A regular MEETING OF THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
december 19, 2017
The Lake County Board of County Commissioners met in regular session on Tuesday, December 19, 2017 at 9:00 a.m., in the Board of County Commissioners’ Meeting Room, Lake County Administration Building, Tavares, Florida. Commissioners present at the meeting were: Timothy I. Sullivan, Chairman; Leslie Campione, Vice Chairman; Sean Parks; Wendy Breeden; and Josh Blake. Others present were: Jeff Cole, County Manager; Melanie Marsh, County Attorney; Wendy Taylor, Executive Office Manager, County Manager’s Office; Neil Kelly, Clerk of Court; Kristy Mullane, Chief Deputy Clerk, County Finance; and Angela Harrold, Deputy Clerk.
INVOCATION and pledge
Pastor Buddy Walker of Faith Christian Fellowship in Tavares gave the Invocation and led the Pledge of Allegiance.
Mr. Jeff Cole, County Manager, reported that Tab 33 was added under Commissioner Campione’s business and Tab 34 had been added to the Consent Agenda.
On a motion by Commr. Campione, seconded by Commr. Breeden, and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved the Minutes of October 3, 2017 (Special Meeting) as presented.
citizen question and comment period
Ms. Susan Yawn, a resident who resides near Hartwood Marsh Road in Winter Garden, reported that there was increased truck traffic from the nearby sand mine and the hours had extended to include overnight truck trips. She opined that there was a tremendous amount of noise, which disrupted the residents’ sleep at night, and that the activity was bringing down property values while also posing a hazard on the road because the trucks were speeding. She requested that the Board modify the current Conditional Use Permit (CUP) with Tarmac, the owner of the sand mine.
Commr. Sullivan responded that staff was aware of the concern and that they were working on it.
Commr. Campione asked if the Board was permitted to be engaged in a dialogue concerning this issue in light of the code enforcement concern and if the current CUP allowed for traffic during those hours.
Ms. Melanie Marsh, County Attorney, replied that the discussion would be okay because it did not pertain to the code enforcement action, which went to a different board. She reminded the Board that any changes to the CUP would come back to them as a quasi-judicial public hearing process. She added that a representative with the Office of Code Enforcement was present and could speak to the CUP.
Mr. Scott Catasus, Environmental Specialist with the Office of Code Enforcement, explained that the CUP was silent and that historically sand mines were able to run a 24 hour, 7 days a week operation. He added that this situation required night activity, due to the Interstate 4 expansion taking place, and that was why the trucks were transporting in the evening.
Commr. Campione asked if there was a time period for how long they would be on that schedule.
Mr. Catasus replied there was not an exact time period and that the Interstate 4 project was fairly large and sand was coming from a variety of places.
Commr. Breeden asked if other sand mines were also running at night.
Mr. Catasus indicated that other sand mines in other counties were also running at night.
Commr. Parks mentioned that this was a concern several years ago as well and that the dialogue with Tarmac then was helpful and they reduced some of the mining hours. He added that with big projects like this, staff would need to work with them.
Commr. Breeden asked if it would help to engage the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) regarding the construction time frame.
Commr. Parks remarked that Interstate 4 was approximately 50 percent completed and it would most likely take another four years to complete. He noted that staff could encourage the Lake County Sheriff’s Office to implement speed enforcement.
Mr. Cole indicated that staff would follow up with the Lake County Sheriff’s Office and that Mr. Catasus would connect with Ms. Yawn.
Mr. Zach Broome, from Bowen & Schroth, P.A. stated that he was representing residents from Minneola Shores and expressed the residents’ concerns regarding a decision to relocate a boat ramp to the Lake Hiawatha Preserve made by the City of Clermont’s City Council. He explained that when Lake County gave Clermont the funding to purchase the land, through an interlocal agreement, a boat ramp was not included in the master plan and the area was designated to be used for conservation and for passive recreation. He pointed out that through the interlocal agreement the County could regulate how the property was used. He requested that the Board challenge the permit for relocating the boat ramp.
Commr. Parks commented that he was working with a group that had similar concerns and that they would be meeting with the City of Clermont.
Mr. Cole mentioned that County staff was not at the recent City of Clermont meeting; however, they had been engaged in conversations with the city and had an audio recording copy of the meeting that took place so they could review the motion and decision. He added that staff would draft a letter to the City of Clermont to make sure they were aware of the requirements as they relate to the County’s approval for changes to the road or master plan.
Commr. Parks remarked that the Clermont Chain of Lakes was an Outstanding Florida Water Body with a high boater usage and was in high demand for access. He commented that the Board might need to engage in a discussion in regards to regional access to the Clermont Chain of Lakes.
Mr. Jim Hartman, a resident of Clermont, explained that County Engineering staff held a meeting with the residents in his area regarding road closings and easement vacations near Max Hooks Road and Montevista Farms. He stated that in the meeting, it was indicated that the roads would be paved; however, when he received notification about the easements being vacated there was no mention of a paved road being completed. He stated that he was concerned for his neighbors who live on the road because he was not clear how emergency vehicles would be able to get to their homes if there was an emergency.
Commr. Sullivan commented this item would be addressed later in the meeting under Tab 27, Public Hearings.
Mr. Cole indicated that Mr. Fred Schneider, County Engineer, was currently available to speak to Mr. Hartman in order to better understand his concerns and clarify the process. He added that if Mr. Schneider was unable to resolve the issues, then it would be important to have Mr. Hartman address his concerns during the public hearing.
Commr. Sullivan presented Proclamation 2017-156 to the following local businesses for their support of recovery efforts from Hurricane Irma: American Red Cross, Astor First Baptist Church, Florida Baptist Disaster Relief, Florida’s Natural Growers of Umatilla, Lady Lake Kiwanis, Lake Yale Baptist Retreat, Leesburg Partnership, Niagara Bottling LLC, Olive Garden of Leesburg, Papa John’s Pizza of Leesburg, Real Life Christian Church, Salvation Army, Sam’s Club of Lady Lake, Subway of Leesburg, The Big House, Via Port Mall and Wayne Densch Distributors.
CLERK OF COURTS’ CONSENT AGENDA
On a motion by Commr. Breeden, seconded by Commr. Blake and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved the Clerk of Courts’ Consent Agenda, Items 1 through 3, as follows:
List of Warrants
Request to acknowledge receipt of the list of warrants paid prior to this meeting, pursuant to Chapter 136.06 (1) of the Florida Statutes, which shall be incorporated into the Minutes as attached Exhibit A and filed in the Board Support Division of the Clerk's Office.
Inspector General Report BCC-157 Audit of Fixed Asset Verification
Request to acknowledge receipt of the Inspector General Report BCC-157 Audit of Fixed Asset Verification – Communications Technologies Division.
Property Placed on the Lands Available for Taxes List
Request to acknowledge receipt of property placed on the Lands Available for Taxes List. Lake County has until February 14, 2018 to purchase property from Lands Available List before it is available to the public.
COUNTY MANAGER’S CONSENT AGENDA
On a motion by Commr. Breeden, seconded by Commr. Blake and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the Consent Agenda, Tabs 4 through 24, adding Tab 34, as follows:
Request approval of Proclamation 2017-161 honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, per Commissioner Sullivan.
Request for approval to award contract 18-0002, Ad Litem Legal Services, to Brionez + Brionez, PA. The estimated annual fiscal impact is unknown at this time. There has been no need for these services for the past several years, but requirements are anticipated in the near future.
Office of Management and Budget
Request for approval of the request from the Lake County Sheriff's Office to appropriate $167,305.24 from the State Law Enforcement Trust Fund for expenditures authorized under the Florida Contraband Forfeiture Act. The fiscal impact is $167,305.24 (expenditure).
Request for approval of the Interlocal Agreement with the Lake County Sheriff's Office (LCSO) allowing the LCSO to use the AlertLake Emergency Notification System. There is no fiscal impact.
Request for approval of application to change the name of the east-west section of Orange Blossom Road to Woodland Hills Court. The fiscal impact is $150.00 (revenue). Commission District 1.
Request for approval of the Second Amendment to the CenturyLink Service Agreement supporting the countywide 911 equipment to extend the term and provide maintenance and support of the equipment to December 31, 2018, and authorize the Office of Procurement Services to execute any subsequent related contracts, grant documents, purchase orders or other implementing actions as needed to support the equipment during this term. The fiscal impact is $111,777.93 (expenditure).
Request for approval to award contract 18-0404 for full maintenance and repair of chiller, boiler, cooling tower and pump systems to Hill York Air Conditioning & Energy Solutions (Ft. Lauderdale, FL). The estimated annual fiscal impact is $164,639.00 (expenditure).
Authorize staff to prepare a contract with Summit Broadband, Inc. for fiber optic related services consistent with the attached Term Sheet, and schedule the agreement for Board consideration on January 9, 2018.
Request for approval to award contract 18-0409 for design, fabrication and installation of interior and exterior signs to CTI Signs (Tavares, FL), Don Bell Signs (Port Orange, FL) and Kenco Sign and Awning (Holly Hill, FL), and authorize the Office of Procurement Services to execute all supporting documentation. The fiscal impact (expenditure) will depend on actual requirements. Expenditures for similar services during Fiscal Year 2017 totaled $102,000.00.
Request for approval and signature on Resolution 2017-162 authorizing the reduction of the speed limit from 30 mph to 25 mph on Old Highway 441 (0500A), east from Baker Street to Highland Street, and on Old Highway 441 (0500A), south to 3rd Avenue, in the Mt. Dora area. The fiscal impact is $200.00 (expenditure) for sign materials. Commission District 4.
Request for approval to award contract 17-0015, to Stantec Consulting Services, Inc.(Lake Mary, FL) to provide a Project Development and Environment Study for Round Lake Road from Meadowland Drive in Orange County to State Road 44 in Lake County. The fiscal impact is $705,037.70 (expenditure). Commission District 4.
Request for approval to:
1. Execute Resolution 2017-163 authorizing the exchange of County property as part of a Purchase Agreement, and;
2. Execute a Purchase Agreement with Walter L. Hardman, Jr. and Vivian Hardman, Trustees, for right of way for the CR 466A – Phase 3A project in the Fruitland Park area, and;
3. Authorize the Chairman to execute all supporting documentation.
The fiscal impact is $70,000.00 (expenditure), and the exchange property (valued at $23,763.00). The total fiscal impact is $93,763.00. Commission District 5.
Request for approval of Resolution 2017-164 to advertise a Public Hearing to vacate right of way in the plat of Lake Highlands Company (PB 3, Pg. 24, and PB 3, Pg. 32), near Clermont. The fiscal impact is $2,295.00 (revenue - vacation application fee). Commission District 2.
Request for approval of the Memorandum of Agreement with the Florida Commission for the Transportation Disadvantaged for Lake County to continue to serve as the Community Transportation Coordinator. There is no fiscal impact.
Request for approval of grant funding for 10 organizations that submitted applications through the Children's Services Council Grant Request for Proposal process, and authorize execution of subsequent agreements relating to the grant awards for these 10 organizations. The fiscal impact is $175,761.00 (expenditure).
Request for approval of grant funding for nine organizations that submitted applications through the Human Services Grant Request for Proposal process, and authorize execution of subsequent agreements relating to the grant awards for these nine organizations. The fiscal impact is $122,500.00 (expenditure).
Request for approval to apply for a Florida Department of Transportation, Section 5310 grant, to purchase paratransit vehicles for use under the Transportation Disadvantaged Program (Lake County Connection) for Fiscal Year 2018; approval of the supporting Resolution 2017-165; acceptance and implementation of the grant award; and the procurement of the vehicles under the State's bid list through the Transit Research Inspection Procurement Services program. The fiscal impact is $394,752.00 (expenditure - County portion: $39,475.20 / Grant funding: $355,276.80).
Request for approval to apply for a Florida Department of Transportation Section 5311 grant to fund the Transportation Disadvantaged Program in Fiscal Year 2018; approval of the supporting Resolution 2017-166; and acceptance and implementation of the grant award. The fiscal impact is $934,710.00 (expenditure - County portion: $467,355.00/ Grant funded: $467,355.00).
Request for approval of the Microsoft Enterprise Services Work Order for prepaid Microsoft technical services and assistance. The fiscal impact is $65,000.00 (expenditure).
Parks and Trails
Request for approval of the Lake County Office of Parks and Trails Americans with Disabilities Act Transition Plan. The fiscal impact is to be identified and budgeted in the annual Five Year Capital Improvement Program.
Request for approval of a five-year Cooperative Service Agreement with the United States Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Services, Wildlife Services Branch, for removal of feral hogs and coyotes from County resource based parks. The fiscal impact is $35,000.00 per year (expenditure).
Request for approval of the City of Fruitland Park Master Plan for the Northwest Lake Community Park. There is no fiscal impact. Commission District 5.
public hearings: REZONING
rezoning consent agenda
Mr. Tim McClendon, Office of Planning and Zoning Manager, displayed the advertisements for that day’s rezoning cases on the overhead monitor and noted that Tabs 1 through 6 on the Rezoning Consent Agenda were approved by the Planning and Zoning Board on November 29, 2017. He noted that Tab 6 was continued from the previous month. He requested that the Board approve the Rezoning Consent Agenda consisting of Tabs 1 through 6.
The Chairman opened the public hearing.
There being no one who wished to address the Board regarding any cases on the Rezoning Consent Agenda, the Chairman closed the public hearing.
On a motion by Commr. Blake, seconded by Commr. Breeden and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the Rezoning Consent Agenda, Tabs 1 through 6, as follows:
Tab 1. Ordinance No. 2017-62
Rezoning Case # RZ-17-19-1
Hardt Property Rezoning
Rezone 1.75 +/- acres from Neighborhood Commercial (C-1) to Rural Residential District (R-1).
Tab 2. Ordinance No. 2017-63
Rezoning Case # RZ-17-18-1
Boykin Property Rezoning
Rezone 5.25 +/- acres from Neighborhood Commercial (C-1) to Agriculture (A).
Tab 3. Ordinance No. 2017-64
Rezoning Case # RZ-17-20-1
Szempruch Property Rezoning
Rezone 7.87 acres of Urban Residential District (R-6) zoned property to Agriculture (A) zoning District.
Tab 4. Ordinance 2017-65
Rezoning Case # CUP-93/12/1-2
Judith Farley Trust CUP Revocation
Voluntary Revocation of the CUP for a caretaker's residence on Planned Industrial (PD) zoned property, in the Astatula area.
Tab 5. Ordinance 2017-66
Rezoning Case # CUP-98/9/1-5
Bonds Salon CUP Revocation
Voluntary Revocation of the CUP for a beauty salon on Urban Residential (R-6) zoned property, in the Umatilla Area.
Tab 6. Ordinance No. 2017-56
Rezoning Case # RZ-17-17-1
Clermont 99-FL, LLC
Amending PUD Ordinance 2007-53 to allow schools as a permitted use on the subject property.
public hearing – Vacate easement in plat of montclair
Mr. Fred Schneider, County Engineer, stated that Vacation Petition Number 1237 was an application to remove a portion of a drainage easement from a property so the property owner could install a pool. He presented a map and noted that the easement was located on the south side of Lake Minnehaha. He explained that when the subdivision was platted, a 30 foot wide blanket easement was added to be used as a drainage easement and for future flood compensation; however, it had never been used for flood compensation so there was no need to retain the easement and staff was recommending approval.
The Chairman opened the public hearing.
There being no one who wished to address the Board regarding this matter, the Chairman closed the public hearing.
Commr. Campione asked if there was a similar blanket easement across the neighboring lots. She wondered if each neighboring property owner would have to submit an application for vacation to do something similar.
Mr. Schneider replied that there was a blanket easement that ran behind all of the properties but that most of the neighboring properties already had pools. He opined that because the easement came further up on the lot compared to the other properties, the application process was likely only needed for this property.
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 vacate a portion of a drainage easement in the plat of Montclair, Phase 1, adjacent to a lot on a canal to Lake Minnehaha, and execute Resolution 2017-167 that approves the vacating of a portion of a drainage easement in the plat of Montclair, Phase 1, near Clermont.
public hearing – vacate rights of way groveland farms
Mr. Schneider stated that Vacation Petition Number 1200 was an application to eliminate platted rights-of-way in order to develop South Lake Park and he presented a map of the proposed vacation area. There was a smaller area located between tracks 60 and 61 that a property owner had requested not be vacated, which did not affect the development of the park. The recommendation was not to vacate that small portion since it did not impact the park and revise the accompanying resolution to reflect that change if the petition was approved. He reported that Montevista Farms, LLC, the developer of a future subdivision that would be constructed next to the park, had purchased a 10 foot strip of land from an adjacent property owner. They then added another 20 foot strip of land to create a 30 foot right-of-way, which ran along the fence south of the park, for the adjacent residents to use so they could legally access their properties. He added that when the Montevista Farms subdivision was developed, a cul-de-sac would be built to give the adjacent residents access through a paved area as opposed to having to use the right-of-way. He commented that there had been concerns from residents that part of the 30 foot right-of-way was very sandy, which would make it difficult for emergency vehicles to utilize, so staff would be assessing long term maintenance for the area. He stated that staff recommended the approval of the revised resolution and of Vacation Petition 1200.
The Chairman opened the public hearing.
Ms. Tammy Sutton, a resident of Clermont, spoke on behalf of her father and explained that her family owned 20 acres of land adjacent to the proposed South Lake Park. She had a negative experience in the past and wanted to be sure that her family was represented. She stated that she now understood that neither her family’s land nor the right-of-ways to their land would be taken and they would still have access to the lake next to the property.
Ms. Jennifer Cotch, a representative for the Sutton family and resident of Clermont, stated that the Sutton’s right-of-way access to their property had been previously removed without notice, at no fault of the County’s, so they were concerned that it would happen again. She added they now understand that was not happening again. She explained that Ms. Sutton’s family had been the property owners who requested that the smaller piece of land between tracks 60 and 61 not be vacated but they also were also requesting that no fencing be placed along the wetlands or water bodies where the Sutton’s property was. She noted that they enjoy kayaking and being on the water. She felt that this was already resolved but wanted to mention it for the record.
Mr. Cole noted that the revised resolution reflected the Sutton’s request not to vacate the smaller piece of property that was originally on the vacation application, as noted by Mr. Schneider.
Commr. Parks asked if the fencing request had been addressed.
Mr. Schneider replied he had spoken with the Mr. Bobby Bonilla, Manager of the Office of Parks and Trails, and Mr. Bonilla had agreed not to fence off those areas as requested. He explained that there had been previous issues with All Terrain Vehicles (ATVs) and as long as there were no issues in the future, there would be no need for additional fencing.
Mr. Cole pointed out that if fencing was necessary at a future date, it would be part of the process for the County to provide restricted access to the adjacent property owner. He added that the County would ensure that the Suttons had access to the wetlands and water body if that were to occur.
Commr. Campione asked if there would be alternate access in place once the Groveland Farms Road was vacated.
Mr. Schneider responded that the request in front of the Board was also for a resolution that would declare the 20 foot area given by Montevista Farms, LLC as a right-of-way and that would give the residents legal access to Max Hooks Road. He stated that historically the residents had been primarily driving on the Montevista Farms property to access Max Hooks Road. He reiterated that Montevista Farms, LLC had purchased the additional 10 foot strip of land to add to the 20 foot right-of-way, to give the residents 30 feet to use as legal access to Max Hooks Road. He noted it would be a temporary situation and once the land was developed, Montevista Farms, LLC would provide access to a paved road, through the northwest corner of the subdivision, for the residents to access Max Hooks Road and they would no longer need to utilize the 30 foot right-of-way.
Commr. Campione wondered if Montevista Farms, LLC’s obligation to the build the cul-de-sac should be officially noted. She felt that staff should contact Montevista Farms, LLC to ensure that the adjacent property owners would have access to the road once it was paved.
Mr. Pete Smith, a resident of Groveland and the owner of the 10 foot strip of land that was sold to Montevista Farms, LLC, noted that the sale of the property was completed and the agreement contained the obligation for the cul-de-sac to be completed and for the residents to have access.
Commr. Parks suggested that staff receive a copy of the agreement between Mr. Smith and Montevista Farms, LLC so that there was record that the residents would receive access through the cul-de-sac.
There being no one else who wished to address the Board regarding this matter, the Chairman closed the public hearing.
Mr. Schneider requested recommendation for approval of Vacation Petition Number 1200, with the revision of that resolution that removed the request to vacate the easement between tracks 60 and 61, which was a change to what was advertised.
On a motion by Commr. Parks, seconded by Commr. Campione and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved vacating platted rights of way in the plat of Groveland Farms and the execution of Resolution 2017-169, and vacating a strip of land as public right of way for alternate access, near the City of Groveland, and the execution of Resolution 2017-172, with the revised Resolution verbiage, which removed the consideration of the easement vacation request between tracks 60 and 61 and declared the 20 foot strip of property, on the south side, as public right of way.
public hearing – family christian center of clermont
Ms. Melanie Marsh, County Attorney, stated that Family Christian Center was requesting to expand their facility and to refinance their 2015 Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act (TEFRA) Bonds. She explained that the hearing was taking place per the Federal Law regarding tax exempt bonds, which was the Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act of 1982.
The Chairman opened the public hearing.
There being no one who wished to address the Board regarding this matter, the Chairman closed the public hearing.
On a motion by Commr. Parks, seconded by Commr. Blake and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved Resolution 2017-168, Issuance of Industrial Development Revenue note, Series 2017A in aggregate amount not to exceed $10,000,000 for Family Christian Center of Clermont, Inc.
recess and reassembly
The Chairman called a recess at 10:00 a.m. for 10 minutes.
Capital financing workshop presentation
Mr. Cole stated that the Board had expressed interest on financing options relating to select projects that were slated to be funded through Penny Sales Tax funds, which was renewed and would go into effect on January 1, 2018. He explained that those discussions led to the financing workshop presentation before the Board that day and staff had identified three high priority, sales tax projects for discussion. He noted that there were no limitations in place that would keep the Board from discussing other projects outside of the presented three priorities, it was simply an attempt by staff to maintain a narrow focus while keeping fiscal limitations in mind. He explained that Ms. Jennifer Barker, Director of the Office of Management and Budget, would begin with the discussion of the three priorities and then Mr. Jay Glover, Managing Director of PFM Financial Advisors, would discuss financial considerations and options. He added that Mr. Glover’s firm had an existing contract with the County to provide financial advisory and financial planning services.
Ms. Barker stated that the workshop was to provide an overview of three capital projects and various financing options. She explained that during an Infrastructure Sales Tax workshop in August 2017, a list of projects for Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 was approved and the three items that emerged as priorities for further discussion were as follows: a new Animal Shelter, South Lake Regional Park, and Public Safety radio replacements. She stated that discussion to accelerate any or all of these projects was deferred until the current workshop. She reported that the current Animal Shelter facility was built in 1994 and had a total square footage of 13,460. She noted that the current shelter’s limitations were insufficient parking for adoption events, the facility was not designed for the current no-kill shelter operations, and improvements needed to be made to the intake area to allow for a safe and secure transfer of animals. She reported that one potential solution identified was to construct a new facility and based on preliminary projections from an architect, the new facility needed would be an estimated 29,845 square feet and would cost approximately $12.5 million. She noted that the current funding identified, within the Infrastructure Sales Tax 5-year Plan, for a new animal shelter was $4.5 million.
Ms. Barker stated that the Public Safety radio system had been purchased in September 2007, for $32.4 million and the system included 18 tower sites and 3,293 radios and handheld units, which were used by the Lake County Sheriff’s Department, Lake County Fire and Rescue, Lake Emergency Medical Services (EMS) and 14 municipalities. She reported that the funding for that system was comprised of $22 million from reserves and an $11.2 million bank loan, which was completed in 2017. She noted that the radios and handheld units were no longer manufactured after 2014 and they would no longer be able to receive technical support after 2018. She stated that for the County to purchase replacements for all of the entities listed, it would cost approximately $17.5 million. She stated that it could be proposed that the municipalities either reimburse the County for their radios or pay the vendor directly for their own radios and handheld units. She reported to purchase replacements for County use only, which would cover Fire and Rescue, EMS and the Sheriff’s Department, it would cost approximately $9.7 million. She noted that the current funding identified for Public Safety radio replacements, within the Infrastructure Sales Tax 5-year Plan, was $1.45 million. She stated that in 2014, the City of Clermont conveyed 141.53 acres to Lake County for South Lake Regional Park (SLRP), which encompassed 103.54 of those acres and in 2016, the Board approved the SLRP Master Plan. She explained that the projected costs to develop the park through a phased approach would be $6.5 million for Phase I, $7 million for Phase II, $4 million for Phase III and $925,000 for Max Hooks Road and utility improvements, for a total project cost estimated to be $18.5 million. The project phases, as currently planned, would take place over 15 years, from 2018 to 2032.
Mr. Glover provided an overview of financing options available to the County if the Board decided to utilize debt to fund portions of the capital projects. He reviewed that current interest rates had been in a downward trend and were currently at historic lows. He noted that the goal of sales tax programs were to fund the maximum amount of capital projects, in the most efficient and timely way. He remarked that one advantage to introducing debt into the capital plan, was that it allowed the Board to accelerate those projects as compared to pay-as-you-go financing. He stated there would be three main options for the most cost effective means of financing and they were publicly offered bonds, privately placed bank loans and vendor financing. He stated that public/private partnerships were an option that was also popular. He explained that publicly offered bonds were most efficient for larger capital needs, with longer term transactions of 15 to 30 years and had been the method that most local governments and municipalities historically utilized. He noted that with Publicly Offered Bonds, any risk of future tax rate change was passed onto the investor and would not affect the cost of the County’s capital. He added that with Publicly Offered Bonds, there would be continuing disclosure required after the bonds were sold. He explained that Privately Placed Bank Loans was a direct loan from a commercial bank and was efficient for short to medium term transactions of 10 to 15 years. He noted that there was a minimal cost of issuance and credit ratings were not required; however, the County could assume the risk if any future tax law changes took place. He added that with the Privately Placed Bank Loan, there was limited staff time involved, call features ranged, and the banks were selected through a Request for Proposal (RFP) process. He explained that Vendor Financing had many of the same features as privately placed bank loans and were an efficient way to acquire equipment because the financing term could not exceed the life of the equipment. Also, there was no direct pledge of revenue stream and the financing could be structured with the ability to add equipment over a certain period of time. He reviewed the preliminary debt service figures based on the County choosing to finance all three of the proposed projects over 15 years and pointed out that, for all three of the capital projects, the County would be able to fund $48.5 million through the debt issuance, and there would still be $209,886,996 of remaining pay-as-you-go sales tax revenues available. In total, the Board would be able to fund $258,386,996 worth of capital projects, which included the element of debt financing and assumed a two percent growth in sales tax. He pointed out that if the sales tax were to grow higher than the assumed two percent, more capital projects could be funded.
Mr. Glover then explained that P3’s were a popular partnership, noting that the County had received a recent proposal to enter one of these partnerships, and he opined that it would be beneficial for the Board to hear what elements make up the partnership. He noted that a P3 was a contractual agreement between a public agency, for example the County, and a private sector entity, for example a developer, that allowed for greater private sector participation to lower refinancing or operation of some type of capital project. He stated that generally the financing of capital projects was always less expensive if the County did the financing on its own, due to the fact that the County can borrow on a tax exempt basis, whereas a developer would borrow on a taxable basis on a much higher cost of capital. He noted because of that, a P3 partnership was not always a good option for local governments; however, if the Board chose to enter a P3 partnership, they could choose which of the five elements to utilize within the P3, that would best suit the project and then do the other portions separately through County resources. He explained that during the decision process to determine if a P3 is the right choice, the Board should develop goals and objectives and determine what aspects of the project would be appealing for private sector participation. He noted that the five key components to a P3 were design, build, operate, maintain, and finance and he pointed out that each project component was a discrete decision and the most effective P3 structures sometimes did not include all components. He presented a bar chart that showed the various cost elements of a traditional capital project financing compared to a P3 partnership. He pointed out that generally the cost savings with any kind of P3 were brought about because the private entity can get the construction done at a lower cost as well as taking on the risk; however, in most all circumstances, the financing cost would be higher if the private developer financed the construction. He noted that for a project like the South Lake Regional Park, a P3 partnership could be beneficial because the developer could take the design and build components as that would be their core competency and it could be done timelier and more cost effectively. He reviewed that the presentation was designed to give the Board options related to financing capital projects and if the Board did decide to move forward with a financing option, PFM would be back before the Board at different time to help determine the most cost effective financing. He added that it would take approximately 90 days to implement financing so he suggested that the Board keep that time frame in mind when determining start times for the projects.
Commr. Sullivan asked if it would be more beneficial to combine the three projects into one financing amount, even though they were each in a different area of the County, or to finance them each separately.
Mr. Glover replied that it would be better to combine all three but he pointed out that the vendor financing option would only apply to the Public Safety Radios. He added that there could be overriding features to doing the vendor financing separately for the radios and then combining the other two projects; however, he noted that it should be discussed at the time the Board was ready to move forward because there could be different market conditions taking place that could impact the decision. He stated that if the Board wanted to accelerate projects, the cost of financing would be inexpensive and while there would be interest costs, if the Board waited four to five years then construction costs could be higher.
Commr. Parks stated that he was under the assumption that the estimated $18.5 million over 15 years, for the SLRP, included the possible increases in construction costs. He asked if the cost estimate would be lower if a P3 partnership was done.
Mr. Glover replied that if the construction costs or interest rates came in lower, then the overall cost would be lower as well.
Mr. Cole confirmed that the $18.5 million cost was an estimate of the three phases of the park construction and he added that Mr. Bonilla did include the potential increase in construction costs over a 15 year period.
Commr. Parks noted that the presentation conservatively estimated two percent for sales tax but wondered if that was the actual amount that Lake County had historically received.
Ms. Barker replied that the typical amount was between 4.5 and 5 percent per year, so the two percent increase was conservative.
Commr. Sullivan stated that it was beneficial to the interest rates if a specific source was designated for the funds to be repaid.
Mr. Glover noted that if the dedicated revenue stream of the sales tax was pledged, then it would not impact the General Fund. He stated that since the financing would be dedicated for capital projects, then it would be well accepted by the market place and would come in with a good credit rating.
Mr. David Colby, the President and CEO of the South Lake Chamber of Commerce, stated that the Chamber saw the park as an economic development issue because they were unable to bring families to the south Lake area unless the right recreation was available. He commented that many of the different leagues in the area were unable to get access to fields and it was becoming a bigger problem. He remarked that parks were important to the Chamber and they felt the need was now. He appreciated the Board’s thoughtful consideration of the SLRP and hoped they would investigate ways to have it completed sooner.
Ms. Barker noted that the next steps were for the Board to provide direction to staff regarding potential financing options for the Animal Shelter, Radio Replacement for Public Safety and/or South Lake Regional Park.
Mr. Cole noted that the agenda item had been advertised specifically as a capital financing workshop presentation and direction, so it was the Board’s discretion whether the discussion was about financing projects or direction to the staff.
Commr. Sullivan stated that the Animal Shelter had been estimated at a much higher cost than what was originally anticipated and he felt a little discouraged by that. He stated that the Public Safety radios needed to be replaced but he also thought that cooperation from the municipalities was needed to ensure that the County did not fully fund the replacements. He explained that when the Penny Sales Tax was renewed, there were specific categories set up to be funded by the tax revenue and he felt that these three projects did not negatively impact those other items set to be funded with the sales tax. He opined that it was a fair proposal and he wanted to direct the staff to move forward.
Commr. Breeden suggested that each project be voted on separately. She noted she was concerned that other projects, such as new libraries, would not move forward if all three projects presented were approved. She did not feel she could support all of the projects but she stated that she had committed to supporting the Animal Shelter; however, she had been discouraged by the new estimate as well. She wondered if there were other options available for the shelter at a lower cost that would be adequate.
Commr. Campione commented that she had been involved in the discussions with the architect and the staff regarding the needs analysis and reported that the cost of the animal holding facilities was significant at approximately $500 per square foot. She stated that, while the cost was high to build the holding facilities, the other sections of the building would not be as expensive. She felt that the cost could be negotiated and was likely estimated at a higher rate. She stated that the shelter was over capacity and more space was needed. She suggested that the facility needs and cost options be researched further. She opined that she did not want a quick fix because that had already been done for years and had left them a real problem with the current facility. She did not want to see the project derailed because the Board was concerned over the estimated cost and did not think there had been enough time for the Board to look more into the details of the needs and the estimate. She pointed out that over time construction costs increase and once the actual cost was determined, the decision to move forward would need to be made quickly. She urged the Board not to consider delaying the new facility.
Commr. Breeden wondered if the estimate was conservative or if it included items that were not a necessity.
Mr. Cole explained that staff tried to estimate what the needs were but there had not been stakeholder meetings. He felt that staff understood the needs for the shelter moving forward and explained the cost related to the way the building had to be laid out. He pointed out that there were specialty parts needed for the facility, such as the air filtration system that would be needed to ensure sickness was not spread between the animals. He stated that if the Board wanted to move forward, then the estimate would be fine-tuned.
Commr. Blake wondered if the estimate included reusing some of the items in the existing building.
Mr. Cole replied that there could be opportunities to reuse some of the infrastructure that was in the existing building; however, the design of the existing building was not appropriate for the way the shelter was run.
Commr. Campione stated that the animal shelter project could be completed through a P3 partnership and she suggested that proposals be obtained to determine what the actual costs would be. She reported that she had been approached by private entities to help complete the new shelter so the opportunity was there.
Mr. Cole felt that with all three projects, competitive solicitations should be sought out so staff could have flexibility to look at potential options.
Commr. Parks remarked that being timely, fiscally responsible and thinking long term was important because increasing construction costs was concerning. He felt that looking at each of the three projects from a financing standpoint made more sense.
Commr. Campione noted that exploring competitive bidding for the radios was needed to get the best value. She wondered if there had been a discussion with the cities over the cost and if they were being given sufficient notice to be prepared for the possibility of it.
Commr. Sullivan noted that he had discussions with some of the cities and let them know that the County would not be able to fund the radios the same way it had in the past. He pointed out that the County dispatches for multiple fire and rescue agencies at no cost, whereas the Lake County Sheriff does not dispatch law enforcement for other agencies at zero cost, so he felt all options were open to discussion.
Mr. Cole replied that there had been informal discussions with the cities but nothing formal had not been pursued. He pointed out that there were financial resources available to the County at the time the radios were funded previously but the current budget was much different and there had been impacts to the County’s budget.
Commr. Breeden confirmed that some cities may want to pay their full share rather than finance.
Commr. Blake noted that the animal shelter was a popular and passionate subject throughout the county and he wondered if private funding could be raised for the shelter.
Commr. Campione replied that she had explored that option but that most of the money raised by non-profit groups went to spay and neuter programs, adoption efforts and animal welfare needs. She felt that raising money for a building was not always easy but she knew of some donors and contributors that would like to help. She reported that there was a trust currently set up through the Mount Dora Community Trust and it was there and available for anyone who had a contact or who wanted to make a donation. She suggested that the Board review the needs and estimate and find a way to have the shelter built that possibly included private fundraising.
Mr. Cole clarified that the County was not able to lease to own through sales tax funding.
Commr. Blake stated that the presentation was informative. He pointed out that there would be $10 million in interest over the life of a 15 year loan, which was tax payer dollars and he felt hesitant to incur that debt.
Commr. Campione stated the reason to take the loan and complete the projects sooner was because it would cost less in construction costs versus if construction waited until the full funding was available.
Commr. Parks stated that construction costs alone could go up 40 percent in 15 years compared to the original estimates.
Commr. Breeden pointed out that the Public Safety radios would not have technical support after 2018 so it was important to replace them.
Commr. Blake replied that he put the radios in a more important category from the other projects.
Mr. Cole suggested that the motion could be to direct staff to solicit proposals for these three capital priorities, with a variety of options and approaches and/or fine-tune existing data, and then return to the Board with potential options based on the results from those efforts. He noted it was possible that some cost estimates could be lower and at that time the Board could consider each project individually after having received more information.
On a motion by Commr. Campione, seconded by Commr. Parks and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved direction for staff to solicit proposals for these three capital priorities, with a variety of options and approaches and/or fine-tune existing data, and to return to the Board with potential options based on the results from those efforts.
hickory point beach facilITY improvements
Mr. Robert Chandler, Executive Director of the Agency for Economic Prosperity, provided a summary of proposed Hickory Point Beach Volleyball Facility improvements, which were needed to improve functionality and to create an aesthetically pleasing experience for guests and athletes. He started with some background explaining that the Hickory Point Beach was located within the Hickory Point Recreation Area, it officially opened in July 2014, and was a result of a three-way agreement between Lake County, the Lake County Water Authority and the Florida Region of USA Volleyball. He reported that since the opening, the facility had hosted dozens of tournaments, hundreds of teams and thousands of competitors from around the country, including the NORCECA, ROX National Championship, All American Beach Tour Junior National Championship and the Stetson Invitational. He added that the Florida Region of USA Volleyball and the staff of the Office of Visit Lake continued to pursue new events to bring to the facility, including other events such as sand soccer, sand tennis, and sitting volleyball in order to diversify sporting events at the facility. He noted that the Board had previously approved a 4,000 square foot fieldhouse, which was currently in the design and engineering phase with anticipated ground breaking in early 2018. He indicated that given the expected additional investment into the fieldhouse, it was critical that other aspects of the complex meet the same level of functional excellence and aesthetic quality and that the Office of Visit Lake and the USA Volleyball staff had identified five infrastructure projects that needed to be completed. He stated that the first improvement was a storm water drainage system to assist with debris and silt build-up caused by storm water overflow that had been significantly impacting the sand quality. He noted that the quality of the sand was superior to other facilities and that participants who play at Hickory Beach consistently report how great the sand is there. He added that losing that attribute could be detrimental to the facility. He explained that when there is a large rainfall event, the water, debris and silt all come from the parking lots and other places to two dumping areas near the sand courts and then overflow into the complex and disrupt the sand quality. He reported that the new system would result in the removal of the current two storm water dump outs on the northeast and southeast corners of the court area, which also eliminates a potential injury hazard. He described that the drains would go out underneath the existing courts and take the water to the same retention pond; however, it would be going underneath the sand in a more direct fashion without the debris and silt build-up. He stated that the second improvement would be to add two ADA accessible sidewalks, on the eastern edge of the complex, which would provide a barrier between the sand and grass and provide ADA access to the main sidewalk next to the road. He said the third improvement was parking deterrent devices along the entrance way to the facility in order to direct drivers into the parking lot and keep them from parking on the shoulder of the main entrance roadway. He added that this was a requirement of their lease agreement with the Lake County Water Authority. He continued by mentioning that the fourth improvement was a permanent entry sign to replace the temporary sign, which was put up as part of the grand opening in 2014. It would be a four foot by six foot sign, highlighting the Hickory Point Beach and the Mike Stone Soccer Complex, and would be placed immediately adjacent to the existing Lake County Water Authority sign. He concluded with the fifth improvement, which was additional landscaping near the courts to help the aesthetics. He indicated the total cost for all the improvements was $100,000 and would be 100 percent funded by the Tourism Development Tax (TDT). He reported the improvements costs as follows: storm water drainage system would be the most costly at $78,000, but also the most critical due to the existing sand degradation; ADA sidewalks at $17,000; parking deterrent devices at $2,900; entry signage at $650 and landscaping at $1,450. He noted that the projects would be managed by the Lake County Office of Parks and Trails, that the Lake County Tourist Development Council unanimously approved the project at their quarterly meeting on October 9, 2017 and that all five projects had been approved by the Lake County Water Authority, per the requirements of the lease agreement. He stated the requested action was for approval to fund the five facility improvements at Hickory Point Beach Volleyball Facility and approval of a budget transfer from the Resort/Development Tax Fund reserve account to fund the improvements, noting again that the fiscal impact would not exceed $100,000 and would be 100 percent TDT funded.
Commr. Sullivan commented that this was very timely since the fieldhouse was being built and tournaments were considering using the facility. He added that the ADA sidewalks would be mandated in the future so it was important to do them now.
On a motion by Commr. Breeden, seconded by Commr. Parks and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved to fund five facility improvements at Hickory Point Beach Volleyball Facility, and approved a budget transfer from the Resort/Development Tax Fund reserve account to fund the improvements. The fiscal impact is not to exceed $100,000 (TDT expenditure).
APPOINTMENTS – tourist development council
On a motion by Commr. Parks, seconded by Commr. Breeden and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the appointments of Mr. Kevin Jowett, as an owner/operator of a motel, Recreational Vehicle Park or other tourist accommodation in Lake County, and Councilmember Diane Travis, as an Elected Municipal Representative, to the Tourist Development Council to serve the remainder of an unexpired four-year term ending December 1, 2018.
APPOINTMENTS – affordable housing advisory committee
On a motion by Commr. Campione, seconded by Commr. Blake and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the reappointments of Mr. George Rada, as a resident who is a representative of those areas of labor engaged in home building in connection with Affordable Housing, and Mr. Greg Beliveau, as a resident who represents employers in Lake County, to the Lake County Affordable Housing Advisory Council to serve a two-year term beginning December 1, 2017 and the approval of a waiver of ethical conflict, under Section 112.313(3) and (7), Florida Statutes for Mr. Beliveau.
REPORTS - county manager
hurricane irma debris update
Mr. Cole noted that the first pass of Hurricane Irma debris removal had been completed on December 10, 2017, and the second pass was currently underway. He stated that during the second pass, staff had identified approximately 750 cubic yards of remaining debris along the state roads in the county and it was learned that FDOT had no plans to do any additional debris removal after their first pass. He felt that the best way to handle the debris would be for the County to collect it at an estimated cost of $23,000, which would not be reimbursed by FEMA or FDOT. He noted that the cost was under his signature authority but wanted to inform the Board in case they wanted to resolve it differently. He also thanked staff for their continued hard work on getting the debris cleared and responding to residents’ questions and concerns.
county offices closed for holiday
Mr. Cole wish everyone a Happy Holiday and noted that the County offices would be closed on December 25, 2017 and January 1, 2018.
reports – commissioner parks – district 2
hurricane irma debris removal
Commr. Parks thanked staff for the work completed on the debris removal and commented that he had received emails from residents who were happy with the efforts of the staff.
Commr. Parks wished everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy Hanukkah.
reports – commissioner breeden – district 3
Commr. Breeden wished everyone a Happy Holiday and noted that she was sorry that she had missed the holiday luncheon due to being on vacation.
reports - commissioner campione – VICE CHAIRMAN AND district 4
hurricanE irma debris removal
Commr. Campione thanked the Public Works and Solid Waste staff as well as all County staff who had been gracious and kind to residents as they worked through the debris removal process. She specifically thanked Ms. Mary Hamilton, Environmental Services Division Manager, for her dedication and hard work throughout the removal process.
agreement st. johns river water management dist. & lake county
Commr. Campione requested the approval and execution of an Agreement between the St. Johns River Water Management District (SJRWMD) and Lake County for aquatic resource conservation, restoration and recreation improvements within the Upper Ocklawaha River Basin. She noted that the fiscal impact was not to exceed $200,000 and would be considered as revenue. She explained that the SJRWMD had entered into a contract with a private entity to remove nutrient-laden sediments and peat from the Esmeralda Marsh Conservation Area in Leesburg, which was owned by the SJRWMD. She added that as a result of this restoration project, there was a revenue stream that was coming back to the SJRWMD and the County had been working with them to make the $200,000 available on a yearly basis for specific projects in the areas of aquatic restoration, water quality improvement, and recreation related projects that provided access to the water. She noted they would start the restoration work in February or March 2018, and the Board should consider it as a project for 2018. She proposed using the revenue to address the run off from roads into the lakes, which the Board had discussed at the previous meeting, or for restoring Lake Yale, which is adjacent to the Esmeralda Marsh Conservation Area and was considered the second most impaired water body in Lake County. She noted that she had grown up on Lake Yale and had seen the lake deteriorate through the years.
Commr. Breeden agreed that Lake Yale could use assistance with storm water issues and access to the lake.
On a motion by Commr. Campione, seconded by Commr. Breeden and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the execution of the Agreement between the St. Johns River Water Management District and Lake County for aquatic resource conservation, restoration and recreation improvements within the Upper Ocklawaha River Basin.
Commr. Campione wished everyone a Merry Christmas and apologized for not being able to attend the holiday luncheon as she was in Palatka that day discussing the agreement with SJRWMD.
REPORTS – COMMISSIONER BLAKE – DISTRICT 5
Commr. Blake thanked staff for all of their work throughout the year and noted that he enjoyed participating in the holiday luncheon, adding that the staff did a great job putting it together. He wished everyone a Merry Christmas.
mount dora chamber of commerce train depot
Commr. Blake stated that he went to the Mount Dora Chamber of Commerce’s celebration for the renovation of the historic train depot and he opined that the renovations were well done.
reports - commissioner sullivan – chairman and district 1
Commr. Sullivan thanked staff for their continued work and he opined that Lake County is a unique place to live, work and raise a family. He wished everyone a Merry Christmas.
Commr. Sullivan requested that the Board Retreat be held in March 2018, due to an early legislative session.
There being no further business to be brought to the attention of the Board, the meeting was adjourned at 11:58 a.m.
timothy i. sullivan, chairman
NEIL KELLY, CLERK