February 12, 2019

The Lake County Board of County Commissioners met in regular session on Tuesday, February 12, 2019 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:  Leslie Campione, Chairman; Wendy Breeden, Vice Chairman; Timothy I. Sullivan; Sean Parks; and Josh Blake. Others present were: Jeff Cole, County Manager; Melanie Marsh, County Attorney; Niki Booth, Executive Office Manager, County Manager’s Office; Gary J. Cooney, Clerk of the Circuit Court and Comptroller; Kristy Mullane, Chief Financial Officer; and Kathleen Bregel, Deputy Clerk, Board Support.

INVOCATION and pledge

Rev. Drew Marshall of South Lake Presbyterian Church gave the Invocation and led the Pledge of Allegiance.

Agenda update

Mr. Jeff Cole, County Manager, stated that since the agenda was first published, additional backup was added to Tab 3, the requested action was revised for Tab 5 in order to correct the name of the organization the agreement was with, the requested action was revised for Tab 9 in order to include a missing vendor name, and an attachment was added to Tab 30.

employee awards

Ms. Jeannine Nelson, Human Resources and Risk Management Manager, announced that they would be recognizing employees who had reached service milestones in their careers with Lake County as follows:



Andrea Gehringer, Librarian II (not present)

Office of Library Services


Jeff Householder, Firefighter/EMT (not present)

Office of Fire Rescue


Elisha Pappacoda, Communications Director

Office of Communications



Alan Kirkland, Engineer IV

Public Works Department – Design Engineering


Buffy Tucci, Firefighter/EMT (not present)

Office of Fire Rescue



Donna Gray-Williams, Librarian II (not present)

Office of Library Services




Stephen Gladwell, Compliance & Monitoring Associate

Office of Code Enforcement


Mr. Glen Guzman, Director for the Office of Code Enforcement, stated that Mr. Stephen Gladwell began his career with Lake County in July 2000 as a plans examiner for the Office of Building Services and that in April 2008, he became a code compliance and monitoring specialist for the Office of Code Enforcement.  He said that Mr. Gladwell always provided excellent customer service to the citizens and staff of Lake County and had extensive knowledge of plants, trees and landscaping.  He remarked that he cared for those he worked with, made sure he welcomed all new staff members, and took interest in how they were doing.  He relayed that Mr. Gladwell served as a member of the safety action team committee for the county and emphasized the importance of maintaining safety on a daily basis.  He commended him for continually exceeding department expectations throughout his career and for his suggestions on how to improve and streamline procedures within his department.  He shared that his office treasured Mr. Gladwell’s expertise and the value he brought to the Office of Code Enforcement, that they were thankful for his commitment and dedication to Lake County, and that they wished him a wonderful retirement. 


On a motion by Commr. Breeden, seconded by Commr. Sullivan, and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved the Minutes of December 4, 2018 (Regular Meeting) and December 18, 2018 (Regular Meeting) as presented.

citizen question and comment period

No one wished to address the Board at this time.

CLERK OF the circuit COURT and comptroller’s CONSENT AGENDA

On a motion by Commr. Blake, seconded by Commr. Breeden, and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved the Clerk of the Circuit Court and Comptroller’s Consent Agenda, Items 1 and 2, as follows:

List of Warrants

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

City of Minneola Ordinances

Request to acknowledge receipt from the City of Minneola the adoption package for Comprehensive Plan Amendment Ordinance 2018-09 for 12.31 acres for parcels 06-22-26-0003-000-04700 and 06-22-26-0003-000-06300.  Also included is Ordinance 2018-08 for the annexation and rezoning of the parcels.


On a motion by Commr. Breeden, seconded by Commr. Sullivan and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the Consent Agenda, Tabs 3 through 20, including the updates provided by Mr. Cole, as follows:


Elevate Lake

Request approval to support the Four Corners Area Council's One Vision Initiative and authorization for the Chairman to execute any necessary funding agreements subject to County Attorney approval. The fiscal impact is $15,000.00 (expenditure). Commission District 1.

Request approval of an Economic Development Grant Incentive Program award for Project Infinity pursuant to Section 7-4, Lake County Code, after finalization of an agreement and public availability of Project Infinity information; and for the Chairman to execute the agreement upon review by the County Attorney’s Office. The fiscal impact cannot be determined at this time but will be a partial refund of ad valorem revenue received from Project Infinity over 10 years if all requirements are met.

Visit Lake

Request approval of the sponsorship agreement with The Spring Games, LLC for the 2019 Spring Games to be held at multiple softball complexes throughout Lake County. The fiscal impact is not to exceed $40,000.00 (expenditure). Commission Districts 2 and 3.


Animal Services

Request approval of an Amendment to the Collaborative Agreement between the Lake County Sheriff's Office, the State of Florida/Lake County Department of Health and the Lake County Animal Shelter regarding the coordinated efforts to monitor, investigate, and control rabies and rabies exposure within Lake County. There is no fiscal impact.

Building Services

Request approval to purchase an Online Plan Review Submittal module software upgrade and Special Assessment module through Perconti Data Systems, Inc. (St. Petersburg, FL) to support greater capabilities and efficiencies within the Office of Building Services and Road Operations Division. The estimated fiscal impact for both modules is $174,500.00 (expenditure).

Public Safety

Request approval of:

1. A CenturyLink Master Service Agreement (MSA), which provides support to public safety services.
2. An addendum under the CenturyLink MSA for maintenance and support of the 911 equipment until December 31, 2019.
3. Authorization for the Office of Procurement Services to execute any future subsequent related addendums, contracts, grant documents, purchase orders or other implementing documentation not to exceed $50,000 cumulatively during a fiscal year as needed and budgeted to support Public Safety services under the approved MSA terms. Subsequent changes exceeding $50,000 will be scheduled for the Board’s consideration.

The fiscal impact is $107,274.26 (expenditure).

Request approval to purchase two ambulances from ETR (Sanford, FL), and various ambulance-related capital equipment from Stryker/Physio-Control (Kalamazoo, MI). The fiscal impact is $786,558 (expenditure).

Request approval to amend Lake County Policy LCC-99 entitled “Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Hybrid Entity Designation" to add the Office of Communications as a designated healthcare component. There is no fiscal impact.


Facilities Management

Request approval of a purchase from Hanson Engineering (Maitland, FL) for engineering services to interconnect the 1990 and the 2009 chiller plants pursuant to Lake County Contract Number 18-0439(A). The fiscal impact is $73,304.00 (expenditure). Commission District 3.

Procurement Services

Request approval to declare the items on the attached list as surplus, authorization for their removal from the County's official fixed asset inventory system records, and authorization for the Office of Procurement Services Director to execute any required title documents. The fiscal impact cannot be determined at this time (revenue).

Public Works

Request approval to execute a Development Agreement with D.R. Horton, Inc. to provide improvements to the intersection of Dead River Road and State Road 19 in Tavares. The fiscal impact is $490,861.00 (expenditure – impact fee credits to developer). Commission District 3.

Request approval to execute a Maintenance Agreement with Eustis Commerce Park, LLC, to allow for the expansion and joint use of a county stormwater pond, located adjacent to the proposed Eustis Commerce Park site and Huffstetler Drive in Eustis, and for the perpetual maintenance and repair of the pond by Eustis Commerce Park, LLC. There is no fiscal impact. Commission District 4.

Request approval of a reimbursement agreement with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection for Waste Tire Amnesty day. The fiscal impact is up to $25,000.00 (revenue/expenditure).

Request approval to:

1. Execute a First Amendment to the Developer’s Agreement for Maintenance of Improvements with Home Dynamics Sawgrass, LLC (Boca Raton, FL) for the Greater Lakes Phase 3 plat, south of Clermont.
2. Accept a letter of credit for maintenance for $160,681.99.

There is no fiscal impact from this action. Commission District 1.


Community Services

Request approval to:

1. To apply to the Florida Department of Transportation under the Section 5310 Capital Grant Program to purchase paratransit vehicles for use under the Transportation Disadvantaged Program (Lake County Connection for FY 2019-2020).
2. Of supporting Resolution 2019-17 and acceptance and implementation of the grant award.
3. To authorize the procurement of the vehicles under the State's bid list through the Transit Research Inspection Procurement Services program.

The fiscal impact is $264,588.00 (revenue/expenditure - $238,129.20 in grant funding and $26,458.80 in County funding).

Request approval to submit the Florida Department of Transportation Section 5311 grant application to fund the Transportation Disadvantaged Program in the Fiscal Year 2019/2020 budget, approval of supporting Resolution 2019-18, and acceptance and implementation of the grant award. The fiscal impact is $862,724.00 (revenue/expenditure - $431,362.00 in grant funding and $431,362.00 in County funding).

Request approval of the Second Amendment of the 2015-2018 Local Housing Assistance Plan and accompanying Resolution 2019-19 (Exhibit E) and Certification; and authorize Allison Thall to execute the certification and any documents necessary to submit to the State. There is no fiscal impact.

Parks and Trails

Request approval of Contract 19-0413 with Prime Electric, LLC, (Leesburg, FL) for Pedestrian/Bicycle and Vehicle Traffic Counters, and authorization for the Office of Procurement Services to execute all supporting documentation. The estimated annual fiscal impact is $30,000.00 (expenditure).

round lake road pd&e presentation

Mr. Fred Schneider, County Engineer, remarked that this was a project update to precede the March 7, 2019 public meeting in the City of Mount Dora regarding the Round Lake Road Project, Development and Environmental (PD&E) study.  He relayed that Mr. Luiz Diaz, with Stantec Consulting Services, would be presenting.

Mr. Diaz thanked the Board for the opportunity to update them on the status of the PD&E study before the public meeting where they would present the recommended alternative.  He recapped a quick background of the project noting that the East Lake County transportation study completed by the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) in 2013 recommended the extension of Round Lake Road and the realignment of County Road (C.R.) 437 in order to improve traffic conditions.  He added that the area was experiencing substantial growth such as the Wolf Branch Innovation District, the Wekiva Parkway, the regional multiuse trail, the Mt. Plymouth-Sorrento Community Redevelopment Area, and proposed new residential and commercial development within the City of Mount Dora.  He explained that a PD&E study is an environmental and engineering process used to document social, economic, and environmental impacts associated with a proposed transportation improvement project in order to recommend the best alternative for the area.  He showed a map of the study area, noting that it started south at the Orange-Lake County line, extended north just past State Road (S.R.) 44, and aligned with S.R. 439 and Round Lake Road.  He displayed a chart depicting the expected traffic volumes for the area which showed average daily traffic doubling by the year 2040.  He remarked that with any PD&E study, the first step is to identify the purpose and need and he relayed the following purposes for this improvement project: to provide a long-term north-south corridor for northeast Lake County to allow traffic flow from the Wekiva Parkway into the county, noting that existing roadways were very constrained and unable to be widened; to improve the traffic safety in the area; because it was a high ranked project for the Lake-Sumter Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO); and it enhanced emergency evacuation and safety.  He shared that there had been a robust process to involve the public with several  meetings in March and October 2018, as well as an upcoming public meeting on March 7, 2019.  He stated that public concerns included impacts to the rural character of the area, environmental impacts, more traffic, safety, property access and whether the project was truly needed.  He clarified that these concerns were addressed in the PD&E study and were used to develop the recommended alternative which would be presented today.  He elaborated that in addition to the public meetings, they had met with other stakeholders such as the Round Lake Charter School, the Lake County public schools, the City of Mount Dora, and property owners in the area; additionally, they had received emails, letters and comments on their live website, which his company had responded to.  He explained that the proposed roadway would be four lanes, with two twelve foot lanes in each direction, would have a bike lane, utility strip, and a multiuse trail on the east side, and would include a buffer for safety.  He displayed maps of the five possible alternatives which were considered, noting that these had been presented to the public.  He showed an alternatives evaluation matrix and said that several right of way (ROW) and environmental impacts were considered and ranked for each possible alternative, such as residential and business parcels impacted as well as wildlife and cultural impacts.  He added that the weighted ranking score was based on the following: engineering and environmental at 25 percent; relocations at 17 percent; ROW at 8 percent; public input at 25 percent; and total construction costs at 25 percent.  He indicated that the ranking favored the blue alternative, and he reiterated that the recommendation was based on the information collected and analyzed within the study and included technical, engineering, environmental, construction costs, impacts to ROW, and public input.  He then showed a map of the recommended blue alternative and explained that this path would start at the Orange-Lake County line, would stay on Round Lake Round up to Wolf Branch Road, and then would go east to meet up with C.R. 439.  He pointed out that this alternative would include an additional 25 feet between the pavement and the ROW as well as an additional buffer between the ROW and the Hills of Mount Dora subdivision, with the possibility of a privacy wall along the property line to reduce the impacts.  He said that locations of potential ponds were also considered for stormwater treatment and he noted that once they moved into the design phase, meetings with property owners would occur to discuss possible joint ponds that would benefit the County and the property owner.  He mentioned that for the upcoming public meeting scheduled on March 7, 2019, it would be an open house format and would be at the Mount Dora Community Building from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.  He relayed there would be a public hearing before the Board of County Commissioners (BCC) in April 2019 to decide on the recommended alternative with final study documents prepared after that. 

Commr. Breeden asked if there would be landscaping in the median of the roadway.

Mr. Schneider responded that in previous projects, agreements were made with a city or a large landowner regarding landscaping. 

Commr. Sullivan stated that he did not see any specifics regarding ROW acquisition and asked if that was included in the construction costs.

Mr. Diaz replied that the estimates presented were just for construction costs and that the ROW mentioned was in regards to the acreage needed; furthermore, ROW purchase estimates would come later.

Commr. Campione said there were many factors that would determine ROW costs.

Commr. Sullivan shared that experience with previous projects proved to have high ROW costs and the County did not always have the best estimate of costs.

Mr. Schneider commented that ROW can be more complicated when improving an existing roadway, noting that parts of this roadway would have impacts to existing residential and business parcels.  He said that the section of this project between Wolf Branch Road and C.R. 439 had larger parcels and the County would be working with these landowners for dedication of ROW in exchange for improvements such as joint ponds or landscaping.  He shared that historically, the County had built a number of four-lane roads with donated ROW through large parcels although he noted that the smaller parcels would follow a different process.

Commr. Campione asked if the intent of the blue alternative was to follow Scenic Hills Drive with an entrance or exit off of this drive into the neighborhood and with additional buffers or a possible privacy wall.

Mr. Diaz responded that was correct and said that Scenic Hills Drive would have a T-intersection which would allow entrance into the subdivision, noting it would be a separate entrance onto Scenic Hills Drive off of the extension of Round Lake Road.

The Chairman opened the floor for public comment.

Mr. Barry Weiss, a resident of Scenic Hills Drive, opined that of the available options, the worst option for the Hills of Mount Dora subdivision and the Scenic Hills Drive community was the one being recommended and that he was disappointed by the developer’s inability to protect current residents.

Ms. Barbara Weiss, a resident of the Hills of Mount Dora, played an audio of birds chirping and said that was what she heard every morning on her porch.  She commented that she enjoyed the peace and serenity of her neighborhood and opined that the proposal of a commercial four-lane highway would imperil this.  She felt that the following were the negative consequences this road would have on her neighborhood: reduction in property values; major noise pollution; light pollution; air pollution due to traffic; loss of wildlife; and long-term heavy construction as the road was being built.  She believed that a 25 foot buffer was not adequate and she requested that if the roadway was built, that a 100 foot buffer be built between the road and their neighborhood.

Ms. Elizabeth Pachelli, a resident of Scenic Hills Drive in the Hills of Mount Dora neighborhood, asked the Board to consider the alternative routes.  She opined that the blue and purple routes on the online map were not well distinguished and appeared to be the same route; additionally, she thought that a majority of the neighbors had voted against these routes.  She felt that a bike lane on a four-lane, high traffic route would not be safe for children.  She believed that the proposed access to Wolf Branch Road from her neighborhood would be dangerous and she also requested a buffer of trees to absorb the noise pollution.

Mr. Stan Austin, a new neighbor in the Hills of Mount Dora, said that he moved to the Scenic Hills area for the peaceful environment and the wildlife and opined that this would go away if this road was built.  He expressed that his preference was no road extension although he understood the growth of the area.   He stated he was against the blue alternative because his house would back up to the proposed bend on that road and he shared concerns for potential car accidents near his home.  He said that he agreed with the former comments made by his neighbors, and expressed concern that retention areas might create water issues for property owners.  He felt that a buffer or wall was imperative for not only noise reduction but for safety as well.  He asked the BCC to consider one of the other alternatives.

Mr. Jon Suarez, a resident of Curle Road, shared concerns for why this road was being built when it would be a cost to the County and there were already existing north-south roads that could be used to move traffic towards the Wekiva Parkway toll road.  He opined that minor improvements to the existing roads could fulfill the same purpose for what this road was proposed to do.  He said that he loved the rural lifestyle of this area and felt that opening this potential roadway would encourage more development and negatively affect the environment.  He also expressed concerns over a road going from a two-lane to a four-lane road and the number of car accidents this could cause.  He relayed that many of his neighbors were not contacted regarding this project even though it would affect his neighborhood. 

Ms. Clare Jordan, a resident of the Hills of Mount Dora, felt that her neighborhood would be the most impacted by the blue alternative route and voiced her agreement with the concerns already expressed by her neighbors, such as traffic volume, air and noise pollution, degradation of the rural character, effects to the wildlife, and an increase in urban sprawl.  She opined that a development such as this would be inappropriate for this area and that it would impact more than the 21 residential parcels identified in the evaluation matrix.  She stated that if the blue route was chosen, then she requested a larger buffer and a privacy wall.  She asked for the Board to consider the people impacted by this as well as the long-term environmental health of Florida. 

Mr. Greg Beliveau, a representative for a proposed development project south of Wolf Branch Road in the City of Mount Dora, shared that as part of his Planned Unit Development (PUD), his project had already set aside the necessary ROW on Round Lake Road, south of Wolf Branch Road to the Charter School, for this proposed roadway based on discussions with the County’s Public Works Department, City of Mount Dora staff, and the PD&E consultants; therefore, the cost for acquisitions for that portion would not cost the County. 

Commr. Campione asked Mr. Beliveau what the density was for that PUD and when the project was projected to start.

Mr. Beliveau replied it would be 367 units on almost 180 acres and would hopefully start later in this year.  He relayed there would be bike trails within it that would link to the west and south to have access to the school, and that this developer had been coordinating with County and City of Mount Dora staff in order to establish a project that was comprehensive with all jurisdictions. 

Mr. Tim Green, a representative for one of the large landowners within the proposed routes, stated that approximately 16 acres of this landowner’s property would be affected by this project.  He said that he heard comments today regarding protecting the rural character of the area; however, he relayed that when the Hills of Mount Dora was built in 1995, the concern was to protect the agricultural lifestyle and agricultural business.  He said his client had met with County staff several times and was happy to work with them.

Commr. Campione inquired if Mr. Green’s client had submitted an application for annexation into the City of Mount Dora.  She also asked if their property was within the Joint Planning Area and if it was entitled by the Florida Statutes to be annexed into the city whether the BCC opposed it or not.

Mr. Green responded that was correct and that the application for annexation had been delayed for approximately four months.

Commr. Campione asked what the proposed density was for Mr. Green’s client’s property and if he also represented the owner of the Avington Park property.

Mr. Green answered it was two and one half units per acre, which was the City of Mount Dora’s minimum density for residential, and that he also represented the owner of the Avington Park property.

Commr. Campione also inquired if the annexation of the property he was discussing in this meeting would make the Avington Park property contiguous to the City of Mount Dora.

Mr. Green replied that it would be contiguous if the City accepted all of his client’s application, noting that there had been discussions regarding if part of the land was eligible for annexation because of the Joint Planning Agreement (JPA).  He reiterated that all five of the alternative routes for this proposed road would run through his client’s property and that it was about half a mile or sixteen to eighteen acres of land acquisition which would go through this landowner’s property.

Mr. Tim Henke, a Lake County resident, opposed the extension of Round Lake Road.  He expressed concerns for the traffic on Round Lake Road near the charter school, and opined that there were existing artery roads that could be used instead of building another one. 

There being no one else who wished to address the Board regarding this matter, the Chairman closed the floor for public comment.

Commr. Campione reiterated that the BCC did not have the authority to stop the City of Mount Dora from annexing property that was contiguous to its city boundaries.  She said that the BCC had discussed design criteria with the City in order to protect the character of the area.  She thanked the citizens for sharing their comments and asked Mr. Schneider to address the option of Britt Road as a possible north-south corridor, although she noted there were issues with this option. 

Mr. Schneider reported that studies with FDOT were performed prior to the opening of the expressway which suggested that alternatives would be needed in order to address future traffic growth, noting that the Round Lake Round extension was one of the recommendations and the reason the PD&E study was performed to evaluate this realignment.  He commended that in regards to Britt Road, it had narrow right of ways, would take considerable costs to widen to a four-lane road, and that there would be restrictions at the intersections for turns.  He recapped that the study evaluated many of these options and suggested that a straighter alignment should be addressed as part of an ongoing PD&E study.

Commr. Campione inquired if the section of Round Lake Road between Wolf Branch Road and C.R. 46 was slated to become a four-lane road since a statement was made by a citizen regarding the road going from a two-lane to a four-lane road.

Mr. Schneider responded that if the estimated construction costs for the entire project were beyond what could be done using County funds, then this project could be designed to be performed in phases.  He said that for the final connection between Wolf Branch Road and S.R. 44, the County could do what had been done in previous projects where the ROW was purchased for a four-lane road but only two-lanes were built initially depending on available funding.  He gave the example that the outer two lanes with the curb could be built first with a very wide median, a buffer and a sidewalk until funding was available to widen it.

Commr. Breeden stated that it appeared that the red alternative was second in ranking and would take the roadway further away from the Hills of Mount Dora subdivision.

Mr. Schneider remarked that the route could transition farther west once it passed Wolf Branch Road; however, there were residents along that route who would have the same concerns as the Hills of Mount Dora.

Mr. Diaz stated that while the red alternative did cut more diagonally through the area, it would have a similar impact to other properties on that side.

Commr. Breeden indicated that both the red and blue alternatives had residential relocations while the red also had one business relocation.

Mr. Henke asked when the Lake-Sumter MPO study was completed and Mr. Diaz replied it was performed approximately five to ten years ago.

Mr. Suarez pointed out that because the school in that area was a charter school, it did not necessarily mean that students would be coming from the neighborhood and utilizing the bike lane.  He added that the traffic was due to students coming from various locations via vehicles.

Commr. Campione commented that a trail system was being established which would connect the City of Eustis to the Wekiva Trail and to the City of Mount Dora.

Mr. Diaz relayed that the multiuse trail on the west side of this proposed roadway was part of the County’s master trail plan.

Ms. Weiss asked if the City of Mount Dora could annex their neighborhood without residents’ permission.

Ms. Melanie Marsh, County Attorney, replied that there was a process within the Florida Statutes called involuntary annexation; however, in order for the City to do that, they would need a referendum and the residents in the area which was being involuntarily annexed would have to vote on that.

recess and reassembly

The Chairman called a recess at 10:20 a.m. for 15 minutes.

public hearing – summer lake-grace groves pud amendment

Ms. Michele Janiszewski, Chief Planner for the Office of Planning and Zoning, displayed the advertisement for that day’s rezoning case on the overhead monitor in accordance with the Florida Statutes.  She stated the only case was the Summer Lake-Grace Groves Planned Unit Development (PUD) which was unanimously approved on the consent agenda of the Planning and Zoning Board.  She remarked that staff was asking for approval of this item.

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. Sullivan, seconded by Commr. Blake and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved rezoning case RZ-18-22-4, Summer Lake-Grace Groves Planned Unit Development (PUD) Amendment, to replace PUD Ordinance #2016-11 with amended Ordinance 2019-11 in order to correct scriveners’ errors in the legal PUD/MCUP description, correct misidentified properties, and grant a one time, two (2) year extension to commence development consistent with Planned Unit Development (PUD) Ordinance #2016-11, Section R(1) for Summer Lake-Grace Groves Planned Unit Development, together with a Borrow Pit Activity Conditional Use Permit.

public hearing - ordinance 2019-8 haul permit

Ms. Marsh placed the proposed ordinance on the floor for reading by title only as follows:


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 remarked that the concept behind this ordinance was to require a haul permit for new activities which involved the hauling of materials off of property in Lake County and would not affect existing permits for mining activity.

Ms. Marsh clarified that any project that had an approved development order from either a City or the County after July 7, 1991 would be exempt from this ordinance; however, if developments had permits prior to this date or were not actively hauling, then they would need to obtain a permit.

Commr. Campione inquired if the decision would come back to the BCC to consider the roads being impacted by the hauling and if a fee would be attached to the number of trips or the weight of the trucks hauling material.

Ms. Marsh explained that any hauling operation that would be hauling more than 10,000 cubic yards would come before the BCC, but anything less than that amount would be a staff approved permit.  She added that there was an exemption within this ordinance for the hauling of 200 cubic yards or less in order not to capture pool contractors.  She stated that once the hauling operation came before the Board, they could impose any conditions needed for the County road system.

Commr. Blake asked how this permit compared to surrounding counties and if other counties had a similar permitting process and fees.

Mr. Schneider commented that Orange County had similar permit levels of up to 10,000 cubic yards and anything over this amount went to their Board for approval, although he noted he did not know what their fee might be.  He said that staff also checked with other counties and found that some did not have a haul permit and others processed it through their right of way utilization or other permit process.

Commr. Blake asked if Sumter County had this type of permitting.

Mr. Schneider replied that he was not sure what Sumter County did but said the only county he found that had an ordinance such as this was Orange County.  He said that the permit fee that staff considered was $500 and was based on the cost for staff time and engineer inspections.

Commr. Campione opined that this seemed to be an increasing situation within the county where hauling was causing impacts to the roads with no way to recoup funding for the additional wear on the roads or have input on the safety aspect.  She felt this would provide a process for the Board to be able to address some of these issues.

On a motion by Commr. Breeden, seconded by Commr. Sullivan and carried by a vote of 4-1, the Board approved Ordinance 2019-8 amending Chapter 18, creating a new Section 18-2, entitled “Haul Permit,” and approved imposing a permit fee of $500.00.

Commr. Blake voted no.

public hearing - ordinance 2019-9 isba amendment

Ms. Marsh placed the proposed ordinance on the floor for reading by title only as follows:


Commr. Campione mentioned that this item was discussed previously by the Board and was due to annexations by the City of Clermont and the Board’s desire to make sure that Schofield Road would remain a county road because of the regional impacts and the agreements already in place with regards to its design and construction. 

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. Blake, seconded by Commr. Breeden and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved Ordinance 2019-9 amending the Interlocal Service Boundary Agreement (ISBA) with the City of Clermont related to Schofield Road.

public hearing ordinance 2019-10 economic development and business incentives

Ms. Marsh placed the proposed ordinance on the floor for reading by title only as follows:


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. Sullivan remarked that the goals of this ordinance were important for the county and that this program was created in order to diversify the tax base and lessen the tax burden on homeowners through increased commercial and industrial development.  He felt this was a way to assist in creating job opportunities for Lake County citizens.

On a motion by Commr. Sullivan, seconded by Commr. Breeden and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved Ordinance 2019-10 amending Chapter 7, Lake County Code, entitled “Economic Development and Business Incentives,” to clarify the definition of “targeted business/industry” and to allow grants of up to 10 years if higher job creation and capital investment thresholds are met.

regular agenda

presentation of the 2019 economic forecast

Mr. Brandon Matulka, Director for the Agency for Economic Prosperity, provided a historical overview and projected forecast for national, state and regional economic indicators to be considered as part of the fiscal year (FY) 2020 budget process.  He showed a slide depicting the sources used to obtain the data in today’s presentation and remarked that for the national outlook he would be discussing gross domestic product (GDP), inflation, interest rates, business spending, and excesses.  He commented that January 2019 marked the 114th month of the current expansion, that this expansion was the second largest expansion on record, and that the longest expansion on record was 120 months which was during the 1990s; additionally, he said that the current expansion was expected to remain intact through the rest of this year and into 2020, which would then make it the longest expansion on record.  He stated that in 2018 real GDP growth was boosted in part by economic policies, that the 2017 tax cuts helped raise real disposable income, and that last year’s budget agreement lifted government spending.  He added that some strong economic growth factors were beginning to fade, that the 2017 tax cut effects would dissipate later in 2019, and that real government expenditures were set to slow slightly.  He indicated that there was a strong momentum entering 2019 due to the following factors: the U.S. economy was expected to expand 2.7 percent this year; business confidence was still high which was spurring continued investments and employment growth, noting that currently across the country there were one million more job vacancies then there were unemployed workers; households were maintaining high personal savings which was contributing to solid rates of spending growth; unemployment was at its lowest rate in nearly 50 years; and the current expansion did not have any obvious excesses which usually trigger a recession.  He explained that some potential risks to monitor were that inflation could rise more rapidly if wages accelerated due to labor market tightness, the U.S.-China trade tensions, that the broad asset price appreciation could cause significant selloff in asset markets which would weaken household confidence and wealth, and the effects of the federal government shutdown which could cause lower than expected numbers in the first quarter of the year since government spending is included in the GDP.  He displayed a bar graph depicting the GDP from 2016 to 2020, noting that it was 1.5 in 2016, 2.2 in 2017, and climbed to 2.9 in 2018, with a projected forecast of 2.7 for 2019 and 2.2 for 2020.  He relayed that inflation was expected to increase slightly in 2019 due to higher labor costs because of a tight job market, higher prices for goods and services, and possible tariffs; however, he said that energy and food related commodity prices had declined which offset potential threats and that inflation was expected to be within the range of the Federal Reserve System’s (Fed’s) target of two percent.  He then displayed a bar graph of the consumer price index, noting that the forecast for 2019 was 2.3 and for 2020 was 2.6.  He described these facts regarding interest rates: with labor market and inflation in line with the Fed’s latest mandate, a rate increase of 0.5 percent was expected this year which would bring the federal funds rate to between 2.75 and 3.00 percent, noting it was currently at 2.25 and 2.5 percent; short-term Treasury yields would follow the federal funds rate increase; longer-term Treasury yields were expected to climb; rising federal deficit was expected to keep net Treasury issuance elevated; yield curve as measured by the spread between 2-year and 10-year Treasury securities was anticipated to steepen slightly; and the 10-year Treasury rate was expected to climb to 3.3 percent in 2019 and 3.41 percent in 2020.  He showed a graph of the federal funds target rate, noting that it was forecasted to be 2.88 in 2019 and 2.94 in 2020, and a graph of the 10-year Treasury note, with the forecast at 3.30 for 2019 and 3.41 in 2020.  He specified that for business spending, stronger sales and the reduction in corporate taxes had increased profit growth in 2018, corporate profits were expected to peak in the second half of 2019, equipment and structures spending was expected to rise about four percent, intellectual property products should do better in 2019, and last year’s growth exceeded the economy’s potential which negated a slight slowdown and remained healthy enough to extend through 2020.  He explained that the business fixed investment, or the Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR), was very strong in 2018 at 6.9, with a forecast of 4.8 for 2019 and 3.7 for 2020.  He reported the following regarding excesses: GDP growth was expected to remain positive with the expansion cycle anticipated to become the longest on record; the economy could continue to exceed expectations for even longer; recessions tend to emanate from the buildup of excesses during the boom years; they are typically triggered by a sudden reversal of risk tolerances from either a policy mistake or external shock; the current expansion did not have any excesses; and the absence of a boom meant that downside adjustments would likely be smaller than in the past and take longer to materialize.  He continued his presentation with the state and regional outlook, noting the following for the State of Florida: through 2021, Florida’s Real Gross State Product was expected to expand 3.4 percent annually with the average growth expected to be 0.5 percent points faster than the national average; payroll job growth was strong and continued to outpace the U.S. growth, with the average growth expected to be 0.8 percent points faster than the national average and year over year growth should average 2.2 percent in 2019; and labor force growth rate was expected to average 1.6 percent through 2021, noting that strong payroll job creation had strengthened Florida’s labor market and the unemployment rate was expected to fall to 3.2 percent by mid-2019.  He reported that the sectors expected to have the strongest average job growth during 2018 to 2021 were construction at 5.6 percent, professional and business services at 3.8 percent, financial at 3.0 percent, which were then followed by the three areas of leisure and hospitality, trade, transportation and utilities, and education and health services.  He stated that housing starts would accelerate going forward but not fast enough to ease the shortage of single-family housing in the near term throughout the state; additionally, house price appreciation would decelerate over this period as supply caught up with demand tempered by higher prices and rising mortgage rates through 2019.  He indicated that real personal income growth would average 3.3 percent during 2019 through 2021, with 2.8 percent growth in 2019 and acceleration to over 3.0 percent in 2020 and 2021.  He said that retail sales would grow at an average pace of over 4.9 percent through 2021 which would be boosted by a stronger national economy, continued strength in Florida’s labor market, and rising household wealth.  He explained the following for the Orlando Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), which included Lake, Orange, Osceola and Seminole counties: it would show varying strengths and weaknesses in 2019; population and employment growth would continue to outpace the state and national averages; personal income growth would be the third highest of all Florida MSAs at 5.9 percent, with Naples and the Ocala area being the top two; and job growth was expected to be strongest in the Orlando MSA in the sectors of construction and mining, professional and business services, financial, and leisure.  He then displayed comparative forecast graphs between the state of Florida and the Orlando MSA in the areas of gross product, employment, labor force, unemployment, housing starts and personal income, reporting the following: Orlando MSA had strong gross product numbers, although slightly behind the state, with a forecast of 4.7 percent for 2019 and 4.3 percent for 2020; employment for the Orlando MSA was higher than the state, with projected forecasts for 2019 of 2.9 percent; labor force had similar percentages to employment with the Orlando MSA outperforming the state and forecasted to be at 2.0 percent in 2019; unemployment rates were still near historical lows with the Orlando MSA forecasted to be slightly under the state at 2.8 percent in 2019 and 2.9 percent in 2020; and there was a negative percentage in housing starts in 2017, which he noted did not mean housing was lost that year but rather that there was a deceleration in the amount of housing starts, with a strong housing start growth in 2018 at 31.8 percent and then a leveling off in 2019 at 1.7 percent and 2020 at 1.3 percent.

Commr. Breeden asked what caused the negative 10.5 percent in 2017 and if it was related to Hurricane Irma.

Mr. Matulka responded that he believed it was related to confidence in the market and mentioned that was the year there were tax cuts which affected people’s certainty.  He noted it was still strong since it was up almost 12 percent the prior year and was only down 10 percent based on that.  He finished his presentation by reporting on personal incomes, noting that the Orlando MSA had been trending ahead of the state of Florida for several years and was forecasted to outpace the state in 2019 at 5.7 percent and in 2020 at 6.2 percent.  He stated that his office worked diligently to stay ahead of the state in terms of incomes for Lake County residents. 

Commr. Blake asked if the job growth sectors could be broken down more, giving the example that construction and mining was the strongest at 6.3 percent but he wondered if there were numbers specifically for mining.

Mr. Matulka responded that information was not part of the reports he used but that he would work to provide that detail to the Board.

Commr. Sullivan commented that mining and construction go together because concrete is needed for construction but comes from mining natural resources.  He opined that might put more pressure on Lake County due to its natural resources; furthermore, he felt that housing was still growing as people continued to move to the county and that the county would continue to be faced with issues relating to growth.  He thought the County was doing a good job at developing its plan for all this by looking at various concerns such as annexation, transportation, housing, etc.

Commr. Campione agreed that the road network was a key part especially as cities annex and she felt the Board should continue to work with the Cities regarding road maintenance.

Commr Sullivan added that much of this also fell in line with what the County was attempting to accomplish with bringing businesses to Lake County while also marketing Lake County as “Real Florida, Real Close” in order to maintain the county’s lifestyle too.  He said he felt comfortable with where the county currently was but thought it should stay competitive in order to keep up with the patterns in the economy especially with the pressure from Marion, Orange, Seminole and Sumter counties. 

Mr. Matulka stated that the economic development business incentive approved in this meeting was a big step towards helping the county to be competitive while also balancing the character of the county.  He reiterated that his office’s goal was to balance the need to diversify and attract quality jobs without losing sight of who they are as a county.

other business

appointments to the board of adjustment

Commr. Breeden commented that she would support Mr. James Argento for the District 3 appointment and she inquired about Ms. Laura Smith’s availability to serve since she was the Chairman for the Planning and Zoning Board.

Ms. Marsh confirmed that Ms. Smith was currently on the Planning and Zoning Board, that those appointments would be before the Board at their next meeting, and that Ms. Smith could not serve on both boards.

Commr. Parks indicated that Ms. Smith preferred to sit on the Planning and Zoning Board.

Commr. Sullivan stated that he supported Mr. Richard Backus II as well as Ms. Bea Meeks for the At-Large members.

On a motion by Commr. Breeden, seconded by Commr. Sullivan and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved Mr. James Argento as the representative for District 3, Mr. Lloyd Atkins as the representative for District 4, and Mr. Richard Backus II and Ms. Bea Meeks as the At-Large members for the Board of Adjustment and approved a potential ethical conflict waiver for Mr. Argento.

appointments to the elder affairs coordinating council

On a motion by Commr. Parks, seconded by Commr. Sullivan and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the reappointments of Ms. Susan Saunders as the representative from District 1 and Mr. Neil Cole as the representative from District 4, and the appointment of Ms. Carmalita Lall as the representative from District 2 to the Elder Affairs Coordinating Council and approved a potential ethical conflict waiver for Mr. Cole.

appointment to the lake county arts and cultural alliance

On a motion by Commr. Breeden, seconded by Commr. Parks and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the appointment of Mr. Christopher Dudeck, City of Clermont municipal representative, to the Lake County Arts and Cultural Alliance.


county manager

county offices closed for presidents day

Mr. Cole reminded everyone that the County Offices would be closed on Monday, February 18, 2019 in observance of Presidents Day.

Lake emergency medical services transition

Mr. Cole reported that the Lake Emergency Medical Services (EMS) transition into the County as the Office of Emergency Medical Services had been successfully completed.  He reiterated that they had identified approximately $500,000 in savings within the EMS Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 operating budget by finding efficiencies and eliminating duplication; additionally, he noted that the savings would be used to develop operational reserves in order to eliminate the necessity of pooled cash.  He added that there was no reduction in service as a result of the transition, and that in fact, their level of service had increased by instituting an advanced care paramedicine program which would provide personnel with high profile training and equipment in order to perform procedures never done before in Lake County and to help save more lives.  He relayed that as part of the Lake EMS transition, billing services were outsourced, the new computer aided dispatch was being developed, and the Astor rural transport ambulance had been placed in service.  He stated that the transition had been a significant workload for many and he thanked the Board, the EMS leadership, County leadership and staff throughout the organization for their efforts.  He relayed that they would continue to work on identifying additional efficiencies and opportunities to reduce costs and enhance services.

commissioners reports

commissioner sullivan – district 1

grand opening for hickory point athletic complex fieldhouse

Commr. Sullivan invited everyone to attend the Grand Opening for the Hickory Point Athletic Complex fieldhouse on Saturday, February 23, 2019 at 9:00 a.m.  He remarked that this was an example of an effective use of tourism dollars and that the County had already started to see a return on their investment for this complex, with the potential to host additional volleyball tournaments as that sport continued to expand.  He opined that this addition was helping to promote Lake County’s niche for sports and tourism.

commissioner parKS – district 2

city of minneola meeting

Commr. Parks mentioned that he had met the previous week with the City of Minneola’s Council and their Planning and Zoning Department as a continuation of exploring the parks and trails partnership opportunity for the 65 acre site that was being provided to the City.  He relayed that the developer for the site was planning to grade the site, provide utilities, and possibly connect the park to the development through trails and sidewalks.  He said the City Mayor was indicating a desire to develop the site as passive recreation rather than active recreation; however, the Mayor also wanted to have the flexibility to build active recreation in the future if desired.  He shared that the City would continue to work with County staff on the site and that they were still vetting the direction for the site as some wanted more active recreation while other council members desired passive recreation.

commissioner breeden – vice chairman and district 3

lake county legislative day in tallahassee

Commr. Breeden stated that she was looking forward to attending the Lake County legislative day in Tallahassee the following week.

commissioner blake – district 5

public works department shadow

Commr. Blake thanked Ms. Lori Koontz, Road Operations Division Manager, and the Public Works Department for allowing him to shadow one of their pothole crews while they worked on Rolling Acres Road.  He said it was great to witness the process and shared how efficient the workers are in this process.

league of cities lunch presentation

Commr. Blake acknowledged the great job Mr. Brandon Matulka, Executive Director for the Agency for Economic Prosperity, had done on his presentation at the League of Cities lunch the previous week.

city of umatilla community meeting

Commr. Blake shared that he, Mr. Fred Schneider, County Engineer, and Mr. Alan Kirkland, an Engineer IV with the Public Works Department, attended a community meeting at Piney Grove Baptist Church in the City of Umatilla regarding sidewalk improvements in the community.  He relayed that they received positive input from the residents and that there was the possibility to utilize Community Development Block Grant funds to pay for the improvements.

commissioner campione – chairman and district 4

james durden display

Commr. Campione mentioned that there was a new display in the rotunda which had been moved from the courthouse annex area and showcased Mr. James Durden who was the first African-American attorney in Lake County.  She stated that he had worked with the Public Defender’s Office and was a pioneer in the legal community.

recess and reassembly

The Chairman called a recess at 11:28 a.m. until the 1:30 p.m. Annual Strategies Workshop. 

annual strategies workshop

The Lake County Board of County Commissioners continued their meeting on Tuesday, February 12, 2019 at 1:30 p.m., at the Emergency Communications Operations Center (E.C.O.C.) Building, Tavares, Florida, in order to conduct their annual strategies workshop.  Commissioners present at the meeting were:  Leslie Campione, Chairman; Wendy Breeden, Vice Chairman; Timothy I. Sullivan; Sean Parks; and Josh Blake. Others present were:  Jeff Cole, County Manager; Melanie Marsh, County Attorney; Bill Veach, Deputy County Manager; John Molenda, Assistant County Manager; Ron Russo, Assistant County Manager; Jennifer Barker; Director for the Office of Management and Budget; Niki Booth, Executive Office Manager, County Manager’s Office; Kristy Mullane, Chief Financial Officer; and Kathleen Bregel, Deputy Clerk, Board Support.

Ms. Jennifer Barker, Director for the Office of Management and Budget, remarked that the purpose of the workshop was to review goals and discuss strategies that would be used to prepare the FY 2020 budget.  She relayed that the presentation would cover population history and projections, an overview of the General Fund budget history, a review of the goals used to prepare the budget, an outlook for the General Fund for FY 2020, General Fund strategies, and the FY 2020 budget timeline.  She displayed a graph of Lake County’s population since 2008, noting that the population had been trending upward and had increased by 51,000 people or 17 percent between 2008 and 2018.  She explained that all of the years were estimates except for 2010 when there was an actual U.S. census count; furthermore, she said the next census would be in 2020 and that the population estimate for 2019 was expected to be published in April 2019.  She then showed a bar graph reflecting the history of the General Fund from 2008 through 2019 which included the County Departments and Debt Service, the Constitutional Offices and Judicial Support, and the Fund Balance, noting that the Board had the most control over County Departments in the budget process.  She reported that beginning in 2008 there was a significant decrease in property values which impacted the General Fund revenue and that as a result, instead of additional burden being added to the taxpayers, the County started spending down their fund balance.  She elaborated that the fund balance had decreased from about $74.5 million in 2008 to approximately $7.7 million in 2019, which reflected a 90 percent decrease in that timeframe.  She commented that since FY 2017, the County departments had been implementing efficiencies which provided an additional savings of about $2.9 million to the General Fund and helped to restore the reserves; additionally, she said that five full time positions were eliminated during this three year time period which did not include any of the Lake EMS positions that came into the County during its transition.  She also indicated that during the Lake EMS transition there were efficiencies implemented that identified a savings of an additional $500,000 with a net decrease in 15 EMS positions.  She remarked that there were specific goals that guided the County’s decisions in the budget making process and included the following: the need for sufficient reserves in order to be prepared for natural disasters; enhancing the core function service delivery and quality of life services; balancing departmental budgets; fostering economic development and tourism; and continuing to identify and implement additional efficiencies.  She provided a General Fund outlook of the four major funding sources which included the ad valorem revenue, the communications services tax, the state shared revenues, and the state sales tax.  She explained that the County started with conservative estimates and projected a five percent increase for the ad valorem revenue which would provide about an additional $5.2 million, noting that the actual best estimates would come from the Lake County Property Appraiser on June 1, 2019 with the certified values on July 1, 2019.  She relayed that they had not seen an increase in the communications services tax so that revenue projection remained flat for FY 2020.  She stated that they projected a conservative three percent increase for the state shared revenue and a five percent increase for the state sales tax.  She indicated that these projections would provide an approximate $6.3 million in revenue for the General Fund.  She explained that there was a five percent statutory reduction for the amount that could be budgeted, which equated to about $316,000; furthermore, she said that during the mid-year adjustment the previous month, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) reimbursements related to Hurricane Irma provided about an additional $3.5 million in reserves, which was above the minimum seven percent requirement, although she noted that no cash had yet been received by FEMA and this amount was simply a budget entry at this point.  She concluded that with the approximate $3.5 million in reserves and the funds projections of about $6.3 million, that would give the County an approximate $10.6 million increase in revenues projected for FY 2020, noting that these were just the major revenue sources and that there were other revenues within the General Fund.

Mr. Cole reiterated that the $10.6 million number was very preliminary and that departmental budgets had not yet been developed.  He relayed that staff had identified non-discretionary and discretionary funding needs which he would present to the Board and then allow them to prioritize as well as add any additional items.  He said that one of the non-discretionary funding needs was that during the Presidential Preference Primary, the previous Supervisor of Elections had asked for an increase to her budget.  He noted that this was the first Presidential Preference Primary in the new Supervisor of Elections’ budget and while there had not yet been any conversations regarding this, there was the assumption based on past experience that there might be a request for additional funding for his budget.  He stated that another need was for the Sheriff’s inmate medical care contract.  He relayed that he and Ms. Barker had met with the Sheriff recently and the Sheriff had expressed a need and an interest in changing contracts for his inmate medical care.  He explained that the Sheriff budgets for inmate medical care within the detention center while the County budgets for inmate medical care outside the detention center.  He said that for the care inside his detention center, the Sheriff had concerns about the existing contract and planned to perform a competitive procurement and then report back to the County.  He stated that the Sheriff had indicated that there was a significant increase in the possible new contract he was considering versus the current contract and that staff was expecting an increase.  He remarked that the last two non-discretionary funding needs were to consider additional operating costs for any new projects that might be happening in the next year as well as the required additional incremental tax revenue due by law to the Community Redevelopment Agencies (CRAs).  He then shared a list of options for additional discretionary funding as follows: building reserves to the goal of twelve to sixteen percent in order to be prepared for natural disasters and emergencies, noting that they were slightly above nine percent currently, including the FEMA money waiting to be received, and that it would probably take a couple of years to reach this percentage; road resurfacing as a priority of the Board to possibly identify funding from General Fund ad valorem dollars to supplement infrastructure sales tax dollars to go towards road resurfacing projects; salary adjustments as County salaries had not kept pace with the market and economy which had affected recruitment and retention; the Sheriff had shared a need for additional operational funding in FY 2018, noting that he had not expressed that need since then but was listed in case there was a request; possible millage reduction; and the impact fee incentive program recently discussed by the Board in order to encourage development in Lake County.  He shared that the long-term strategies were to rebuild and increase General Fund reserves, to continue to identify and implement operational efficiencies as an ongoing process throughout the year, to collaborate with Constitutional Officers to identify and reduce and/or merge duplicate services, and to continue to reduce the reliance on fund balance as a long-term revenue stream as it should not be used for ongoing expenses and costs.  He recapped the FY 2020 budget timeline with these 2019 dates: budget kickoff with staff was on February 1; strategies workshop with the Board today on February 12; budget presentations before the Board from each of the County Offices and Departments during April through June; tentative budget and millage rate adoption on July 16; infrastructure sales tax projects discussion on August 13 with the public hearing on August 27; public hearings on the FY 2020 budget as well as the Fire and Solid Waste Assessments on September 10; and the final public hearing to adopt the FY 2020 budget on September 24.  He concluded by asking the Board to discuss the allocation of General Fund resources based on what was just presented, and to add any additional projects or priorities that they might have so that staff could begin the FY 2020 budget development. 

Commr. Breeden inquired about the Presidential Preference Primary and the election process and asked if it was just the primary that was additional.

Ms. Barker replied that the actual election would be in the following fiscal year; furthermore, the larger funding needs would be in the primary season but there would be a small increase for the actual general election in November in the following budget year.

Commr. Parks asked about the letter sent to the Attorney General regarding the use of Tourist Development Taxes (TDT) for trails and potential shoulder road work.  He thought that maybe if that was combined with resurfacing road work, it would be a good opportunity.

Ms. Marsh responded that her office had contacted them in December 2018 and were informed that the staff attorney had finished their portion and that it was waiting for the new Attorney General, noting that they also said there was no timeframe as to when that might be approved or delivered back to the County.  She summarized that her office was still waiting to hear from the state.

Mr. Cole suggested that the Board could also discuss how to allocate FEMA reimbursements from Hurricane Irma expenses once they were received.

Commr. Breeden asked how much the County was expecting to receive.

Ms. Barker said that it would be an actual increase to reserves of about $3.5 million.

Commr. Campione inquired if that would get the County back to the desired amount.

Ms. Barker replied it would bring the reserves up to approximately 9.7 percent. 

Commr. Breeden opined that the Hurricane Irma reimbursements should go to reserves.  She also asked if the five percent increases in ad valorem taxes were conservative.

Ms. Barker remarked that they were quite conservative and reported that for the current fiscal year, it ended up being about a 9.8 percent increase.  She said the previous year it was slightly over 8.5 percent.  She reiterated that they would have the actual best estimates on June 1, 2019 before the tentative millage rate had to be adopted.

Commr. Campione asked if the value increases were able to be broken down between new construction and assessed values going up.  She also inquired if the new construction could be separated between residential and commercial.

Ms. Barker responded that for the last couple of years it was about a 60/40 split, with 40 percent being new construction and 60 percent being the property value increase.  She said the property appraiser could probably provide the data on the split between residential and commercial.

Commr. Campione wondered if that was a possible way to back into finding the right amount of funding if they were going to tap into the General Fund for transportation purposes.  She suggested using a percentage of new construction for new businesses to be set aside for road resurfacing, transportation, or infrastructure needs in order to take some of the burden off of the residential side, although she noted she was not certain how to determine that number.

Ms. Barker said that she could get that information for the Board.

Commr. Sullivan remarked that was a great idea and relayed that years ago there was a specific funding amount for the Public Works Department for road resurfacing and it was a percentage of the General Fund.  He opined that road resurfacing was getting worse, was an item that kept getting put off, and was a need that had to be addressed.

Commr. Campione opined that she thought it was six percent of the General Fund in the past.

Commr. Breeden commented that two years prior, the Board was poised to reduce the millage rate slightly until it had expenses from Hurricane Irma.  She mentioned that she would like to attempt to reduce the millage rate this year while the economy was strong.

Commr. Parks questioned the comment regarding applying a percentage of General Fund to go towards road resurfacing based off of commercial construction as he felt that it was affected by both commercial and residential.  He relayed that his approach would be to consider which roads were the worst roads, or possibly a road in each district that needed to be resurfaced, and then the Board would need to decide if they wanted to address those roads this year and if taking the money out of the General Fund would help. 

Commr. Campione reiterated that her thoughts were to take it out of the General Fund but to isolate a certain amount based on the incremental increase from adding new construction.  She summarized that it would not be funds as a result of property values increasing, but rather funds as a result of new people moving to Lake County.

Commr. Parks felt that there were a certain number of projects that needed to get done and that deferring them longer could be detrimental and cost the County more in the future.  He opined that resurfacing roads would improve property values.

Commr. Campione asked if Commissioner Parks was suggesting to formulate the list of roads to be resurfaced and then determine the funding amount based on the list.

Commr. Parks confirmed that and said it could be based on a list of credible projects.

Commr. Breeden felt that the Board should explore different methods to funding what was needed, noting that the entire picture of what the budget would look like was yet to be determined.

Mr. Cole mentioned that each fall, staff puts together a priority list of road projects to be funded with the infrastructure sales tax; furthermore, he suggested the Board could consider that list and identify how much funding was available.  He indicated that the Board had the authority to move projects or allocate funding to other projects.

Commr. Campione thought the list was a good starting point and that each Commissioner could consider the roads in their district which would be the highest priority, noting that every year the list could change based on road impacts.

Commr. Sullivan explained that the roads were rated based on their condition and that the longer their repair was delayed, the worse the road could get and then would cost more to fix.  He felt that the Board was in agreement that road resurfacing was a priority; however, figuring out how to fund it, whether through infrastructure sales tax or a percentage of the General Fund, was what still needed to be determined.  He mentioned that the Lake County Public Works Department already knew which roads needed repair and that they also prioritized the list based on the amount of use the road receives, such as a collector road versus a small road that only ten cars utilize.

Commr. Campione remarked that the General Fund could possibly be used for collector roads while infrastructure sales tax funding could continue to be used for neighborhood roads.

Commr. Breeden said that it could also be the opposite as collector roads could be the most expensive to repair and therefore use up the entire increase.

Commr. Campione remarked that the roads could also be broken out to those that would have the biggest impact on economic development from the standpoint that if someone was considering moving to Lake County but felt there were serious road issues since that could be a deterrent to attracting them to the county.

Commr. Breeden stated that the Commissioners could also agree on one important project rather than splitting it among the districts.

Commr. Blake said that another option discussed was taking the infrastructure sales tax and playing catch up for a year by devoting a majority of the money coming in for that year to the worst roads, those that would affect the perception of the county, or by district.

Commr. Campione inquired about devoting the five percent anticipated increase which was about $800,000.

Ms. Barker stated that $800,000 was the state sales tax amount and was based on the five percent and was not the infrastructure sales tax nor the one percent discretionary.

Commr. Parks asked what excess came in over the projected budgeted amount on the penny sales tax and suggested that they could allocate any over excess.

Ms. Barker replied that over the previous year there was a very minimal excess of about $56,000.

Commr. Campione confirmed that what was projected was pretty much what was received.

Ms. Barker said that any excess amount would go into reserves and would be identified during the public hearing in August 2019 and the Board could then decide where to allocate it.

  Mr. Cole reported that for the current fiscal year, there was $1.7 million budgeted from infrastructure sales tax for road resurfacing and improvements and that same amount was targeted for the next two years at which point it would go to $2 million dollars.

Commr. Campione thought there was a benefit to having a certain amount of the General Fund allocated to resurfacing and transportation and was surprised that Lake County did not budget that way, although she noted they had in the past but then impact fees and other sources became available.  She stated that most counties have some of their General Fund going towards resurfacing and transportation.

Commr. Sullivan remarked that one of those other funding sources was the gas tax which had not increased in several years; however, cars were now more efficient which also affected the amount coming from that source.  He opined that road resurfacing and transportation was the highest priority moving forward.

Commr. Campione suggested that the Board consider the various road projects and what they would cost in order to determine what amount would need to be set aside.

Mr. Cole indicated that staff could go through the priority list produced in the fall and identify what amount could be done based on the infrastructure sales tax so the Board could then decide how many projects could be completed.

 Commr. Campione relayed that she was recently in the City of Clermont and heard residents expressing concerns about the potholes on Citrus Tower Boulevard and that they seemed to be increasing.  She asked if the Public Works Department could investigate that road.

Mr. Cole indicated that staff did follow up on those complaints.

Ms. Lori Koontz, Road Operations Division Manager, stated that the last time those roads were resurfaced was in 2008.  She explained that potholes can happen for a variety of reasons and that she suspected that there was cracking in these roads and water was intruding; therefore, when it rained, it caused potholes.  She said that the good news was that potholes are fixed immediately and even though they are unsightly, the potholes are repairing the road so that there is no further water intrusion.  She indicated that her staff had been keeping track of that road and that without an actual road resurfacing project, that is how these types of issues are handled.

Commr. Campione asked how much a project of that magnitude would cost.

Ms. Koontz replied it would be over their budget for just that one road, noting that road was actually rated high even with the potholes.  She elaborated that people often associate visually unappealing roads with a bad rating and that does not always correlate.  She said that since the potholes had been repaired, it was not necessarily a road in need of resurfacing.

Commr. Parks inquired if they were referring to the area on Citrus Tower Boulevard from S.R. 50 south to U.S. 27 and Ms. Koontz confirmed that was correct.  He commented that the road had been fixed very quickly by the public works staff.

Commr. Campione asked how the Public Works Department was made aware of roads that needed repair, whether through the public contacting her department, or contacting the Commissioners, or did staff find the problems.

Ms. Koontz answered that it was through all of those ways and that her staff knew which roads were problematic.  She explained that a bad rainstorm can produce a road with a lot of potholes.  She reiterated that her department already had a list of 75 miles of roads within the county that were already rated for resurfacing and that they were chipping away at getting them done, noting that approximately 11 miles were completed this year.  She reported that they were also in the process of performing another inspection process and reminded the Board that road ratings only get worse, not better, without attention.

Commr. Campione asked how much 11 miles translated into a dollar amount and Commissioner Breeden asked how much it cost to repair one mile.

Ms. Koontz responded that it was difficult to give a per mile cost as it depended on the width of the road and what the road required, such as milling or a straight asphalt overlay.

Commr. Campione asked how many miles could be done with the annual resurfacing budget of $1.7 million.

Ms. Koontz replied that 11 miles could be resurfaced with the $1.7 million minus the $312,000 held out for Sugarloaf Mountain Road.  She indicated that she had sent to the Board a list of roads that could be resurfaced with the $312,000 if it was not held for Sugarloaf Mountain Road.  She reported that the county had a total of 1,245 miles of asphalt roads.

Mr. Cole stated that one option was for staff to resubmit the list to the Board and show what was planned to be done with the $1.7 million and then with any extra funding that the Board might want to allocate from ad valorem taxes, staff could either continue down the priority list or the Board could reposition the priorities.

Commr. Parks asked if staff could identify which four rated roads were worse than others.

Ms. Koontz responded that there were many four rated roads in the county and that they did attempt to resurface the worst ones first by prioritizing based on the type of road, and the percentage of arterial, collector, and neighborhood roads.  She said that staff evaluated the four rated roads again and that she could provide their findings to the Board.

Commr. Campione asked Mr. Cole if he had enough direction from the Board regarding roads and Mr. Cole said he did.  She then moved to the next item on the options for discretionary funding which was salary adjustments.  She shared her concerns with the fact that the County was having difficulty with recruitment and retention.

Commr. Parks commented that being competitive, retaining employees and rewarding their team was a priority for him.

Mr. Cole indicated that if it was the Board’s desire, they would continue to implement performance based raises each year which he felt had been very successful; additionally, they would like some additional adjustments for certain areas.

Commr. Breeden said she agreed with that.

Commr. Sullivan opined that the Planning and Zoning Department was an area that needed attention as there were vacancies that needed to be filled.  He recalled that the County had added additional technicians on the building side but they have to work with planners and now there were twice as many technicians but less planners to do the same amount of work. 

Commr. Parks said that since Florida was growing so rapidly, planners might be sought by another county, municipality or private company as there seemed to be a shortage of planners available.

Commr. Blake asked for an estimate of what was needed to get the County into a good place with this.

Mr. Cole replied that he did not have a specific number but felt it could not be resolved financially in just one year.  He indicated that staff had an amount they would like to include above and beyond performance based raises which would depend on revenue availability.  He said that several hundred thousand dollars would make an impact but resolving the issue would cost a lot more than that.

Commr. Breeden asked if it would be helpful to have funding for performance based raises plus additional funding across the board or was it only needed for more specific areas.

Mr. Cole responded that the salary ranges and pay grades were an issue.  He relayed that prior to him becoming County Manager, the philosophy was to always hire at the minimum which had created some issues.  He specified that those minimums had stayed low and that adjusting them would have a fiscal impact across the board.

Mr. Jim Kovacs, Director for the Office of Human Resources and Risk Management, commented that while merit based raises were excellent and rewarded good performance, the County’s pay grades had stayed the same.  He explained that typically the pay grades should be adjusted along with merit based performance; additionally, he indicated that when the pay grades were static, there were more requests to hire people above the minimum.  He suggested that the pay tables be adjusted and merit based raises continue, noting that the turnover was causing issues within the County and was costly due to recruiting, onboarding, and training costs.  He said that on any given week, the County had about 25 to 35 positions posted on their website and that whatever steps could be taken to reduce that would be beneficial to the organization.

Mr. Cole summarized that there were several components to this item, giving the example that if they increased the minimums to be competitive, they should be consistent and also increase those employees already working with the County.

Commr. Campione asked for Mr. Cole to work on some specifics and report back to the Board.  She mentioned that regarding the next item, she would reach out to the Sheriff for specifics.  She recalled that his department was trying to implement their salary study and that the Board worked towards getting him the funding he needed for that, noting that his original request was much higher but that they had reached a compromise with him.  She felt the Board was always looking for ways reduce the millage, which was the next item on the list.

Commr. Parks shared that he was interested in a millage reduction but cautioned that before the Board committed to a set amount, they should consider the mandatory obligations and operational costs that needed to be funded in the next year.  He said that while it would be nice to have a rollback rate, it might not be prudent due to deferring costly road maintenance for the next five to ten years.  He also indicated support for building the reserves.

Commr. Campione shared that she would like to see the value increase broken down between what was related to assessment going up versus new construction as a starting point prior to considering a rollback reduction.

Commr. Parks asked to confirm that they were projecting increases based on five percent.

Ms. Barker confirmed this and added that once they received the best estimates in June 2019, they would revise that information in time for the Board to adopt the tentative millage rate in July 2019.

Commr. Breeden asked when the Constitutional Officers budgets were due and Ms. Barker said June 1, 2019.

Mr. Cole remarked that as staff built the budget based on the five percent, the Board could give direction on how they would like to allocate any additional percentages that might be received and then staff would be prepared to respond with amounts.

Ms. Barker reiterated that earlier in the meeting when the millage increase was discussed, it was based on the current millage rate of 5.1180 mills.

Commr. Campione commented that she wanted to discuss the impact fee incentive program in the realm of economic development.  She shared that recently there had been inquiries about large employers looking at the county and ways to entice them to come to Lake County.  She suggested having an impact fee incentive program in place for those high value employers, similar to what was considered today, who would have jobs within the county’s targeted industries, at a certain salary, and based on a certain threshold of investment they were making.  She explained that if the program was in place, even if not funded, then when there was a possible company wanting to come into the county, the Board could consider possibly utilizing some reserves to offset their impact fees.

Commr. Breeden asked if there should be a cap per year similar to the infill program.

Commr. Campione opined that this program should be reserved for an outstanding company and not just an average company.  She remarked that if a certain amount was set aside, then there was the possibility the funding would be used up and spent on any company while this would be designed for a targeted business. 

Commr. Sullivan asked to confirm if this would have similar criteria as discussed previously in the meeting such as a $25 million evaluation, a certain number of jobs at a higher level, and in the industries that were best for Lake County.  He encouraged setting the criteria high.

Commr. Campione confirmed this and stated that staff could develop a concept for it.  She also expressed her desire for a waiver for residential development within infill areas with the criteria similar to the school impact fee waiver but with additional ways to qualify.  She said the school waiver was already in place although she felt the Board should encourage the School Board to continue funding that program since they had already utilized the initial $250,000.  She reported that she was developing a presentation to present to the School Board which would identify where houses had been built and what they had added to the tax base.  She explained that if homes were able to be built in infill areas, then that added to the tax roll the following year, assisted with the overall tax revenue, and helped the neighborhood.  She suggested funding $100,000 as a pilot for this program and then see if they received any applicants for it.

Commr. Breeden remarked she felt that was a reasonable amount.

Commr. Sullivan commented that this could also help provide affordable housing.

Commr. Blake asked how many had applied for the school waivers.

Commr. Campione replied that there was $250,000 and it was about $10,000 each so approximately 250 homes.  She said that Homes in Partnership reported that the last four to five houses that they built were for school teachers, police officers or firefighters.  She relayed that she would bring the presentation she created for the School Board back to the BCC.

Commr. Breeden asked what direction was given to staff as they prepared their budgets.

Mr. Cole responded that this was the first year they were not asked to make percentage cuts as there had been cuts over the last two budgets and also retroactive into one budget year.  He opined that with the efficiencies found and reductions already made, there was not any more room for cuts although there might be areas where there could still be efficiencies.  He relayed that departments were directed to not present budgets higher than what they currently were, although he realized that some areas may have urgent needs that would require more funding and therefore there might need to be reductions in other areas.  He said that staff’s intent was to present a General Fund budget to the Board that was not an increase from the previous year.

Commr. Breeden asked if salary adjustments would be separate.

Mr. Cole responded that for the extra funding, if the Board wanted to implement some of the items identified today, then staff would be presenting increases; however, it was assumed it was a status quo budget unless these items were implemented.  He added that since the Board had implied today that they did want to focus on some of these areas, staff would address them as part of their budget development.

Commr. Parks mentioned that he would like to see a change or an addition to the community meeting process as he alluded to at the last planning and zoning hearing, although he noted that he did not feel that every case needed a community meeting.

Mr. Cole indicated that staff had met on that issue the previous day and brainstormed some possible ideas and he relayed that a presentation was being drafted which would be presented to the Board.  He mentioned that there were some concerns that staff was attempting to address in regards to making sure the response time for processing a permit was not reduced due to the public meeting process.  He added that staff was also considering the criteria which would trigger the need for a community meeting, such as the size of the development or the amount of opposition.

Commr. Parks remarked that he was also interested in looking at design codes for the Four Corners area, noting that those had not been implemented yet as they were waiting to see what the Four Corners Area Council did.  He wondered if there were urban sections of the county that were not within the city where form-based codes could possibly be utilized.  He thought they could benefit both a resident who was concerned about how their community looked as well as developers and property rights advocates because form-based codes allowed more freedom, not necessarily with the usage but with addressing more of what it would look like with performance criteria built into it.  He opined that might be helpful and suggested trying it as a pilot program in one area and asked staff to present some options to the Board if that was something the BCC wanted.

Commr. Breeden inquired that since there were design standards for Community Redevelopment Areas, would creating ones for Four Corners lead to different design standards throughout the county.

Commr. Parks stated he understood that concern but felt if a true form-based code was implemented, then it might be more helpful and be something that could be done in all the urban parts of the county, noting that rural areas were different.  He said it might be easier to follow and be a benefit.

Commr. Campione asked if Commissioner Parks was suggesting Four Corners because it was not a municipality but had urban densities and he confirmed that was correct.

Mr. Cole reminded the Board that on their day’s meeting agenda was the Four Corners Area Council’s vision initiative which they voted to give $15,000, along with the other three counties, towards developing Land Development Regulations (LDRs) and other items.

Mr. Matulka remarked that the Four Corners Area Council’s initial kickoff meeting would be with the overall steering committee and that there would be a technical advisory committee with the planning staff looking at the LDRs.  He said he was not sure where they would start those conversations and noted that GAI Consultants and the University of Central Florida were the consultants leading those discussions.  He relayed that many of those discussions would be considering what each county had in that area, since it involved four different counties, and how they could best integrate and work together to be a more cohesive area throughout all of Four Corners and the four counties.  He was not sure if they were considering the form-based codes or not and thought they had a meeting in April or May 2019.

Commr. Parks said that maybe Mr. Matulka could ask if it was even a possibility to consider form-based codes, noting that it might be challenging since it was four different counties.

Commr. Sullivan remarked that the four counties were so different, which could make it challenging, yet he understood the desire to make it look uniform.

Mr. Matulka said that he thought that developing something that would work on a larger scale for all four counties was their goal, noting that each county also had different levels of involvement in that area too.

Commr. Parks reiterated that he realized this was a longer term item but felt that much of the controversy in the planning and zoning public hearings was around the use of the area and how it might look and opined that form-based codes might take care of those issues and make it simpler when implemented correctly.

Mr. Matulka relayed that his staff would look into this request.

Commr. Blake stated that he thought it was a good step that the Board took regarding residential landscaping regulations and thought that moving into the commercial side of landscape requirements would be good too.  He gave an example of a small community church which had recently constructed a 3,000 square foot fellowship hall and passed the inspection but could not obtain their certificate of occupancy because they had not finished the landscaping which would cost them approximately $40,000 due to Lake County’s code.  He said this was an example of an unintended consequence and that there might be some areas within the commercial landscaping regulations that could be tweaked.  He noted this was within a Community Facility District (CFD) zoning area which often included not-for-profit organizations who would make sure their landscaping looked nice and he suggested addressing the regulations within this district.

Commr. Campione suggested possibly considering form-based landscaping which would consider what was around the building, the impact of the use on the surrounding area, and what might need to be buffered.

Ms. Marsh clarified that the Board had just passed an ordinance that would allow them to make variances during CFD zoning requests.  She said it could be considered on a case by case basis for CFD rezoning on what might be appropriate; additionally, she relayed that there were different buffer levels within the code that could be chosen or they could tailor something specific to that property mentioned. 

Commr. Campione asked if it was possible in a situation such as this where they were already in a CFD zoning, for their zoning ordinance to be amended to waive or alter the requirements.

Ms. Marsh replied that could be done and that she was working with Commissioner Blake to allow this particular party to have their CFD amended. 

Commr. Blake said that he would still like for commercial landscaping regulations to be evaluated and Commissioner Breeden agreed.  He also expressed his support of a millage reduction, noting that he understood it would be hard to postpone some of the items that the infrastructure sales tax funded but he again suggested cutting back for a year in order to address the necessary items, such as road projects. 

Commr. Sullivan commented that Commissioner Blake’s point was good and that infrastructure was the key for growth, especially with commercial.  He opined that the one infrastructure that the Board had the most impact on was roads and transportation.  He proposed the possibility of taking a small amount of the money from the infrastructure sales tax and bonding it for a short period of time while interest rates were competitive, possibly over the life of the sales tax, in order to get caught up on infrastructure needs without affecting the General Fund.  He reiterated this was for items the County was behind in doing and needed immediate attention, such as the roads.  He remarked that he did not like to go into debt; however, he felt that the county was getting to a critical point where if the roads got much worse, then the County might not be able to catch up.  He said if they could take a known funding source and bond that money in order to get caught up, while the County knew where the money was coming from in order to pay it, then that might be another idea to consider while going through the budget process. 

Commr. Parks asked for clarification that Commissioner Sullivan was suggesting a possible short-term note of about five to seven million, but not necessarily a bond.

Commr. Sullivan responded that was correct and suggested possibly a ten year note at 2.89 percent, although he mentioned he did not want to give specific numbers at this point. 

Mr. Cole commented that currently staff was looking at the infrastructure sales tax for the next five years, with about $1.7 million budgeted for roads and resurfacing for the first couple of years and $2 million budgeted after that.  He relayed that it was about 12 years before the infrastructure sales tax expired, and he suggested that staff could run some numbers around possibly taking $2 million over those years and what it would cost to repay that amount and what the County might net, which he indicated might be around $20 million.  He added that they would need to consider the debt ratio as well.

Commr. Sullivan agreed that the debt ratio and the bonding rate would need to be considered and that it was a complicated process; however, he opined that it still might be the shortest path to getting the county to a place where they were not behind in their infrastructure.

Commr. Breeden asked if while staff was considering this option, could they also look at this next year’s infrastructure sales tax and identify some projects that could possibly wait a year.

Mr. Cole replied that staff could do that and explained that there were implications to the debt option; however, they could consider an amount that did not exceed what they would already budget every year.  He said they could then reprioritize based on those numbers.  He stated this workshop had been helpful and the information discussed would assist staff in building the budget.  He commented that staff would follow up on the other items the Board had mentioned.

Commr. Campione thanked the County staff for all they do for the County and for its citizens and shared the Commissioners’ appreciation for how well they represent Lake County.

Mr. Cole announced that the next BCC meeting would be on February 26, 2019 with the transit workshop in the afternoon of that day.


There being no further business to be brought to the attention of the Board, the meeting was adjourned at 2:51 p.m.









leslie campione, chairman










Gary J. Cooney, Clerk