County had to upfront $21.6 million on Hurricanes Jeanne and Francis.  He clarified that the process for reimbursement could be lengthy, sharing that they recently settled in 2015 on costs from storms in 2004 but were still working on storm related costs from the 2007 tornados.  He emphasized the fact that there might be FEMA reimbursement but that it could take many.  He concluded that with that in mind, and knowing there are upfront costs, including an agreement with some of the cities to upfront their costs for debris removal until they are reimbursed from FEMA, his recommendation was that the Board now consider leaving the millage at the current rate of 5.118, which would result in a $1.6 million dollar surplus across FY 2016-2017 and into FY 2017-2018, keeping in mind that some of that had already been spent on storm related costs and it was still uncertain how much was needed beyond that amount.  He clarified to the Board that the FY 2017-2018 budget presentation to follow was prepared using the current millage rate set in July, that it was prepared prior to the vote on the reorganization, which was a $430,000.00 savings from efficiencies and the reorganization, and that the $1.6 million surplus would be reflected in next week’s public hearing.

Ms. Jennifer Barker, County Budget Manager, commented that this was the first of two public hearings on the FY 2018 budget and clarified this was the budget as overseen by the Lake County Board of County Commissioners, and that information regarding the public hearings for the School Board or taxing authorities in Lake County was available in the rotunda.  She stated that the purpose of the public hearing was to present the proposed millage rates, the changes from the rolled-back millage rates and the tentative budget for FY 2018.  She explained that by the State’s definition, the rolled-back millage rate was a rate when applied to next year’s tax base, excluding any new construction, which would generate the same revenues that were raised in the previous year.  She mentioned the agenda included the presentation of the proposed millage rates over the rolled-back rates, the presentation of the tentative budget for FY 2018, the public hearing and the four actions of the Board which included: adopting the FY 2018 tentative millage rates, adopting changes to the recommended budget, approval of the FY 2018 tentative budget and approval of the public hearing date for final adoption.   She reviewed the property values by presenting a slide that showed final values for FY 2017 as certified on October 1, 2016 and FY 2018 values as certified by the property appraiser on July 1, 2017.  She reported that the countywide millage’s, which include the Lake County General Fund, Ambulance MSTU (Municipal Service Taxing Unit) and the Public Lands Voted Debt, had an increase of 9.08 percent and that the Lake County Stormwater, Roads, Parks MSTU and Fire Rescue had an increase of 6.5 percent with the final property values for FY 2018 available on October 1, 2017.   She specified that Chapters 129 and 200 of the Florida Statutes, which outline the procedure for the annual adoption of tax rates and budgets, require identification of the proposed millage rates for FY 2018 as well as any adjustments the Board considers.  She reported the following millage tax rates:  the proposed FY 2018 Lake County General Fund millage was 5.1180 mills, which was equal to the FY 2017 rate and a 4.90 percent increase over the rolled-back tax rate of 4.8789 mills; the proposed FY 2018 Lake County Ambulance MSTU millage was 0.4629 mills, which was equal to the FY 2017 rate and a 4.89 percent increase over the rolled-back tax rate of 0.4413 mills; the proposed FY 2018 Lake County Stormwater, Roads, Parks MSTU millage was 0.4957 mills, which was equal to the FY 2017 rate and a 4.47 percent increase over the rolled-back tax rate of 0.4745 mills; the proposed FY 2018 Lake County Fire Rescue EMS millage was 0.4704 mills, which was equal to the FY 2017 rate and a 4.46 percent increase over the rolled-back tax rate of 0.4503 mills; and the proposed FY 2018 Lake County Public Lands Voted Debt millage was 0.1524 mills, which was equal to the rate adopted in FY 2017 and does not figure into the rolled-back calculations as it was approved by a referendum.  Based on the calculation by the Florida State Department of Revenue on the DR-420, Certification of Taxable Value form, the current year proposed aggregate rate was 4.90 percent over the rolled-back tax rate. 

Ms. Barker continued with the presentation of the tentative budget stating there had been nineteen budget workshops to date with the following strategy as a roadmap for the development of the FY 2018 budget: department budgets were kept at a status quo level to maintain the current level of service, with the exception of those outlined during the budget workshop presentations earlier in the summer; some mandated costs had increased, which include items like the Florida Retirement System (FRS) rates; all of the operating millages would be kept at the FY 2017 rates; the Public Lands Voted Debt would be kept at the FY 2017 rate; and the General Fund Reserves would meet the Board Policy of seven to twelve percent of the operating budget.  She stated the proposed tentative budget as presented did the following: addressed all the Constitutional Officers’ Requests received by August 1, 2017; incorporated the approved project list using the new Infrastructure Sales Tax funding source approved during the August 22, 2017 workshop; included enhanced cybersecurity initiatives; included increased funding for the new transit contract; included employee performance based raises; included funding for the Hickory Point Beach Fieldhouse and Victory Pointe capital projects; had funding for the Pennbrooke and Astatula fire stations conversion from BLS (Basic Life Support) to ALS (Advanced Life Support); had vacant land included as a land use in the fire assessment allocation for the first time; and lastly, incorporated savings from the efficiency analysis done by departments over the summer, including savings the departments found but not the reorganization savings approved earlier in the meeting as those numbers would be identified in the budget next week.  She indicated the proposed budget also included an additional seven new positions as well as the elimination of one position which resulted in a net increase of six positions including two animal care technicians and one office associate for the Animal Shelter, an assistant Veteran Services Officer in Community Services to help reduce the wait time for veterans, two mobile irrigation specialists for Public Resources, which was 100 percent grant funded by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, one part time delivery driver position reclassified to full time in Fire Rescue and one limited term position in Probation was eliminated in Community Safety and Compliance.

The Chairman opened the public hearing for the tentative millage rate.

There being no one who wished to address the Board regarding this issue, the Chairman closed the public hearing.

Commr. Parks asked if the transit section included funding for the pilot program for ride share.

Ms. Barker stated it included $3000.00 for this.

Commr. Campione clarified that the pilot project was referring to the possibility of having a ride sharing service that would pick up paratransit residents who need assistance due to health related issues, as opposed to a set fleet of vehicles.

Commr. Breeden commented that Mr. Cole did a great job of finding savings and efficiencies with innovative changes which would help lower taxes; however, because of Hurricane Irma, she needed to put the needs of the hurricane recovery efforts over her campaign promise and would support his recommendation.

Mr. Cole added that when FEMA does give reimbursement, the Board could consider turning that into tax relief which could be a delayed relief down the road.

Commr. Breeden mentioned some of the proactive items the County was doing in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma that helped with the financial impact such as: waiving fees at the landfill, Public Works assisting with some of the initial debris removal, and waived permit and inspection fees for ninety days for storm related repairs.

Mr. Cole added that the County also waived all transit fees before, during and after the storm as well as waiving pet adoption fees.

Commr. Campione stated the Mr. Cole did a great job after the preliminary budget hearing by setting the millage at the status quo while looking for savings but she reported that in talking to residents, prior to Hurricane Irma, she was asked how much money came in as a result of new construction in the county and she remarked that it was important to explain for people to understand.  She noted that the ad valorem was an $8 million increase, but at the same time, other revenue sources that go into the general fund saw a $1.4 million reduction, therefore starting off with roughly $6.5 million.  She related that unlike their city counterparts who work strictly on their own department budgets, the County must fund the budgets of the Constitutional Officers and that although they had increases in Constitutional Officers budgets, they worked hard to get numbers down to the lowest amount possible.  She explained that the County Departments only get a small amount of the $6.5 million but that it was through these reductions and efficiencies that the Board was hoping to be able to go to a rollback rate.  She elaborated that she was excited about the rollback; however, then Hurricane Irma happened and now they were dealing with additional county costs while also seeing their Constitutional Officers having additional costs, without knowing the timeline or amount of reimbursement from the Federal Government.  She concluded that while it was disappointing to not be able to deliver that reduction because of the storm, she wanted the health, safety and welfare of Lake County residents put above any political concerns as elected officials and to do what was right for the community while making sure to take care of additional costs due to the storm.  Because of all this, she stated she would continue to support the status quo millage.

Commr. Parks asked if the Board was going to be able to support LASER as part of their long term recovery after Hurricane Irma and he suggested they compromise by only funding two personnel from the additional $1.6 million.

Commr. Campione specified the importance of what LASER provides to the community by helping citizens with needs that the County does not have the infrastructure to provide but stated she would like to see if Mr. Tart could review the amount requested to ensure they were getting the best value for the investment.

Mr. Cole replied he would work with Mr. Molenda and Mr. Carpenter and they would meet with Mr. Tart regarding numbers and present at the following meeting as part of the final budget adoption.

Commr. Sullivan thought that was a good idea and mentioned that through a conference call with the Governor Scott, he learned of the website, Floridadisaster.org, which had 769,000 people who had applied to get relief through FEMA.  He agreed that until they got through the processes, they should keep the millage where it was for now.

Commr. Blake reported that in talking with Mr. Tart, he mentioned that LASER did get a large amount from Floridadisaster.org for the 2007 storms and hoped he would get funds from other sources for this storm.  He stated that he was also impressed with Mr. Cole’s efforts and while he understood and respected everyone’s position, he would stick to his promise and support the rollback rate and vote against the status quo millage rate.

Commr. Sullivan shared that a great example of what staff went through was the Veterans Service officers, who were handling thirty-three percent more cases then other counties, so they really needed two new staff but the budget was adjusted to one.   He reminded the Board that a big part of the FY 2017-2018 budget was Animal Services which was in the Sheriff’s budget last year.  He concluded that he was still hoping to roll back the rate a little, but with Hurricane Irma, he thought the fiscally prudent thing to do was to support what the County Manager recommended.

Commr. Campione asked about the reserves amount.

Mr. Cole confirmed the reserves were at $9 million which was at the lowest end of the policy.

Commr. Campione remarked the need to keep in mind that the storm cost amount was not certain yet and there was the possibility of future storms.  She clarified that there were only minor changes to the budget, for example, adding the Veterans Service position, which was service related, the fire rescue was only one person, and the two fire stations going from BLS to ALS were critical.  She also reported that the Hickory Pointe and Victory Point changes were not ad valorem but from hotel tax, which had nothing to with citizens’ property taxes and that salary increases went to a merit base system based on performance.  She opined it was a prudent and conservative position so the county could pay bills related to the storm.

Commr. Parks agreed with the discussions, was hoping to have a rollback or something slightly above but opined that if they lower taxes, in some ways it makes the county more vulnerable as then they have to rely more on the Federal Government for the money and they do not want to get into a position where they would have to borrow money.  He thanked the Sheriff for being present and said he appreciated his proactive approach to the need to get additional deputies on the streets, stating that once you get a reputation of higher crime, it is hard to change that.  He also thanked the staff for all they do for the Board.

Mr. Cole clarified that if the Board approved a status quo millage and the budget as presented, with the $1.6 million as surplus to go towards the storm related expenses, he reiterated that amount would not be able to pay for all the storm related costs.  He stated it would far surpass that amount and the Board should anticipate him coming back later with a request for future funding, once they knew the full amount needed.

On a motion by Commr. Campione, seconded by Commr. Breeden and carried by a vote of 4-1, the Board approved to adopt these tentative millage rates for FY 2018 as follows: Lake County General Fund Countywide millage 5.1180 mills, Lake County Ambulance MSTU millage .04629 mills, Lake County Stormwater, Roads, Parks MSTU millage 0.4957 mills, Lake County Fire Rescue EMS millage 0.4704 mills for a total millage of 6.5470 mills and the Lake County Public Lands Voted Debt millage 0.1524 mills with the notation that when the FEMA reimbursement comes in, the Board would utilize that reimbursement as a way to reduce future millage.

Commr. Blake voted no.

changes to fy 2018 recommended budget

Ms. Barker reported that since the approval of the recommended budget in July, the following changes had been made: updated fund balance and revenue projections based on updated trends; additional funding to expand the Mobile Irrigation Lab, which was one hundred percent grant funded; departmental savings through efficiency analysis, which did not include the reorganizational changes approved earlier in the meeting; increase in funding for the Stop Loss Insurance premium; additional grant funding for the purchase of bear resistant carts; adjustment of the Tax Collector’s Budget based on his submittal received August 1, 2017; other minor miscellaneous changes or corrections; and the purchase order carryforward estimates were updated.  She asked the Board for approval to adopt the changes to the FY 2018 Recommended Budget totaling a decrease of $1,361,137.00.

On a motion by Commr. Breeden, seconded by Commr. Parks and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved to adopt the changes to the FY 2018 Recommended Budget totaling a decrease of $1,361,137.00.

FY 2018 tentative budget

Ms. Barker requested action of the Board for approval to adopt the FY 2018 Tentative Budget totaling $381,964,409.00.

On a motion by Commr. Breeden, seconded by Commr. Parks and carried by a vote of 4-1, the Board approved to adopt the FY 2018 Tentative Budget totaling $381,964,409.00.

Commr. Blake voted no.

budget final hearing date

Ms. Barker requested action of the Board for approval of the public hearing for the final adoption of the FY 2018 millage rates and budget on September 26, 2017 at 5:05 p.m., or as soon as thereafter possible, in the Board of County Commission Chambers.

On a motion by Commr. Blake, seconded by Commr. Parks and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the public hearing for the final adoption of the FY 2018 millage rates and budget on September 26, 2017 at 5:05 p.m., or as soon as thereafter possible, un the Board of County Commission Chambers.

Mr. Cole thanked the Board for their support in this budget and for the latitude to look at opportunities and thanked the staff for all their work and sacrifices in helping make these recommendations.








There being no further business to be brought to the attention of the Board, the meeting was adjourned at 5:50 p.m.






timothy i. sullivan, chairman