april 9, 2019

The Lake County Board of County Commissioners met in regular session on Tuesday, April 9, 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; Kristy Mullane, Chief Financial Officer; and Kathleen Bregel, Deputy Clerk, Board Support.

INVOCATION and pledge

Pastor Tim Travis with The Father’s House in the City of Leesburg gave the Invocation and led the Pledge of Allegiance.

Agenda update

Mr. Jeff Cole, County Manager, asked for Tab 11 to be removed from the consent agenda, noting that it would be brought back at a future meeting, as well as for Tab 23 to be removed since the presenter notified the County the previous week that they would be unable to attend today’s meeting.  He also commented that since the agenda had first been published, background backup to Tabs 24 and 25 had been added, and Tab 32 was added as an addendum to the consent agenda.

proclamation approvals

Proclamation 2019-34 had been previously approved at the March 26, 2019 Board of County Commissioners (BCC) meeting.

On a motion by Commr. Blake, seconded by Commr. Breeden, and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved Proclamations 2019-28, 2019-32, 2019-33 and 2019-39. 

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 well as two retirees and recipients of the quarterly awards as follows:



Antonio Johansmeyer, Firefighter/Paramedic

Office of Fire Rescue


Brandon Roberts, Access Control Systems Specialist

Fifth Judicial Circuit Court of Florida


Rolando Torres, Firefighter/EMT

Office of Fire Rescue



Don Murray, Environmental Waste Technician

Public Works Department, Solid Waste Division


Erikk Ross, Programming and Application Support Division Manager

Information Technology Department

James Willis, Equipment Operator III (not present)

Public Works Department, Maintenance III (Umatilla)



Kirk Biccum, Fire Lieutenant/EMT (not present)

Office of Fire Rescue


James Fletcher, Fire Lieutenant/EMT

Office of Fire Rescue


Robert Ford, Fire Lieutenant/Paramedic (not present)

Office of Fire Rescue


Michael Kopilash, Fire Lieutenant/Paramedic

Office of Fire Rescue



Teresa Harrison, Accounting Technician

Office of Fleet Management




Steve Earls, Director, Information Technology Department



Bill Veach, Deputy County Manager, Community and Technical Support Services



Mr. Bill Veach, Deputy County Manager, stated that Mr. Steve Earls started his Lake County career in November 1998 when he was hired as the network administrator, noting that by March 1999, he had been named as the Computer Services Director.  He reported that during that year, Mr. Earls’ team connected the County to the internet, created the County’s first website, and rolled out the County’s email system.  He mentioned that in addition to those responsibilities, Mr. Earls was placed in charge of telecommunications, records management and geographic information services (GIS); furthermore, his span of responsibilities was later expanded as Information Technology (IT) began to provide technological support for the Lake County Supervisor of Elections, the Lake County Property Appraiser and the Lake-Sumter Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO).  He reported that one of Mr. Earls’ most noteworthy accomplishments was his work to design and construct the County’s underground fiber optic networks in the City of Tavares and the County landfill, which is a system that continues to be expanded and will serve Lake County for many years to come.  He shared that Mr. Earls served under six different County Managers and that with his guidance, his team was repeatedly recognized, both internally and externally, for their expertise and innovative approach.  He said that Mr. Earls planned to travel and visit friends and family during his retirement, that he would be greatly missed, and then thanked him for his many years of dedicated service.   

Mr. Cole mentioned that not only was Mr. Bill Veach retiring from Lake County as the Deputy County Manager with six years of service, but that he was also retiring from a 37 year career which included leadership positions with Eastern Illinois University, the State of Illinois, the Carolina Raptor Center in North Carolina, Keep Brevard Beautiful, the City of Okeechobee, the City of Flagler Beach, and the State of Florida.  He described Mr. Veach as one of Lake County’s unsung heroes who worked quietly behind the scenes to help keep all of the County’s parts aligned and synchronized.  He specified that Mr. Veach always had the best interests of the public, the Board, the staff and two County Managers at the forefront of everything he did.  He indicated that Mr. Veach was keenly aware of cause and effect and worked hard to ensure a favorable outcome for anyone who might be impacted.  He relayed that Mr. Veach was fiercely loyal, was an invaluable sounding board and advisor, and provided strong leadership and guidance to County staff.  He conveyed that he would greatly miss Mr. Veach, who planned to spend time on the open water and time with his grandchildren during retirement.  He thanked Mr. Veach for his six years of exemplary service to Lake County as well as his stellar 37 year career, and he wished him a happy and healthy retirement.



Diona Borden, Animal Care Technician

Office of Animal Services


Ms. Nelson congratulated Ms. Diona Borden on her selection as the Employee of the Quarter and noted that recently Ms. Borden had noticed a citizen approaching the Lake County Animal Shelter with a puppy that looked lethargic.  She said that Ms. Borden quickly recognized the possibility that a fatal virus could be introduced into the shelter, and she immediately redirected the citizen back outside the building.  She relayed that the County was thankful for Ms. Borden’s critical thinking and quick action in this important situation.



Jon Carey, District Chief

Chris Smith, District Chief

Scott Scheider, Paramedic


Pat Stephens, Chief Operations Support


Mitch Burgher, Fire Lieutenant/ Paramedic

Albert Howard, Fire Lieutenant/ Paramedic (not present)

Dan Miller, Battalion Fire Chief

Ross Pinkerton, Fire Lieutenant/ Paramedic (not present)


Ms. Nelson reported that the T.E.A.M. of the Quarter award was going to the Lake County Rural Rescue Program Team which was comprised of employees from the Office of Fire Rescue, the Office of Emergency Medical Services (EMS), and the Office of Public Safety Support.  She said that this team was responsible for the successful creation and implementation of the new rural rescue program.  She explained that this program involved mounting fire equipment, redesigning current ambulances, and extensive cross-training between departments.  She relayed that the team collaboration would result in improved transport efficiencies, better staffing levels at rural fire stations, and a decrease in average response times to certain rural areas of the county.  She thanked every member of this dedicated service team for masterly coordinating this life-saving program. 

presentation of proclamation 2019-39

Commr. Parks remarked that iBuild Central Florida desired to increase awareness of the construction industry and assisted in providing pathways to careers in construction by engaging students and by joining the educational field with the construction industry.  He then read and presented Proclamation 2019-39, designating April 2019 as iBuild Central Florida month in Lake County, to Ms. Angela Highland, Executive Committee for iBuild Central Florida, and Dr. Diane Culpepper, Executive Director with Lake Technical College.

Ms. Highland thanked the Board for the proclamation and explained that iBuild Central Florida was a local, non-profit organization which built relationships between the education realm and the construction industry with the purpose of promoting careers in the skills trade.  She opined that people with a skilled trade were diminishing and that her organization worked to change that by talking to students and parents and by getting the necessary tools and resources needed to help grow the trade industry.  She announced that iBuild Central Florida was hosting an invitational on April 27, 2019 in the City of Orlando, which she noted would involve approximately 300 people who would engage in a skills competition with employers on site to hire.

presentation of proclamation 2019-28

Commr. Breeden commended the Office of Code Enforcement for the great work they do and she then read and presented Proclamation 2019-28, designating June 3-7, 2019 as Code Enforcement Appreciation Week in Lake County, to Mr. Glen Guzman, Director for the Office of Code Enforcement.  She also recognized the code enforcement officers present at the meeting.

Commr. Sullivan and Commissioner Campione relayed their appreciation for the code enforcement officers and thanked them for the difficult job they perform.

presentation of proclamation 2019-33

Commr. Breeden read and presented Proclamation 2019-33, designating April 14-20, 2019 as National Public Safety Telecommunicators week in Lake County, to Mr. Greg Holcomb, Director for the Office of Public Safety Support, and Ms. Kim Stephens, EMS Communications Manager, as well as some of their staff.

presentation of proclamation 2019-32

Commr. Blake read and presented Proclamation 2019-32, designating April 2019 as Child Abuse Prevention Awareness month in Lake County, to Ms. Lesha Buchbinder, Executive Director for the Early Learning Coalition of Lake County, Mr. Jeremy Thomas, with the Department of Children and Families, and Ms. Jessica Weiss, with Kids Central, Inc.

presentation of proclamation 2019-34

Commr. Blake read and presented Proclamation 2019-34, designating April 7-13, 2019 as National Library week, to members of the Lake County Library Advisory Board.  He remarked that he had served on the Library Advisory Board for two years and relayed how impressed he was with this board’s dedication and he thanked them for all their hard work.


On a motion by Commr. Breeden, seconded by Commr. Sullivan, and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved the minutes for the BCC meeting of February 12, 2019 (Regular Meeting) as presented.

citizen question and comment period

Ms. Barbara Distelhorst, a resident of the City of Eustis, expressed her support of Mr. Ted Miller and his concern with the noise levels coming from the MedMen medical marijuana facility near his home.  She shared that she had known Mr. Miller for 15 years, had great respect for him, and opined that the noise issue was affecting his health and decreasing his property value.  She asked for the BCC to assist with getting the MedMen facility to reduce their noise levels and inquired if she could meet with any of the Commissioners. 

Commr. Campione commented that the Board would be willing to meet with her and that they had been exploring this issue and the options that might be available to them.  She reiterated that the State of Florida preempted medical marijuana growing and production and that they heavily regulated the process; furthermore, she explained that by law, this type of facility was allowed within an agricultural zoning area even though it could seem industrial in nature.  She shared the Board’s concern with this particular location as well as what could possibly happen in other areas within the county, and she shared that they were seeking clarification from the courts on what local government could do in this specific situation.  She indicated that the Board was evaluating possible options to enhance their zoning regulations and to determine if any additional noise provisions could be applied to agricultural uses.     

Ms. Jeanine Shawley, a Lake County resident who lived on C.R. 44A in the City of Eustis, remarked that she had a few follow up items from her last appearance at a previous BCC meeting where she expressed her concerns around noise levels coming from the MedMen facility.  She inquired about the potential meetings with Senator Dennis Baxley and Representative Jennifer Sullivan as well as the status of reaching out to the Knox Medical facility in the City of Winter Garden in regard to their noise levels.

Commr. Campione responded that the BCC had conveyed the issue to both of the legislative offices; however, since the state legislation was in session, it was making it challenging to get a face-to-face meeting, although the Board was still working to schedule one.

Ms. Melanie Marsh, County Attorney, replied that her office had contacted the City of Winter Garden and they said they had no enforcement actions against the Knox Medical facility.

Ms. Shawley reiterated their need for at least a few hours of relief from the noise levels; additionally, she asked that the speed limit on the road in that area be lowered.

Ms. Krystal Long, the daughter of the Millers who lived next door to the MedMen facility, shared that her parents had lived in that area for 29 years but were just recently having to deal with the noise issue.  She opined that this situation was causing extreme stress on her parents, that the noise levels were excessive, that family functions were not the same as they could not hold normal conversations within the yard, and that her parents were unable to sleep at night.  She reiterated that her parents were not against the medical marijuana but just needed some relief from the noise levels even if just for nighttime hours.  She also relayed that cameras and lights were shining onto her parents’ property.  She asked for the BCC to evaluate an amendment to the noise ordinance, to review whether this facility was an industrial and not an agricultural operation, and to consider holding a night meeting with the County Commissioners so that other neighbors could attend.  She also inquired on how long it would take to make an amendment.   

Commr. Campione said a night meeting was possible with enough notice to plan; furthermore, she explained that it took time to write an ordinance, decide on what should be included, advertise it within the newspaper, and then have it voted on by the BCC. 

Ms. Marsh added that it would probably take about 60 days for this process.

Commr. Campione shared that she had visited the MedMen facility and that they had indicated to her that their intention was to internalize all of their operations within the next year and that they would be ceasing use of the large dehumidifiers which produced the most noise. 

Ms. Long asked who decided on appropriate noise decibels.

Ms. Marsh responded that the decibels were an industry standard and were not something the County determined.  She added that the County’s noise ordinance was not based on decibels, that staff did not measure the decibels, and that it was based on a reasonable person standard.  She explained that if a code enforcement officer visited a site and found a noise level to be excessive, then the issue would go to a code enforcement special master who would then hear testimony from both sides and make a decision if it violated code.

Commr. Campione thanked Ms. Long and relayed that staff would evaluate the issues she had presented.

Ms. Vickie Miller, a Lake County resident who lived next to the MedMen facility, expressed her concerns with the length of time it would take to get the noise level resolved.  She shared that her family was undergoing undue stress due to this situation.  She asked for a good timeframe when Commissioner Campione could meet with residents, noting that this was affecting more than just her and her husband.  She thanked the Commissioners for their assistance.

Commr. Campione relayed that she would be available to meet the following week.

Mr. Ted Miller, also a resident near the MedMen medical marijuana facility, opined that this situation was raising his blood pressure and stress levels, was upsetting his lifestyle, and that he was concerned for his health.  He implied that the State said that the County could make an amendment and he pleaded for the BCC to make a noise amendment to address this issue.  He expressed that he was not concerned with the production of the medical marijuana but simply the extreme noise levels.  He relayed that he was informed that Florida Statutes 823.14 did not apply to this situation and he asked why it did not apply; furthermore, he inquired about the reference to a certain date within this statute and how it applied to property owners.

Ms. Marsh responded that Florida Statutes 823.14 was the Florida Right to Farm Act and that it did apply, which she indicated was part of the preemption of county government when it applied to agricultural activities.  She explained that there was an exemption within that statute that if an agricultural activity expanded and created additional noise, dust or odor, and that if it was next to a homesteaded property which was homestead as of March 15, 1982, then those residents could challenge it.  She stated that this property where the MedMen facility was located was not adjacent to any homestead property as of that date.  She relayed that date was in the statute because that was when the Florida Legislature adopted the Right to Farm Act.  She recapped that if a homestead was next to an agricultural activity, then there were some protections as a homestead; however, if someone moved into an agricultural activity area after the date, then there was the assumption that person was aware of the Florida Right to Farm Act and accepted any nuisances.  She informed him that she had reviewed the properties surrounding the MedMen facility and that there was no homestead property adjacent to it as of March 15, 1982.

Mr. Miller asked what the definition of normal agricultural activity was and expressed concerns that this facility was expanding and continuing to purchase additional adjacent properties.

Commr. Campione reiterated that the State defined medical marijuana as agricultural and that the Board was working on what they could do in regards to the noise and zoning ordinances.  She reminded the citizens that even if the Board made changes, an existing facility could challenge them.   

Commr. Parks asked if anyone had approached the facility to ask if they could do anything structurally to help with the neighbors’ concerns.

Commr. Campione reported that she had walked the property and relayed that the facility planned to add an additional wall on the south end of the property, noting that she asked for them to also extend the wall down the west side as well; furthermore, she mentioned that they were also planning to add some panels around the dehumidifiers.

Mr. Frank Wood, a concerned citizen from the City of Tavares, expressed his opposition to the Confederate General Edmund Kirby Smith statue coming to the Lake County Historical Museum.  He opined that no other city or county in Florida wanted the statue, that it would bring division to Lake County and not cohesion, that it caused hurt to many in the community, that it was bad for business, and that it would make state and national news which would open up the county to ridicule.  He asked the BCC to utilize their influence to rescind the decision to relocate the statue to Lake County.

Ms. Mae Hazelton, a resident from the City of Eustis, opined that the Lake County Historical Society desired to increase their membership and that there seemed to be no mention of race, color, or political affiliation as a factor to becoming a member.  She recapped that in 2018, a Commissioner recommended that she attend a Lake County Historical Society board meeting in order to share her concerns regarding the relocation of the Confederate General Edmund Kirby Smith statue to Lake County; furthermore, she explained that she was then encouraged to join the society.  She alleged that in March 2019, an elected official was asked to review the membership applications to determine the political affiliation of applicants and she opined that this process was discriminatory and unethical and asked for the BCC to not support these actions.

Ms. Tina Morin, a concerned Lake County resident, expressed her support of child abuse prevention awareness month and shared that she had been a foster parent to many children who had been abused.  She said that Confederate General Smith came from a slave owning family and in her opinion, should be equated to child abusers.  She relayed that she would never put a picture of her foster children’s abuser on her mantle just to remind them of the past and so she opposed the statue of Confederate General Edmund Kirby Smith coming to Lake County for the same reason.

Mr. Robert Morin, Eustis City Commissioner, asked for the BCC to encourage the Lake County Historical Society to allow all applications for membership.  He explained that according to the society’s bylaws, any application with a paid membership fee should guarantee membership.   

Ms. Patricia Spear, a resident of the City of Eustis, expressed concerns for her ability to become a member of the Lake County Historical Society.  She indicated that she had sent an application along with the $15 membership fee and was then informed that her application would not be formally accepted until the April 24, 2019 society meeting.  She shared her understanding that the society’s annual meeting was on April 17, 2019 and wondered if this meant that only lifetime members could participate in the annual meeting.  She asked what the criteria was to become a member as she felt that the bylaws implied a person became a member once they paid their dues, with no mention of a formal acceptance nor the criteria needed for membership.  She said that she was raised in Lake County, had a general interest in the county, and asked for the BCC to evaluate the society’s application process. 

Mr. Michael Watkins, a citizen from the City of Tavares, commended the Board for their part in the pardoning of the Groveland Four.  He then indicated that many Lake County cities had denounced the coming of the Confederate General Edmund Kirby Smith statue to the county and urged the Board to do so as well.  He felt that there were conversations within the county regarding the importance of diversity and establishing an advisory committee to assist with this; however, he opined that some citizens were wanting to join the Lake County Historical Society but an elected Lake County official was opposing them due to their political affiliation.   

Mr. Gregory Wilhelm, a concerned Lake County resident, relayed that he had inquired about how to join the Lake County Historical Society and then submitted his application and $15 fee.  He shared that he had received a welcome email, the newsletter, and an invitation to a member event.  He indicated that he later received an undated email stating that his application for membership would be accepted on April 24, with no year stated.  He alleged that his application was being questioned due to his political affiliation and he asked for the BCC to stop their financial support of the Lake County Historical Society. 

CLERK OF the circuit COURT and comptroller’s CONSENT AGENDA

On a motion by Commr. Parks, 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 1-3, as follows:

List of Warrants

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

Intergovernmental Cooperative Agreement

Request to acknowledge receipt of an Intergovernmental Cooperative Agreement for the City of Eustis, Town of Lady Lake, and City of Umatilla, together with an Affidavit of Authenticity, for the purpose of providing insurance through Public Risk Management of Florida Health Trust, in compliance with Florida Statute Section 163.01, the Florida Interlocal Cooperation Act of 1969.

City of Leesburg CAFR

Request to acknowledge receipt of the City of Leesburg’s FY18 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report.


Commr. Blake referenced Tab 9, Proclamation 2019-30, which recognized Tax Freedom Day, and he expressed his concerns that according to The Tax Foundation, Americans would spend more on taxes this year than they did on food, housing, and clothing combined.  He encouraged the Commissioners to assist in whatever way they could to reduce the tax burden on citizens.

On a motion by Commr. Breeden, seconded by Commr. Blake and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the Consent Agenda, Tabs 8 through 22, removing Tab 11 and adding Tab 32, as follows:


Request approval of Proclamation 2019-40 designating May 2019 as Law Enforcement month, per Commissioner Campione. There is no fiscal impact.

Request approval of Proclamation 2019-30 designating April 19, 2019, as Tax Freedom Day, per Commissioner Blake. There is no fiscal impact.

Request approval of Proclamation 2019-31 designating April 2019 as Water Conservation Month, per Commissioner Parks. There is no fiscal impact.


Request for approval and execution of the First Amendment to the Amended and Restated Lake Sumter Metropolitan Planning Organization Staff Services Agreement. The additional annual fiscal impact is $1,000.00 (revenue).

Request for approval for the County Attorney, or designee, to execute the Stipulated Order of Taking and Final Judgment in Court Case No. 2018-CA-1938, Lake County vs. Michael T. Quinn, et al., (Parcel Number: CG-13) for the needed right of way on the Citrus Grove Road Project. The fiscal impact is $585,000.00 (expenditure). Commission District 2.

Request for approval for the County Attorney, or designee, to execute the Stipulated Final Judgment in Court Case No. 2018-CA-2198, Lake County vs. Brian T. Sheahan, et al., (Parcel Number: CG-23) for the needed right of way on the Citrus Grove Road Project. The fiscal impact is $9,995.00 (expenditure - $16,000.00 Settlement amount less $6,005.00 previously deposited with the Court per the Stipulated Order of Taking). Commission District 2.


Request for approval of a direct pay for Lake County's portion of various software licenses for the State Attorney's Office from March 1, 2019, through February 29, 2020. The fiscal impact is $25,564.57 (expenditure).


Elevate Lake

Request for approval to submit bids to host the 2020 Fishing League Worldwide (FLW) Tour professional fishing event and the 2020 FLW College Fishing National Championship at Venetian Gardens in Leesburg, authorization for the Chairman to execute the agreement, and authorization for the County to expend the associated funding if the County is selected as the host location for the tournaments. The fiscal impact is up to $200,000.00 (expenditure – Tourist Development Tax funding). Commission District 3.


Public Safety

Request for approval of an agreement with ESO Solutions, Inc. for the Office of Emergency Medical Services patient care software, and authorization for the Office of Procurement Services to execute all supporting documentation and any necessary budget adjustments. The estimated annual fiscal impact is $71,000.00 (expenditure).


Public Works

Request for approval of an Amendment and Assignment Agreement with the City of Tavares, the Florida Department of Transportation and the Florida Central Railroad Company, Inc. assigning all County obligations, rights and interests in and under the License Agreement and Stipulation to the City of Tavares for the railroad crossing located on Fairvista Drive. The fiscal impact is $3,600.00 (annual savings). Commission District 3.

Request for approval of Contract 19-0405 to All Terrain Tractor Services (Orange City, FL) and Estep Construction (Apopka, FL) for road, sidewalk construction and drainage project tasks with a job value of $100,000.00 or less in conjunction with the County's needs. The annual fiscal impact is not to exceed $700,000.00 (expenditure).

Request for approval of Contract 19-0419 to Impressions Landscape & Water, Inc. (Apopka, FL) to provide mowing and related services for sidewalks, vacant lots, bridge approaches, and retention areas in conjunction with the County’s needs starting July 1, 2019, and authorization for the Office of Procurement Services to execute all implementing documentation. The annual fiscal impact is estimated at $125,000.00 (expenditure).

Request approval to:

1. Execute an Assignment of Developer’s Agreement for Construction of Improvements between Lake County and Grand Island Holdings, Inc. (Miami, FL) for the Sugar Hill Estates plat, located in Grand Island.

2. Accept a performance bond of $43,100.75 from Vintage Estate Homes LLC (Melbourne, FL) for construction of sidewalk improvements.

3. Release a letter of credit for performance of $43,100.75 posted for the completion of sidewalk improvements for the Sugar Hill Estates plat.

There is no fiscal impact. Commission District 5.

Request for approval to release a performance bond of $216,142.17 associated with Commercial Driveway Connection Permit #53160 and Right-of-Way Utilization Permit #7690 issued to construct a commercial driveway apron and a turn lane on County Road 561 for a McDonald’s restaurant located in Tavares. There is no fiscal impact. Commission District 3.


Community Services

Request for approval of Resolutions 2019-43, 2019-44, and 2019-45 authorizing the County Manager, or his designee, to sign transit-related grant applications, certifications, assurances, reimbursement invoices, warranties, agreements, and any other required documents; and approval to accept grant awards, purchase equipment, and expend grant funds relating to transit operations.  There is no fiscal impact.

recess and reassembly

The Chairman called a recess at 10:42 a.m. for 15 minutes.

public hearing - Moratorium for green swamp area of critical state concern

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


Ms. Marsh mentioned that this was the first hearing on this ordinance and that if it was approved today, it would come back at the end of April 2019 for adoption.

The Chairman opened the public hearing.

Ms. Carolyn Haslam, an attorney with Akerman, LLP and representing a sand mining operation within the Green Swamp, expressed concerns for the proposed moratorium for the Green Swamp.  She indicated that her client had a pending mine site plan amendment filed with Lake County and she felt that this moratorium would negatively impact her client as well as others within the mining industry.  She relayed that her client had a longstanding history in the county and opined that sand mining was essential to the development and construction industry.  She asked for the BCC not to adopt the moratorium or for mining to be excluded from it.

Mr. Mike Langley, a resident of the City of Clermont, shared that his family had owned property in the Green Swamp for over 45 years.  He implied that as property owners, they had contributed to the economy, paid their property taxes, and donated right-of-way for the expansion of roads, all while having their property rights eroded.  He stated that densities used to be one unit per acre, then they were one unit per five gross acres, then one unit per five dry acres and now they were 29 units on 350 acres.  He opined that the Green Swamp had been regulated enough and he did not believe there needed to be a moratorium.  He asked for the Board to not diminish his property rights any further with a moratorium or a reduction of building permits. 

Ms. Tracy Mouncey, Executive Director for the Central Florida Sand Mining Association Inc., remarked that her organization’s member companies responsibly harvest Florida’s natural sand in order to make products found in countless roads, schools, churches, homes and hospitals.  She indicated that their job was to ensure a healthy business climate for the industry, to expand market share for its valuable product, and to ensure a beneficial business atmosphere for member companies which she believed were essential to Florida’s economic future.  She said that she was in opposition to the proposed moratorium on development within the Green Swamp Area of Critical State Concern as it pertained to sand mining operations and asked that mining be eliminated from the proposal.  She opined that sand mining was important to Lake County, and that a moratorium on this type of industry and its activities would have negative economic impacts.

Mr. Bill Ray, a resident of the City of Ocala and a former citizen of Lake County, stated that he was not in support of a moratorium for the Green Swamp at this time.  He felt that there were already enough rules and regulations within the Lake County Comprehensive Plan (Comp Plan) and the Florida Administrative Code.  He opined that the BCC needed to clear up any lack of understanding of these regulations and simply act on the rules already established. 

Ms. Angie Langley, a Lake County citizen, opposed the proposed moratorium within the Green Swamp.  She relayed that she believed in protecting the environment; however, she felt that the Green Swamp already had very restrictive regulations.  She shared that her family had owned property within this area since 1973, prior to the Green Swamp’s Area of Critical State Concern designation.  She indicated that densities used to be one unit per acre on 350 acres which would have yielded 350 units, were then reduced to 70 units, then reduced again to 50 units, and now were at 29 units on 350 acres.  She opined that her property rights were being diminished and that she could not risk a further reduction.  She encouraged Lake County to seek alternative ways to protect sensitive areas and to also evaluate septic tank issues.

Mr. Jimmy Crawford, a Lake County attorney representing several clients who owned land within the Green Swamp Area of Critical State Concern, opined that establishing a moratorium would not accomplish what was truly needed.  He indicated that if there were actions that could be taken, such as enhanced septic tank provisions, in order to protect the environment but still protect property rights, then his clients would support those.  He did not feel that there was a rush to develop within the Green Swamp but rather a steady, slow push.  He relayed that his clients had property within two land uses within the Green Swamp, the Ridge Land Use classification and the Interlachen Land Use site specific category, which they felt did not relate to the items being discussed for the moratorium; furthermore, he requested that if the Board did move forward with the moratorium, that those two land uses be excluded.  He indicated that he had submitted a proposed amendment which reflected this request. 

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

Commr. Parks thanked the speakers for their input and read a quote from the book, A Land to Remember.  He shared that he enjoyed Florida history and that the intent behind the proposed moratorium was to take a brief timeout to assess the county’s development protocol for the Green Swamp based on concern for the protection of water resources and due to recent feedback from constituents on growth management.  He relayed that reports indicated that a thousand people a day were coming to Florida, that the state would grow by six million people by 2030, and that he believed in properly planning for this growth.  He remarked that it was important to discuss the economic impact of growth for the county, especially in high growth areas such as Wellness Way, Four Corners, the Wolf Branch Innovation District, and the turnpike interchange; additionally, he also wanted to discuss places in Florida worth protecting.  He mentioned the following as his concerns: inconsistencies with the Comp Plan, such as how to define open space and what uses of it would be permitted within the Green Swamp; that low impact development was mentioned within the Land Development Regulations (LDRs) but he felt the code was vague on this; and that alternative methods for septic tanks were confusing to the average citizen.  He opined that a moratorium would allow time to obtain input on the alternatives for septic tanks, low impact development standards, and a transfer of development rights (TDR) program.  He remarked that a TDR program used free market principles to encourage the use of conservation easements, lessen fee acquisitions, and allow fee simple acquisition of sensitive land in the Green Swamp for increased density in areas and places like Wellness Way and along State Road (S.R.) 50 and U.S. 27.  He explained that the moratorium he was proposing was not in conflict with property rights and would not change any densities.  He clarified that he wanted to clear up the process and put in more specific low impact development criteria, and specifics on septic tanks.  He implied that this moratorium would apply to future subdivisions and would not affect those already in the planning process.  He recapped that the moratorium would give time to get this information correct and to take action on some issues, noting that he envisioned utilizing a possible stakeholder process or conducting some workshops.  He indicated that the moratorium would definitely sunset in one year and was designed to ensure there was no unfair advantage to applicants who might apply under current regulations between now and when any changes might be made.  He reiterated that with so many people coming to Florida, he felt that the increase of residential growth would continue to place pressure on the Green Swamp; furthermore, he said that the transfer of development rights program was optional but he thought that it could be a positive approach. 

Commr. Sullivan remarked that he agreed that the rules and regulations regarding the Green Swamp Area of Critical State Concern needed to be reviewed and should be a priority, especially since there were new septic tank regulations that should be incorporated; however, he did not feel that a moratorium was the way to accomplish this.  He reported that there were less than 30 homes built in the Green Swamp consistently over the last four or five years.  He commented that he would want to know more about vested rights before he was willing to consider a moratorium; additionally, he added that there were also new rules and regulations in the area of mining and that those should be considered too.  He relayed his support of having a workshop to review issues and discuss ways to use the best remedies to maintain the standard of living and protect the water shed.  He reiterated that he felt it was a critical issue that should be addressed soon.

Commr. Breeden commented that she agreed with Commissioner Sullivan’s thoughts and felt that a public workshop was a great idea.  She believed that action should happen quickly but thought that issues could be addressed without having a moratorium.  She mentioned that she had spoken with Mr. Bill Ray, the citizen who spoke during the public hearing, and thought that he had some good ideas regarding the Comp Plan and compliance with the Florida Administrative Code, noting that it was important to implement new technologies as they would continue to change and improve.  She also referenced some of the language within the CEMEX agreement, in regards to reformation for sand mining, and felt that it would be appropriate and helpful for the Green Swamp as well.  She thanked all the concerned citizens who had sent emails in support of a moratorium, noting that there might have been some confusion as some referenced continuing a moratorium and yet there was currently not a moratorium in place.  She recapped that she understood the reasons behind the moratorium but could not support it, although she did want to move forward on discussions with how to make the rules and regulations for the Green Swamp better.    

Commr. Blake shared that he respected Commissioner Parks’ motivation for proposing the moratorium; however, he believed that a moratorium was not necessary.  He did not feel that the Board should further restrict already diminished property rights as mentioned by one of the citizens.  He reported that according to the Florida Natural Areas Inventory, thirty-four percent of Lake County was already within permanent conservation, with this percentage not including the lakes. 

Commr. Campione felt that much of the issues were based in confusion.  She noted that she had also received emails for the moratorium to continue, and she reiterated that there was not a current moratorium in place.  She believed that the Board desired to maintain the county’s natural resources.  She referenced Commissioner Parks’ example of transferring development rights to S.R. 50 and U.S. 27 and opined that people did not want to see higher densities in other places within the county as she felt this would protect the Green Swamp from development, but could add more traffic and congestion to other parts of south Lake County where there was already high development.  She believed that there was confusion and that the ideas proposed within the moratorium were contrary to what people were assuming this moratorium was truly about.  She opined that the septic tank issue was the main area to address in regards to the protection of the aquifer and water resources; furthermore, she expressed support of allowing residents to utilize upgraded septic tanks, promoting new technology, and making sure the Lake County Code allowed this.  She supported focusing on the evaluation of existing septic tanks within the Green Swamp in order to protect water resources.  

Commr. Breeden suggested that if a septic tank was more than ten years old, failed operationally or did not pass inspection, then it should be retrofitted or replaced. 

Commr. Campione proposed having a possible fund that could assist with the changes in septic tanks if residents could not afford the new technology or as an incentive to encourage upgrading their system.  She indicated that she would support utilizing money on this type of fund before she would support spending money on a consultant.

Commr. Parks said that he would support that idea.  He relayed that the individuals he had talked with were in support of a moratorium, were concerned about open space and its uses, and were concerned if the current codes were enough to protect the water resources.  He said in regards to the transfer of development rights, he relayed that the County’s plans referred to higher densities being more appropriate along S.R. 50 and in Wellness Way, noting that even transit plans referenced higher densities along the major thoroughfares.  He did not believe this was contrary to what individuals wanted and reiterated that an optional TDR program with interested partners could accomplish the following: reduce and take away some lots within the Green Swamp by transferring, noting there was no loss of tax revenue; reduce the amount of traffic that could be within the Green Swamp; reduce the impact that comes from the septic tanks, even those that were the advanced systems; and reduce the effects of the application of fertilizers.  He added that at the same time, this program could preserve parts of Florida and further the purpose which he felt many he had spoken to supported, noting that this was one way to accommodate these possibilities without affecting property rights nor making the TDR program mandatory.  He suggested that if there was not Board support for a moratorium, then he would support a workshop, to include stakeholders who were supportive of a moratorium.  He also agreed with the importance of educating the public. 

Commr. Sullivan inquired about how long staff would need to gather information in order to present their recommendations at a workshop and therefore be able to make decisions that could be implemented right away.

Mr. Tim McClendon, Director for the Office of Planning and Zoning, responded that it probably would take a couple of weeks, or possibly a month or two to gather information.  He relayed that Polk County had a TDR program within the Green Swamp so staff would contact them regarding their program.  He felt that septic tank issues could be identified fairly easily.

Commr. Campione suggested that the Board direct staff to draft an ordinance to address the septic tank update to ensure the county was conforming to the Florida Administrative Code. 

Commr. Sullivan asked if the Lake County Health Department had to adopt those methods or did the BCC need to.

Commr. Parks replied that the Florida Department of Health (DOH) allowed the local county department of health to implement alternatives; however, it was his understanding that it was never specified within the code.  He added that if the County did specify them within the code, then the DOH would allow these alternatives.

Commr. Campione thought that it also had to be stated within the Comp Plan; therefore, it might require a Comp Plan amendment.

Mr. McClendon indicated that staff would start the process.

Mr. Cole asked if the Board desired to have the workshop during the day or in the evening and if they would wanted it on a separate day from the regular BCC meeting.

Commr. Campione clarified that the purpose of the workshop was to evaluate the definition of open space, who would enforce the requirements, a discussion on TDRs, and a possible incentive for updating septic tanks.  She asked if Commissioner Parks was mainly concerned about these issues within subdivision developments.

Commr. Parks replied that was correct, but felt that septic tank requirements should apply from a certain date moving forward to any subdivision development.

Commr. Breeden asked about whether to include the reclamation of sand mining as part of the workshop since it was related to the Green Swamp.

Commr. Parks thought that low impact development guidelines should also be included.

Mr. Cole relayed that the June 2019 BCC meetings currently had light agendas so the workshop could possibly be added to those dates, unless the Board desired to have it earlier.

Commr. Breeden suggested having the workshop at the first June BCC meeting.

Mr. Cole asked if the Board desired to have the workshop in the evening.

The Commissioners relayed consensus for the workshop to be held on June 11, 2019 in the evening.

public hearing – mid-year budget amendment

Ms. Jennifer Barker, Director for the Office of Management and Budget, announced that this was the second public hearing on the mid-year budget amendment for fiscal year (FY) 2019.  She explained that the purpose of the mid-year budget amendment was to make adjustments to the FY 2019 revised budget, noting that was due to any adjustments to fund balances and any unforeseen changes.  She reported that the current FY 2019 countywide revised budget totaled $467.71 million and that if the changes of $3.40 million were approved at this meeting, the supplemental budget would then be $471.11 million.  She then highlighted four proposed changes to the General Fund for the county departments.  She commented that there were unanticipated insurance proceeds received due to damage to a county facility during Hurricane Irma, noting that the total revenue received was $455,000.  She relayed that $83,000 of this amount was being transferred to the sales tax fund since some of the upgrades were paid with the sales tax funds and needed to be reimbursed, with the remaining $372,000 transferred to the property and casualty insurance fund reserves.  She said that the county departments were recognizing an additional $351,651 in unanticipated insurance proceeds for catastrophic inmate medical care; furthermore, she relayed that at the end of FY 2018, additional funding was allocated from reserves to cover the increased cost of inmate medical care and that this was a reimbursement for part of that catastrophic care.  She also stated that the county departments re-budgeted $51,113 in excess fine revenue which was received in the Office of Code Enforcement within FY 2018, noting that this would be utilized to clean up properties or perform any demolitions as needed.  She also remarked that there were other administrative adjustments for the county departments.  She then reported these changes to the General Fund for the Constitutional Offices: additional grant funding for Judicial Support which was related to the Veterans Court Diversion Program; a $1,071,791 transfer of funds for the Supervisor of Elections (SOE), noting that this was mainly a housekeeping item as this funding was already budgeted for the SOE but since he had chosen to exercise his option to retain all financial accounting responsibilities independent of the County and the Clerk’s Office, this had to be moved to another line item to transfer those funds to him; and the re-budget of $4,436 for the remaining FY 2018 Help America Vote Act (HAVA) grant funds for the SOE.  She commented that within the Federal/State Grant Fund there was additional funding for an annual emergency management operational grant in the amount of $198,646, as well as grant funding for a criminal justice mental health grant for $200,000, noting that this funding would be transferred to LifeStream since they supported the program.  She indicated that within the fire rescue fund there was grant funding awarded for generators and the hardening of fire stations for the amount of $960,000; additionally, she said there were various other adjustments throughout the funds based on the fund balances at the end of FY 2018.

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. Breeden and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the amended budget for fiscal year 2019 to include a reconciliation of the beginning fund balance and other adjustments, and approved Resolution 2019-42 adopting a supplemental budget of $471,112,107 for FY 2019.

public hearing – infrastructure sales tax project plan

Ms. Barker remarked that this was a public hearing for the Infrastructure Sales Tax Project Plan for FY 2019.  She relayed that on August 21, 2018, the Board approved the FY 2019 Infrastructure Sales Tax Project Plan, with the other public infrastructure approved projects including vehicle purchases, Information Technology (IT) improvements, capital building renovations, funding for the purchase of the tax collector building, and courthouse renovations.  She said that on January 15, 2019, the Lake County Tax Collector advised staff of capital equipment needs for his offices in the cities of Tavares and Leesburg.  She stated that this equipment included a replacement high-speed mail processor for $100,000 and a cash management system for $50,000, with the total request being $150,000.  She indicated that staff was proposing to utilize sales tax funds to purchase this equipment, which would then require the 2019 approved infrastructure sales tax project plan to be revised.  She noted that $150,000 would be transferred from the courthouse renovations line item to the tax collector building purchase line item, noting that the courthouse funding would be reduced from $500,000 to $350,000 for the current year.  She added that even with this adjustment, the courthouse renovations would still be on schedule to be completed in 2021 and that she would be presenting in August of this year to discuss the rest of the project plan in preparation for FY 2020 budget year.

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. Breeden, seconded by Commr. Blake and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved amending the Fiscal Year 2019 proposed Infrastructure Sales Tax Project Plan to include the purchase of capital equipment for the Tax Collector and approval of the budget transfer for the requested funds for the purchase of the equipment.

public hearing – payment of impact fees for commercial uses

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 commented that this was a follow up from the Board’s discussion regarding targeting industries that desired to come to Lake County and providing funds to assist with impact fees.  He reiterated this would only be utilized if the money was available.

Commr. Campione added that this assistance would be for companies that qualified for the ten year grant program and were at a certain threshold; additionally, once the County received an application for the impact fee waiver, the Board would then determine if funding was available.

On a motion by Commr. Sullivan, seconded by Commr. Breeden and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved Ordinance 2019-26 amending Section 22-10, Lake County Code, regarding Economic Development for Targeted Business/Industry, and amending Section 22-11, regarding Payment of Impact Fees for Commercial Uses.   

recess and reassembly

The Chairman called a recess at 12:08 p.m. for an hour.

regular agenda

solid waste master plan presentation

Ms. Mary Hamilton, Environmental Services Manager, introduced Mr. Sam Levin, founder of S2L, Inc., which was the solid waste firm that prepared the Lake County Master Plan.  She shared that Mr. Levin had been practicing as a solid waste engineer for 45 years, was licensed to practice in eight states, had a bachelor’s and master’s degree in solid waste engineering, and served on many state and national solid waste boards.  She also introduced Ms. Robin Mitchell, with Kessler Consulting, which is a Florida based firm specializing in strategic solid waste planning and implementation, and a sub-consultant to S2L.  She shared that Ms. Mitchell had 31 years of solid waste experience, and had been a project manager for 20 years.  She recapped that in August 2018, she discussed the need to update the 1992 solid waste master plan, which was approved by the Board; therefore, today’s presentation would be reviewing that plan.  She relayed that the purpose and scope of the presentation was to review the status of existing programs and infrastructure, identify the County’s short and long-term obligations for solid waste management, assess the capability of existing programs and the infrastructure to manage the County’s solid waste stream for the coming 20 year period, provide cost effective alternatives for the implementation of improvements to the system, discuss funding alternatives for the required programs, and recommend actions that were in compliance with the Lake County Comp Plan. 

Mr. Levin thanked the Board and County staff for the opportunity to prepare the report.  He reported the following numbers for the existing solid waste system per year: 60,000 tons or residential garbage, which he noted was close to national averages; 25,000 tons of recyclables; 20,000 tons of yard waste; and 650 tons of special waste which included tires, white goods, scrap metals, household hazardous waste and E-wastes. 

Ms. Mitchell commented that the county’s current system had an exclusive franchise for the collection of residential solid waste and recyclables in the unincorporated parts of the county.  She said that the franchise covered approximately 70,000 households and was divided into three areas with a different contractor for each area.  She specified that the franchise agreements would expire in September 2021, noting that all three franchise agreements had the option for a three year renewal.  She stated that the current level of service included once a week solid waste, recycling, and yard waste collection, with bulk waste on an on call basis.  She relayed that some homeowners associations wanted to retain twice a week garbage collection, which represented about ten percent of residential customers.  She then displayed a chart of the three franchise contractors and their service fees, noting that each charged slightly differently with the difference reflected in the solid waste assessment billed to customers annually on their tax roll.  She added that the solid waste assessment covered collection, disposal and other related expenses associated with the franchise.  She reported that the majority of the tonnage was collected through the curbside program and was about 80,000 tons per year.  She then displayed a chart of the break down for items collected, such as garbage, recycling, yard waste, and bulk waste.  She shared that the franchisees had indicated contamination within some of the recycling items being collected.  She mentioned that the other means of collection operated by the County was a network of convenience centers, with the main one at the central landfill and five others geographically distributed around the county.  She showed a chart of each of the convenience centers usage by customer for FY 2018, and stated that a majority of the customers for the central, loghouse and Lady Lake convenience centers resided within the municipalities and that central was open six days a week while the others were only open two days a week.  She stated that about 29,000 tons of material per year were collected at the convenience centers and she then displayed a chart showing the types of material collected, noting that the majority of the tonnage came into the central convenience center and was mostly yard waste.  She added that special wastes, such as white goods, scrap metal, tires, E-waste, and household hazardous waste, were also accepted at the centers with the County having contracts with various companies to manage those materials.  She explained that the County had a contract with Heart of Florida (HOF) landfill for residential garbage at a fee of $19.99 per ton, noting that contract would end in September 2021 with the option of a three year renewal.  She added that this landfill was recently sold to Waste Connections which was one of the three franchise haulers for the county.  She relayed that the County had a contract for yard waste with Raynor Shine to be able to grind the yard waste at central landfill for $8.25 a ton, which was renewed annually but would soon be finished on renewals and would need to go through the procurement process.  She mentioned that it was the responsibility of the franchisees to deliver the residential recyclables to a county approved facility and to pay for any processing fees associated with that.  She indicated that the three approved facilities were the Groveland Transfer Station, the Sanford Recycling Transfer Station, and Covanta Lake.  She explained that the first two facilities were owned by Waste Connections and received clean recyclables and then sent them to their material recovery facility in Miami, Florida.  She said that while the materials delivered to Covanta Lake were not being recycled, the County was receiving renewable energy credits for them; furthermore, she indicated that there was a lack of recycling processing infrastructure locally.  She explained that the County had a non-exclusive franchise for commercial waste collection with eight haulers who paid a $1,000 annual fee and then competed to provide commercial waste collection, noting that commercial recycling and construction demolition debris per state law had to remain open market.  She then said that concluded the information for the County’s current system.        

 Ms. Mitchell continued her presentation regarding the future for the county, stating that she would be discussing both short and long-term considerations.  She relayed that short-term considerations were items to address within the next five years and included residential collection agreements, convenience centers, recycling and disposal.  She explained that for the residential collection agreements which would expire in September 2021, the franchisees had until September 2019 to inform the County if they were willing to extend for the next three years and if they were, then the County had until March 2021 to say if they wanted to extend.  She cautioned that would not be enough time and recommended allowing at least 18 to 24 months to perform a procurement process and for the County to start those conversations with the franchisees now.  She stated that the two items to consider regarding an extension to the contracts were if the County felt they were receiving quality service at a reasonable price, noting that she believed the current rates were good for this market.  She elaborated that these items should be considered with any contract: cost-cutting opportunities; possible reduction to services provided; expanding services to include items not in a cart; distance to the disposal facility; recyclables processing and new state legislation regarding this; and container consistency.  She said that another cost-cutting option was to look at the convenience centers and consider reducing days of operation or closing least utilized centers.  She shared that the state had a recycling goal of 75 percent recycling by 2020, noting that as of 2017 only seven counties had met the intermediate goal, and that as of 2018 Lake County was at 23 percent.  She felt that much of this was due to the lack of a processing facility for recyclables and suggested considering this before attempting to collect more recycling materials.  She stated that some short-term options for recycling were to reduce contamination, have a dedicated recycling coordinator, and improve education and outreach. 

Mr. Levin relayed that three short-term solutions for disposal were to renew the agreement with Heart of Florida, advertise for a new contract, or utilize the 19.2 acres already constructed at the central landfill.  He then shared advantages and disadvantages for each option.  He said that HOF had a good track record with reasonable fees, but that the lack of competition may make it challenging to continue at the same rates.  He stated that seeking a new contract would allow for competitive pricing but that HOF and Covanta Lake would probably be the only potential bidders.  He mentioned that the third option to use the County’s own landfill could be a great asset; however, not knowing how much it would cost to make it usable should be considered as well as the lack of economy of scale which could lead to higher per-ton operating costs.  He then displayed a map of the existing 19.2 acres already constructed at the central landfill, noting that there was room for expansion which would provide ample capacity to serve beyond the 20-year planning period.  He then presented several longer-term considerations, which he noted would be between five to twenty years.  He mentioned pyrolysis as an example of an alternative technology, which was similar to incineration by heating the waste and turning it into a gas.  He noted that this did not work well and that there were no facilities like this within the United States.  He said that another alternative was digestion, which is the process of using bugs to eat waste, noting that there was a plant that performed this in Indian River County but was now shut down.  He concluded that these alternative technologies were not quite ready to be utilized but might be in the future.  He remarked that another possible long-term consideration was transfer stations which would assist with waste capture and would reduce haul cost; however, he opined that Lake County did not have enough waste to justify the cost for a transfer station.  He said that another option was to privatize operations but he indicated that the County’s operations were currently six convenience centers which was not a large amount.  He gave an example that Marion County tried this and decided it did not work for their county while privatization worked well for Indian River County. 

Ms. Mitchell remarked that longer-term recycling strategies depended on what the County decided to do short-term with recycling and then the County could build upon those strategies.  She said that the biggest percentage of tonnage for the countywide waste stream was construction and demolition (C&D) debris, of which the County had limited control over.  She stated that if the County wanted to boost their recycling rate, they would need to consider policies which would encourage construction and demolition debris recycling.  She relayed that organics, or food waste, was another large portion of the county’s waste stream and a possible area to consider strategies for recovery and processing, such as food waste composting.  She then displayed a pie chart of the revenue sources, noting that the solid waste division had two funds that fund the various programs.  She explained that the solid waste fund funded the day-to-day operations of the system with nearly 80 percent of the revenue for that fund coming from the solid waste assessment.  She reported that about 18 percent of the funding came from the General Fund with smaller percentages coming from tip fees at the landfill and other sources, such as interest and scrap metal sales.  She showed a graph of the long-term care fund which projected expenditures for the landfills over the 20-year planning period.  She said that funding for this fund was almost exclusively from the general or sales tax fund.  She then relayed these other potential funding source options for the Board to consider: increase the solid waste assessment, although she cautioned this because it may unfairly burden unincorporated residents; establish a countywide non-ad valorem assessment, although they would need municipal approval to levy this on municipal residents; increase commercial franchise fees or change how they were structured; increase tipping fees at central landfills; establish a convenience center user fee; or continue transfers from the General Fund and Sales Tax Fund.

Mr. Levin summarized these conclusions regarding their study of the County’s solid waste system: it was an efficient, cost effective system, noting that the prices they were paying for disposal and yard waste were very competitive; the system was funded primarily by the solid waste assessment and the General Fund; agreements for both collection and disposal would be expiring September 30, 2021 and the County should take action soon; the marketplace had changed for both disposal and recyclables; new legislation concerning recyclables contamination could affect contracts; and the County’s central landfill Phase IIIB may provide an alternative.  He concluded with these recommendations: start discussions with haulers and Heart of Florida now; perform testing and studies regarding costs to make the lining of Phase IIIB at the landfill compatible with waste-to-energy ash; pending results of compatibility testing, discuss use of Phase IIIB with Covanta Lake, noting that Covanta Lake had processing capacity while the County had disposal capacity; address recycling contamination and possibly initiate strategies to increase recycling; and consider additional funding sources. 

Commr. Blake inquired about the statement that Lake County’s recycling was at 23 percent, including what was sent to Covanta Lake.  He asked if there was a more detailed breakdown of how much was actually recycled versus what was incinerated. 

Commr. Campione asked if the haulers had to report where they were taking the recycling.

Ms. Mitchell responded that in Florida, there were certified recovery material processors who report to the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and then DEP gives that information to the County.  She added that there was also non-certified recycling in which counties search for tonnage not reported to DEP but that they believe are recycled.  She said it is reported in different ways.

Comm. Blake asked if what was sent to Covanta Lake was the contaminated recyclables.

Ms. Mitchell said that she did not believe that was correct.  She noted that Waste Connections had two transfer stations and that it was beneficial for them to take their material to their own transfer stations; furthermore, she said that they indicated that they took their clean recyclables down to their facility in the City of Miami while the contaminated recyclables were probably being landfilled.  She said the other two haulers were most likely taking recyclables to Covanta Lake or one of the transfer stations, although she noted that it was her understanding that about 50 percent were going Covanta Lake.

Commr. Campione suggested that educating the public on what was contaminated recycling might be helpful, although she shared concerns that the other two haulers could possibly be taking even clean recyclables to Covanta Lake because it was convenient.

Ms. Mitchell responded that she believed they were going to Covanta Lake because of the cost and not due to contamination.

Commr. Parks asked in what areas of the county this was happening.

Ms. Mitchell replied that Waste Connections had service area two so probably areas one and three were primarily going to Covanta Lake, although she was not certain if they were taking all of their materials there.  She clarified that if the recyclables were going to a recycling facility in the future, then they would need to be cleaned; however, if they were going to Covanta Lake then they did not need to be clean.

Commr. Parks commented that at the Florida Association of Counties (FAC), there were discussions to scratch the recycling goal and to go to a performance based, meaning that the county might be measured by the gallons of water saved or a certain energy units measured for energy savings, for example.  He asked if they thought the state was close to utilizing this.

Ms. Mitchell responded that DEP had been discussing this so it might be something for the future, although she was not aware of any pending legislation regarding it.  She added that there were no penalties for not achieving the recycling rate and that the only item the DEP required was for counties to have a recycling plan.

Commr. Parks asked for more information regarding the recycling coordinator mentioned in their presentation.

Ms. Mitchell responded that it would be a staff person and that jurisdictions that have a recycling coordinator have the highest recycling rates.  She opined that it takes constant education and outreach to make recycling programs work effectively. 

Commr. Campione inquired which of the seven counties met the state goal.

Ms. Mitchell stated that prior to the state legislature setting the 75 percent goal, construction and demolition debris from transportation related sources was not counted; however, the DEP opened up what could count towards recycling and this does count as recycling now.  She said that the landfill counties which do not have the energy credits were currently looking for the non-certified recycling tonnages to boost their recycling rate.

Mr. Levin added that the recycling coordinators tended to search for this and that they could boost the numbers simply by documenting what was accepted by the state.

Commr. Blake asked if there were any counties that did not have recycling and Ms. Mitchell replied that even rural counties had recycling available at their convenience centers, noting that counties with populations under 100,000 did not have to meet the recycling goal but only had to provide the opportunity to recycle. 

Commr. Blake asked what the savings would equate to if the county cut their recycling pickup to every other week as suggested.

Ms. Mitchell replied that it was hard to know until a county actually bid for this.  She added that the size of the recycling cart could also affect it as there could be a savings on the collection costs but residents may want to trade out for a bigger cart and then the county would have cart costs. 

Commr. Breeden relayed that since the county’s current system has been in operation, she felt that there was an increase in roadside debris.  She asked if they had seen other counties have this issue and if so, how did they handle it.

Commr. Campione added that the roadside debris was due to some coming out of the trucks and some was because individuals just dropped items off since they could no longer place it at the curb to be picked up.

Ms. Mitchell responded that it could be a result of the types of trucks the haulers used, noting that some of her clients actually specify in their contracts what types of vehicles the haulers have to utilize. 

Commr. Breeden asked if the County chose to expand the landfill, would it affect the Lady of the Lake Renaissance Faire, the Lake County Animal Shelter, or the proposed Lake County Fairgrounds and Event Center. 

Mr. Levin said it would not affect those.

Commr. Breeden agreed with testing the landfill to determine if it was worth expanding.  She wondered if it would be less expensive to offer the extra space at the landfill to other companies to utilize so that the capacity would increase and therefore be more cost effective to operate.

Mr. Levin responded that the 19.2 acres, depending on how much it would cost to bring it up to code, could be used for construction and demolition, although he noted that the cost per ton would be very high because that landfill was designed to catch leachate.  He explained that there was a C&D landfill at that site already which was unlined and not currently collecting leachate; furthermore, he said that if it became a lined facility, then it would cost nine cents a gallon, times the number of gallons per month, to treat it.

Commr. Breeden then asked about preparing it for regular waste.

Commr. Campione remarked that it depended on if the County wanted to have that type of landfill in that location and if it would take waste from other users.  She opined that having it as a possible backup was a good idea. 

Mr. Levin commented that the 19.2 acres was divided into three sections and the County could take half of one of those sections and use it for C&D and then keep the rest of it as a hedge against the private industry charging too much for disposal. 

Commr. Parks opined that this was good leverage for going into discussions with the Heart of Florida as well as considering utilizing Covanta Lake.  He did not believe that alternative technologies were an option for the county.

Commr. Campione asked if the potential three year extension with Heart of Florida would lock in a rate.

Mr. Cole responded that it was not an automatic renewal at the same current price.

Commr. Campione supported testing on the landfill to confirm if it was compatible for ash.

Commr. Breeden inquired if the County had placed ash in other landfill cells and Mr. Levin responded that those were different designs, noting that Phase IIIA was specifically designed for ash while Phase IIIB was designed for garbage.

Commr. Breeden asked if the one designed to handle ash was full and Mr. Levin replied it was 95 percent full.

Commr. Parks inquired if the cost to treat the leachate had to be included and Mr. Levin stated that they had already considered that cost, noting that the estimates in their report documented everything.

Commr. Breeden noted that while the Paisley and Astor Convenience Centers had lower numbers of customers, the customers they served were 100 percent unincorporated residents.

Commr. Campione added that she calculated the numbers from the customer percentages and it equated to approximately half city and half county residents utilizing all of the convenience centers.

Mr. Cole reiterated that the General Fund did support the convenience centers.

Commr. Campione indicated that she received complaints from citizens who performed home projects and did not realize they could only drop a certain amount of material to the landfill and were charged for extra amounts.

Commr. Parks relayed that he also had citizens expressing a desire for the Loghouse Convenience Center to be open another day or two.

Commr. Campione supported starting conversations with the haulers regarding contracts.

Commr. Parks thanked the consultants for their presentation and said he was in favor of the recommendations presented, such as starting discussions with current contracts soon.

Commr. Sullivan agreed as well.

Commr. Breeden stated that she had concerns with the quality of service with some of the contracts.

Mr. Cole relayed that staff would begin the discussions with the haulers, Heart of Florida, and Covanta Lake; additionally, he relayed that the haulers might also have items they wanted to renegotiate as they had approached the County about a year ago to make changes to the current contract.  He remarked that staff would gather information and report back to the Board with a goal to make decisions in September 2019.

Commr. Parks implied a desire for staff to be open to any option for disposal and not just locked into the two disposal options of HOF and Covanta Lake.

Mr. Cole clarified that his reference to Covanta Lake was in regards to recycling, what was currently occurring and what arrangement and charges might be in the future.

Commr. Breeden asked how many communities did not utilize the fully automated carts as she felt there were issues with the communities that still used just the boxes and not the automated carts.

Ms. Hamilton responded that she thought it was about 10 percent and noted that it was WastePro and Progressive for mostly 55 and older communities.

Mr. Cole indicated that staff would look at which communities were not using the current carts, what the related additional costs might be for them to utilize them, and then present some options.

Commr. Campione mentioned possibly referring back to the former model of allowing any item to be picked up and not just limited to what was placed in the cart as a way to address the littering issue.  She also supported reviewing the type of trucks to see if that was contributing to the litter issue.

Commr. Parks cautioned that this would require extra workers on the hauling trucks but it could be considered as an option.

Mr. Cole inquired if the Board desired for staff to evaluate the potential costs of testing the existing landfill as well as the cost to make it compatible to receive trash and ash, and the Board conveyed consensus for this.

Commr. Sullivan introduced Ms. Joanie Smalley, Main Street Manager for Leesburg Partnership, who was shadowing with him to learn about county government.

work sessions – fy 2020 proposed budget presentations

Mr. Cole stated that the following three tabs would begin the FY 2020 budget presentations.  He recapped that efficiencies had been identified throughout the County organization which resulted in budget reductions in FY 2017, FY 2018 and FY 2019.  He indicated that identifying efficiencies would be ongoing, while also examining ways to approach work differently and to structure the organization in a way that enhanced services and reduced costs.  He relayed that the budget presentations over the next two months would show additional efficiencies in several areas which would result in further reduced costs; however, he stated that there were some areas within the organization where more resources would need to be invested in order to keep up with growth, additional services, and mandated costs.  He gave as an example the funding which the County is required to provide to the state for Medicaid recipients was projected to increase by more than $200,000 next year; additionally, there were unmet security needs in information technology, and as discussed in the Board’s March 2019 strategies session, more resources needed to be focused on employee wages to remain competitive and reduce the turnover rate.  He indicated that as part of the budget preparation process, the following Board priorities remained in the forefront: a possible millage reduction; an increase in reserves to better prepare for natural disasters; adding ad valorem funding to the infrastructure sales tax funding used for road resurfacing; an anticipated budget increase for some of the Constitutional Officers; and additional costs related to inmate medical care.  He then relayed the following 2019 dates as related to the budgeting process: budget presentations would conclude on June 11th; a budget summary presentation would be presented to the Board on June 25th; the tentative budget and millage rates would be considered on July 16th; the proposed FY 2020 infrastructure sales tax project list and five year plan would be presented on August 13th; a public hearing on the infrastructure sales tax project list would be held on August 27th; a public hearing to consider the tentative budget and millage rates would be held on September 10th; and the final public hearing to adopt the FY 2020 budget would be on September 24th.

office of communications

Ms. Elisha Pappacoda, Director for the Office of Communications, presented an overview of the Office of Communications, their mission and organizational chart, a list of their accomplishments and efficiencies, benchmarks to other counties, and their proposed FY 2020 budget.  She explained that the Office of Communications was an in-house, full service creative agency responsible for enhancing, developing and promoting the Lake County brand across multiple platforms.  She elaborated that this was accomplished through web programming, multimedia development, public relations, media outreach, social media management, graphic design and print production.  She shared that her office coordinated effective outreach about County government, programs, issues and accomplishments, including crisis communication.  She relayed that this team worked closely with the Offices of Elevate and Visit Lake to prepare key advertisements and marketing materials to promote Lake County as a tourist and business destination.  She specified that their mission was to coordinate communication between Lake County and residents, business owners and visitors regarding County services, goals, objectives and accomplishments.  She reported that the Office of Communications was made up of three sections with eleven full-time employees (FTEs), noting that each role within the office was distinct.  She indicated that on the media relations side, they had one lead public information officer (PIO) who handled public outreach, media requests, and press releases; additionally, she relayed that this lead PIO directly supervised the digital communications specialist who would handle social media strategy and customer service on the County’s 16 social media accounts, which included Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.  She said that also within this section there was a multimedia content coordinator, who produced video and photography for internal and external communications including websites, television and social media.  She reported that the web team consisted of three programmers who developed custom applications, managed and maintained 18 websites including the Lake County site, the Office of Visit Lake site, and some Constitutional Offices’ sites, such as the Lake County Supervisor of Elections and the Lake County Property Appraiser.  She stated that the creative services team was responsible for managing the County brands, consisted of two graphic designers, and was led by the creative services manager, who was also responsible for document services which came under the Office of Communications this fiscal year.  She then reported these accomplishments for the office: rebranding and launching of the County’s new logo which was performed in-house with a phased roll-out, noting that staff was working with the Office of Visit Lake to procure gateway signs designed around the new logo; tripled social media followers to 71,000 within the last year, which allowed the office to directly communicate with residents and visitors and promote the County’s websites; three of their social media accounts, the Lake County Animal Shelter page, the Emergency Management page, and the tourism page, reached over 10,000 followers; initiated Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliance not only on social media, but across County websites; helped to organize, promote and develop marketing materials and coordinate media for events such as the Animal Shelter groundbreaking, the Hickory Point Athletic Center ribbon cutting, and the Fire Rescue pushback and awards ceremony; and created and promoted the Lake County Firefighters ‘Rescue Me’ calendar to raise $4,500 for the Animal Shelter, noting that this was a six month long campaign and included photography, print, and media attention.  She mentioned that in FY 2018, the office started tracking their news placements and discovered that Lake County outreach had 3,100 stories mentioned in broadcast stories and 9,400 mentioned in online stories.  She relayed that the office also received two Florida Public Relations Association Local Image Awards for their work on the State of the County video and the Fire Rescue calendar; additionally, the office also designed and printed the Lake Legislative Days books and cards in-house.  She recalled that in terms of efficiencies, the Office of Communications web team, together with Information Technology, created an integrated reservation application point-of-sale system for the new Lake County Fairgrounds and Event Center website, noting that this system simplified the customer experience and would be used across other sites to improve County services.  She then mentioned these other efficiencies: the web development team worked to ensure County websites were ADA compliant, noting it was accomplished through self-training at no additional costs; and that through the implementation of a project management software, the office was better able to manage workflow, respond to the requests of County staff and Constitutional Offices, track projects, collaborate with internal and external partners, and create detailed reports.  She then displayed several benchmark graphs comparing Lake County to Marion, Orange, Osceola, Polk, Seminole, Sumter and Volusia counties in the areas of full-time staff, social media accounts managed, and total number of social media followers, noting that Lake County was about average for full-time communications staff, and was second in the number of social media accounts managed and the total number of social media followers.  She concluded with the Office of Communications’ proposed budget of $981,320 in total expenditures, which included document services for this fiscal year, and showed operating expenses with a proposed increase of $45,228 due to the Lake EMS transition and the addition of printer lease contracts when the office assumed the responsibility of document services; furthermore, she added that they would continue to meet and exceed the County’s print needs while seeking future efficiencies in this area.

Commr. Breeden commended the Office of Communications for the amazing job they do, for their creativity and for their professionalism.  She asked if this proposed budget included any additional positions, not including document services.

Ms. Pappacoda responded that they had a second public information officer position which they downgraded to the digital communications specialist position since there was a bigger need for that type of role.

Mr. Cole added that there were no additional positions being requested in FY 2020.

Commr. Parks relayed his appreciation for the office’s hard work and creativity.  He opined that communications was important to government and believed that keeping people up to date on information and how the County is serving them was an important role.

Commr. Campione also commended the office and agreed that communications with constituents, cities, and the public was critical to what they are accomplishing and how they serve Lake County.

office of facilities management

Mr. Wesley Jones, Office of Facilities Management, remarked that the Office of Facilities Management provided oversight for the construction and renovation of all Lake County facilities including architectural and engineering services; additionally, they are responsible for the maintenance, repair and the overall daily operations of these facilities.  He reported that the Office of Facilities Management had 27 FTEs which were divided into these two divisions: contracts, which was responsible for all the services provided by outside vendors and contractors, including contracted maintenance services; and facilities maintenance, which was responsible for all of the in-house maintenance performed by County employees.  He relayed that the Office of Facilities Management had completed construction of the Hickory Point Beach Athletic Center and the Judicial Center first floor renovation.  He shared these projects which were in progress: the overall courthouse renovation, with completion in FY 2021; the Lake County Animal Shelter, with completion in the summer of 2020; Fire Station #39, which was currently in the design phase; and Fire Stations #59 and #111, which would be undergoing renovations and were currently also in the design phase.  He indicated that the office had efficiencies within the energy management enhancements with the upgrade of their energy management control software, which he said allowed the energy management technicians to log in remotely and monitor air conditioning and heating needs as well as make adjustments in real time based on customer needs.  He added that this also provided greater capacity for bringing outside buildings into the automated system in the future.  He also shared these other efficiencies for the office: the addition of a key management module to their maintenance software which helped to centralize customer needs; the automation of the equipment for the heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) system; continued conversion to light-emitting diode (LED) lighting; outsourcing of specialty maintenance such as fire protection; replacement of the original generator at the County Administration Building, which enhanced reliability and efficiency; and the interconnection of the chiller plants.  He explained that currently all the County buildings on the south side of Main Street were fed from the energy plant near the detention center and that the interconnection of the chiller plants allowed them to tie these buildings into the energy plant located behind the judicial center which was much newer, more efficient and had the capacity to utilize the automation referred to earlier.  He then displayed several benchmark graphs comparing Lake County to Marion, Orange, Osceola, Polk, Seminole, Sumter and Volusia counties in the areas of number of County maintained occupied buildings, square footage of these buildings, total facilities staff, cost per square footage to maintain, square footage maintained per staff member, and total facilities budget, noting that Lake County had 165 County maintained occupied buildings which represented over 2.2 million square feet of building space that facilities management was responsible to maintain daily, with about 82,000 square feet maintained per FTE.  He added that by outsourcing specialized maintenance, they were able to keep their overall cost per square foot to maintain at a lower rate.  He concluded that their proposed budget for FY 2020 was revenue neutral and remained the same as the FY 2019 budget at $4,871,624 in total expenditures.

office of human resources and risk management

Ms. Jeannine Nelson, Human Resources and Risk Management Manager, indicated that she would be presenting the Office of Human Resources and Risk Management organizational chart, their accomplishments and efficiencies, benchmarks to other counties, and the proposed FY 2020 budget.  She relayed that the Office of Human Resources and Risk Management consisted of 9.5 FTEs, with Mr. Jim Kovacs as the Director, and that their mission was to assist the County Commission through the development, implementation and facilitation of cost effective and efficient programs for managing employees, employee benefits and loss control programs.  She reported that within the last 12 months they had recruited and filled 237 positions, including both new hires and promotions, and coordinated over 260,000 hours of volunteer service during calendar year 2018 for the animal shelter, libraries, probation, emergency management, environmental services, and extension services.  She noted that the BCC recognized many volunteers on February 27, 2019 at the annual volunteer recognition event.  She remarked that the office had conducted employee training on a variety of topics including new employee orientation, supervisory skills review for performance evaluations, avoiding heat stress, accident reports, handling hazardous materials, office ergonomics, office safety, inspecting County properties, and Medicare.  She indicated the following efficiencies for the office: increased utilization of the Health and Wellness Center; coordinated over 950 employee health risk assessments which was an 8.5 percent increase over the prior year, noting that employees who participated received discounted health premiums and that this assisted in identifying critical health issues while they were still treatable and therefore saving future increased health costs; streamlined the employee on-boarding process and the new employee orientation process; assumed the human resources (HR) functions of Lake EMS, resulting in increased support to 212 additional employees; initiated the scanning of Lake EMS HR documents and records for efficient storage and retrieval; and implemented the merit-based performance appraisal system.  She then displayed several benchmark graphs comparing Lake County to Marion, Orange, Osceola, Polk, Seminole, Sumter and Volusia counties in the areas of full-time employees in the organization, County FTEs per 1,000 population, active employees participating in the County medical plan, and the average employee/employer medical plan contributions, noting that Lake County was the second lowest in most of these areas.  She mentioned that this office had three funds which included the human resources general fund, property and casualty fund, and the employee group benefits fund.  She reported that the human resources general fund included risk and benefits administration, HR, labor and employee relations, training and development, and volunteer services; furthermore, she noted that this budget was remaining flat with a slight increase in personal services and a small decrease in operating expenses for a total expenditures of $881,042.  She relayed that the property and casualty fund included property, liability, auto insurance, and workers’ compensation and had a slight increase in operating expenses with total expenditures of $6,749,180, noting that the addition of Lake EMS impacted both operating expenses and reserves.  She explained that reserves were collected through appropriations to each office and department based on projections and that the benefit of reserves was for unanticipated costs; furthermore, she elaborated that in 2017, the reserves were identified as a challenge and that steps had been taken to improve that. 

Mr. Cole remarked that this fund was built from the charges that go to each of the departments as mentioned and that the related expenses were captured in their budgets.  He relayed that this increase in the HR budget did not represent more expenses as it was the same expenses from each of the departments; however, he stated that the reserves had grown and put the County in a good position for paying future claims.

Ms. Nelson concluded with the third fund of employee group benefits which included the self-insured health plan, associated administrative costs, stop/loss insurance, and the employee health and wellness center.  She commented that they were able to hold costs down on expenses for the health plan to maintain employee premiums, noting that there was a state requirement of sixty days of claim payments that must be in reserves but the County was able exceed that with a 90 day reserve.  She said that total expenditures for this fund was $20,787,279.

commissioners reports

commissioner sullivan – district 1

update on hydrilla issue

Commr. Sullivan mentioned that Mr. Michael Perry, Executive Director for the Lake County Water Authority (LCWA), updated the Tourist Development Council (TDC) the previous day on the hydrilla concerns within the Lake County lakes.  He recapped that the additional State funding that the County had requested to assist with the cleanup of hydrilla was not available.  He relayed that the LCWA was looking to partner with the County in addressing the hydrilla issue and that there was the possibility to utilize TDC funding as well.  He opined that the hydrilla issue should be addressed before it became a bigger concern.

Ms. Marsh remarked that there was language within the Florida Statutes which allowed TDC funding to be used for inland lake restoration; additionally, she stated that there was a 1990 Attorney General (AG) opinion where someone specifically asked if that funding could be utilized to address hydrilla and the AG said that it could be considered restoration and therefore used for it.

Commr. Campione shared concerns that using that funding for hydrilla could set a precedent and also utilize a large amount of TDC funding.

Commr. Sullivan said that while this may not be a long term solution, it could possibly be a short term solution to prevent the hydrilla from getting worse. 

state road 33

Commr. Sullivan reported that operations on S.R. 33 had been suspended indefinitely until alternatives were decided for that area.  He relayed the Florida Department of Transportation’s (FDOT) desire to make it more user friendly.  He commended staff for their efforts in this endeavor.

Commr. Parks said that the community was pleased with this decision, and he also stated that the public works staff does a great job handling questions from citizens. 

commissioner parKS – district 2

florida association of counties water policy committee

Commr. Parks remarked that he had recently attended the Florida Association of Counties (FAC) Water Policy Committee meeting, which he noted he was now a part of.  He said it was a good meeting with lots of information on how the State was addressing water issues; additionally, he said that he had the opportunity to share Lake County’s concerns with their lakes and the hydrilla issue.  He also relayed that Governor DeSantis had spoken at the meeting and had shared his support and understanding of the issues the counties were facing.

clermont public meeting

Commr. Parks commented that he had attended a public meeting the previous week in the City of Clermont to address issues with Lakeshore Drive and Anderson Hill Road in regards to traffic, speeding, and safety issues for pedestrians and bicyclists.  He remarked that the meeting was well attended and he thanked the following Lake County staff for the wonderful job they did handling questions at the meeting: Mr. Fred Schneider, Mr. George Gadiel, Ms. Kelsey Brown, Mr. Alan Kirkland, Mr. Bill White, Mr. Seth Lynch, Ms. Patti Harker, and Mr. Os Nunez.  He concluded that residents discussed various options for this area, noting that many wished to have the speed on Lakeshore Drive lowered and he asked for that to be a future agenda item for the Board.

happy easter

Commr. Parks wished everyone a Happy Easter.

commissioner breeden – vice chairman and district 3

landfill discussion

Commr. Breeden recalled that during the landfill discussion at this meeting, the Board had asked staff to evaluate the lining for the existing cell and its ability to handle ash.  She suggested that if the current cell would not support ash, then maybe the Board should consider the feasibility and potential costs associated with preparing part of the expansion area in order to make it ready to hold ash.

Commr. Campione agreed that considering the feasibility and the costs would be helpful to know when in discussions with Covanta Lake.

bassville park area

Commr. Breeden mentioned that the Office of Code Enforcement had experienced many successes in the Bassville Park area and that the Lake County Sheriff’s Office was working diligently in that area.  She said that while many issues had been fixed, there would continue to be areas that needed to be addressed.

engineer report for lake county historical courthouse

Commr. Breeden reported that staff had received the engineering report regarding the Lake County Historic Courthouse’s ability to support the General Edmund Kirby Smith statue.  She explained that while the report stated that the structure would support the weight of the statue, the architectural structure engineer could not guarantee that the weight of the statue being installed would not damage the existing floor finishes and recommended that the County take this into consideration with regards to the placement of the statue within this building.  She questioned bringing the statue to the museum if it was going to harm the structure of the building and she indicated her desire to have a future Board discussion regarding this matter.

Commr. Campione asked for clarification regarding the slab in the marble pedestal as she was under the impression that the marble pedestal was not going to be used since it would make the statue too tall.

Mr. Cole said that he thought they were going to use the marble pedestal beside the statue and that he felt the engineer report took that into consideration in regards to whether the floor would support that. 

Commr. Campione noted that the report said that the bronze statue weighed 2,762 pounds while the marble pedestal weighed 5,000 pounds.  She said that she would like to clarify with the engineer if the impact would be lessened if it was just the statue being transported over the floor.  She also wondered if there were ways to protect the floor when transporting the statue and felt that this should be evaluated.

Commr. Sullivan relayed that there was another step for approval at the state level prior to the statue coming to Lake County, and he expressed caution for the Board to spend time and effort discussing these issues if the statue was ultimately not approved to move to the county.

Commr. Parks remarked that if this was going to be a future agenda item, then he suggested to also have an update on the potential monument for the Groveland Four. 

Commr. Campione shared that there had been work done towards having a Groveland Four monument and that there would be items coming before the BCC to consider.  She relayed that during the meeting break, she confirmed that the Lake County Historical Society was having their annual meeting on April 30, 2019, and that they were not acting on any applications except to welcome anyone who had paid their fees to attend and to be a voting member at that annual meeting.  She said that she asked Mr. Bob Grenier, curator of the Lake County Historical Museum and head of the Lake County Historical Society, to relay that information to all applicants.  She commented that she had also been working with Mr. Grenier on an outline and language for the statue as well as what would be included with the statue, noting that all these items would be presented to the Board.  She said that another item that was discussed was a civil rights exhibit within the museum, noting that Mr. Grenier had a proposal for this that he would be presenting to the Board. 

Commr. Breeden reiterated her desire to settle the concern if the statue could be brought to the museum without damaging the floor structure of the museum.  

Mr. Cole said that staff would follow up with the questions raised in this meeting and would place it on an upcoming meeting agenda.

Commr. Blake asked for a cost estimate of the equipment mentioned in the engineering report to also be included.

commissioner campione – chairman and district 4

medmen facility noise considerations

Commr. Campione explained that due to the concerns that citizens had expressed earlier in the meeting around the noise generated by the MedMen medical marijuana facility, she had received an email from the company’s Regional Director of Government Affairs which outlined some of the additional sound attenuation activities that were expected to happen starting in April or May 2019.  She also asked if the Board would be in support of having the County Attorney’s Office draft a zoning ordinance which would distinguish between growing crops versus production and processing in order to protect residents and to also address other issues such as the truck traffic and light nuisances generated by these types of processing facilities.

Commr. Breeden commented that GI Shavings near the Arlington Ridge community was similar to that, and she asked if there was a process, such as in an Interlocal Service Boundary Agreement (ISBA), to make sure that the proper buffers were being established when cities annexed or planned developments near industrial areas.

Ms. Marsh remarked that other than amending the ISBA to address it, there was nothing else the County could do that would be enforceable as once an area was annexed, it fell under the city jurisdiction.  She relayed that for areas where there was an ISBA, staff could see if the city was willing to negotiate an amendment to address those issues.

Commr. Breeden asked if this could be addressed within joint planning agreements (JPAs) and Ms. Marsh responded that it could be done within a JPA but reminded the Board that a JPA was not as binding as an ISBA and that JPAs could be terminated.

agricultural areas

Commr. Campione indicated that there were some areas in the northeast part of the county where there were agricultural uses which had not materialized yet but that had received permits in order to begin clearing and grading land; additionally, she expressed concern that they were becoming borrow pits prior to any agricultural use.  She expressed a desire to address within a zoning ordinance those operations which had reached a certain threshold of hauling relating to the preparation of an agricultural area but that were not actually farming yet, as she opined the hauling would be affecting the roads.

Ms. Marsh relayed that there were already provisions regarding a threshold at which it became mining, noting that could be tweaked; additionally, she stated that there was a haul permit as well which helped to address this. 

potential meeting with clermont city council

Commr. Campione mentioned that she had recently attended an awards ceremony honoring police officers in the City of Clermont.  She relayed that she had some discussions with Clermont City Council members, who were also at the ceremony, regarding their desire to have a workshop with the BCC in order to discuss transportation issues.  She thought it might be a good opportunity to clear up any misunderstanding regarding where funding comes from for road maintenance, how it is distributed, and how issues get prioritized.

Commr. Parks added that a meeting could also focus on an update for Wellness Way as it related to the City of Clermont as well as event planning concerns.

britt road area

Commr. Campione stated that she had received an email from a concerned citizen asking for Britt Road to be closed to any north-south traffic coming from the Wekiva Parkway due to the increased amount of vehicles on this road and the safety issues this was causing.  She encouraged Board members to travel on this road in order to experience the challenges in that area.  She explained that there were plans for the installation of a light at the intersection of Britt Road and Wolf Branch Road; however, several details still needed to be addressed before this could happen.

Commr. Breeden asked if it was also an issue on the other end of the road where it connected into S.R. 44.

Commr. Campione replied that she believed that was correct and that staff was waiting to hear from FDOT regarding a light at that intersection.

Mr. Fred Schneider, Public Works Director, responded that FDOT had studied the area, that a traffic signal was warranted, and that one would be placed there but a specific date for this was not provided yet.


There being no further business to be brought to the attention of the Board, the meeting was adjourned at 3:47 p.m.







leslie campione, chairman










Gary J. Cooney, Clerk