April 23, 2019

The Lake County Board of County Commissioners met in regular session on Tuesday, April 23, 2019 at 9:00 a.m., in the Board of County Commissioners’ Meeting Room, Lake County Administration Building, Tavares, Florida.  Commissioners present at the meeting were:  Leslie Campione, Chairman; Wendy Breeden, Vice Chairman; Timothy I. Sullivan; Sean Parks; and Josh Blake. Others present were:  Jeff Cole, County Manager; Melanie Marsh, County Attorney; Niki Booth, Executive Office Manager, County Manager’s Office; Gary J. Cooney, Clerk of the Circuit Court and Comptroller; Kristy Mullane, Chief Financial Officer; and Josh Pearson, Deputy Clerk.

INVOCATION and pledge

Pastor Greg Watts from Liberty Baptist Church gave the Invocation and led the Pledge of Allegiance.

Agenda update

Mr. Jeff Cole, County Manager, said that since the agenda was first published, staff noticed an error in the backup of Tab 13 and that the unanticipated revenue should be shown in all places as $25,178.  He elaborated that staff also added information to Tab 18, revised backup information for Tab 24, and added Tab 26 to the public hearings.

Minutes approval

On a motion by Commr. Breeden, seconded by Commr. Sullivan, and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved the Minutes of February 26, 2019 (Regular Meeting) as presented.

citizen question and comment period

Mr. Vance Jochim, a concerned citizen, thanked Commissioner Campione for appearing at a meeting concerning noise from the MedMen medical marijuana facility.  He relayed his understanding that two additional marijuana growers had been approved for Lake County and he expressed concern for there being similar complaints from their neighbors.  He requested that the Board of County Commissioners (BCC) contact legislators about this issue.  He then indicated a concern about a lack of calculations of cost per population benchmarks at recent budget presentations.  He expressed an understanding that Lake County had left the Florida Benchmarking Consortium, which was providing education to city staff for process improvement methodologies, and he opined that the County’s benchmarks were unsatisfactory.  He also urged the Board to ask the Lake County Water Authority (LCWA) about how they had reduced the pollution from Lake Apopka and why they have not used a lobbyist to obtain improvements in regulations for agriculture interests, which he felt were polluting the county’s water.  He asked the Board to inquire why the LCWA was maintaining land, and he opined that they should transfer land such as Hickory Point to the County and focus on water quality. 

proclamation 2019-41 - firefighter appreciation day

On a motion by Commr. Sullivan, seconded by Commr. Breeden and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved Proclamation 2019-41 designating May 4, 2019, as Firefighter Appreciation Day.

Commr. Parks read and presented Proclamation 2019-41 to Mr. Jim Dickerson, Lake County Fire Chief, and several Office of Fire Rescue personnel who were present.

Mr. Dickerson said that this day had been recognized for the past three years and that it was a happy day for firefighters.  He said that he enjoyed recognizing firefighters, that this was an opportunity to honor them, and that he appreciated the proclamation.

CLERK OF the Circuit COURT and comptroller’s CONSENT AGENDA

On a motion by Commr. Breeden, seconded by Commr. Blake and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the Clerk of Circuit Court and Comptroller’s Consent Agenda, Items 1 through 4, 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.

Lands Available List

Request to acknowledge receipt of property placed on the Lands Available List.  Lake County has until June 26, 2019 to purchase property from the Lands Available List before it is available to the public.

Lands Available List

Request to acknowledge receipt of property placed on the Lands Available List.  Lake County has until July 4, 2019 to purchase property from the Lands Available List before it is available to the public

Lands Available for Taxes List

Request to acknowledge receipt of property placed on the Lands Available for Taxes List.  During the first 90 days after the property is placed on the list, the county may purchase the land for the opening bid or may waive its rights to purchase the property.  Thereafter, any person, the County, or any other governmental unit may purchase the property.


On a motion by Commr. Breeden, seconded by Commr. Parks and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the Consent Agenda, Tabs 4 through 16, as follows:


Request approval of Proclamation 2019-16 designating May 19 - 25, 2019, as National Emergency Medical Services Week, per Commissioner Sullivan. There is no fiscal impact.


Request approval of Resolutions 2019-46 (Donald W. Clark and Richard R. Clark) and 2019-47 (Lily-Mae Property Group, LLC) initiating Eminent Domain proceedings for acquisition of property needed for portions of the County Road 466A Road Project, and approval to proceed with pre-suit negotiations pursuant to Section 73.015, Florida Statutes. The fiscal impact cannot be determined at this time. Commission District 5.

Request approval of Resolution 2019-48 authorizing the release of the automatic statutory reservation of petroleum and mineral rights under Section 270.11, Florida Statutes, on property located on Highway 27 in Leesburg, which was previously owned by Lake County.  There is no fiscal impact.  Commission District 3.

economic prosperity

Elevate Lake

Request approval of a Director Level Partnership with the Orlando Economic Partnership.  The annual fiscal impact is $50,000.00 (expenditure).


Procurement Services

Request approval to declare items as surplus; approval to remove the items from the County's official fixed asset inventory system records; authorization to donate a 2007 vehicle valued at $1,718.00 to the Town of Montverde for the Town’s use; authorization to donate a 2006 bus valued at $500.00 to the City of Leesburg for police training exercises; and authorization for the Office of Procurement Services Director to execute any required title documents. The fiscal overall impact of this action cannot be determined at this time (revenue).

Public Works

Request approval of Resolution 2019-49 supporting the Lake County list of projects to be included on the Lake-Sumter Metropolitan Planning Organization’s List of Priority Projects. There is no fiscal impact from this action.

Request approval:

1. Of an Off-System Construction and Maintenance Agreement with the Florida Department of Transportation.

2. Of Resolution 2019-50 to resurface a section of County Road 19A, from south of US Highway 441 to Lake Saunders Drive, in Eustis.

3. To modify the median at Lake Saunders Drive to enforce a no left turn regulation.

There is no fiscal impact to Lake County. Commission District 4.

Request approval to accept the final plat for Sago Palm at Hawthorne Partial Replat, located east of US Highway 27 in Leesburg, and all areas dedicated to the public as shown on the Sago Palm at Hawthorne Partial Replat final plat. The fiscal impact is $1,551.00 (revenue – final plat application fee). Commission District 3.

Request approval to:

1. Release a performance bond of $101,365.56 posted for the completion of infrastructure improvements for the Sawgrass Bay Phase 4A final plat, located near Clermont.

2. Execute a Developer’s Agreement for Maintenance of Improvements with KB Home Orlando LLC. (Orlando, FL).

3. Accept a maintenance bond of $31,315.85 for maintenance of improvements.

4. Execute Resolution 2019-51 accepting Yelloweyed Drive “Part” (County Road No. 0360D) into the County Road Maintenance System.

5. Execute a Developer’s Agreement for Construction and Maintenance of Sidewalk Improvements with KB Home Orlando LLC.

6. Accept a performance bond of $29,205.00 for performance of sidewalk construction.

7. Accept a maintenance bond of $2,655.00 for maintenance of sidewalk improvements.

There is no fiscal impact.  Commission District 1.


Community Services

Request approval of the multi-year Public Transportation Grant Agreement with the Florida Department of Transportation for Office of Transit Services operating funding, and approval of supporting Resolution 2019-52 and Unanticipated Revenue Resolution 2019-53. The fiscal impact is $1,450,316.00 (expenditure - $725,158.00 in grant funding and $725,158.00 in County funding).

Request approval for the Chairman to execute a Certificate of Participation for the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant for Fiscal Year 2018 and to execute any necessary grant documents, and approval to name Stephanie Glass, Children and Elder Services Coordinator, as the Program Coordinator. There is no fiscal impact.

Parks and Trails

Request approval to award contract 19-0909 to Advanced Commercial Contractors, Inc. (Eustis, FL) for restroom and concession building construction services at Lake Idamere Park, in Tavares. The fiscal impact is $694,890.00 (revenue/expenditure - $23,217.00 in donated funding and $671,673.00 in County funding). Commission District 3.

Request approval to award contract 19-0422 for general maintenance and services for parks and trails, and authorization for the Office of Procurement Services to execute all supporting documentation. The estimated fiscal impact is $200,000.00 (expenditure).

regular agenda

presentation - lake county water authority

Mr. Mike Perry, Executive Director for the Lake County Water Authority, presented an update on water quality and hydrilla treatment.  He noted that in the Clermont Chain of Lakes, water generally flowed from south to north through Lake Louisa, Lake Minnehaha, Lake Minneola, and Cherry Lake through the Palatlakaha River until reaching Lake Harris.  He displayed an image of the Harris Chain of Lakes and said that its water moved from south to north beginning with Lake Apopka and then through Lake Dora, Lake Eustis, Lake Harris and Lake Griffin, before traveling into the Ocklawaha River.  He said that the Harris Chain of Lakes was mainly affected by Lake Apopka, and the Clermont Chain of Lakes was mostly affected by water which drained into it from Big and Little Creeks.  He noted a difference of water color and said that the Clermont Chain of Lakes and Lake Minnehaha in particular were more colored due to the water flowing through more vegetation and wetlands, though it was not less clean.  He displayed charts measuring the color of Lake Minnehaha and Lake Harris, noting that Lake Harris was lighter in color.  He displayed information about the amount of phosphorus measured in Lake Louisa, Lake Minnehaha and Lake Minneola, and he pointed out that there was about 200 micrograms per liter (ug/l) of phosphorous in Lake Louisa with spikes in the late 1990s and in 2004 and 2005 due to significant rain and hurricanes, respectively.  He mentioned that this data came from the Water Atlas, which was a composite data set, and he said that the phosphorus in Lake Minnehaha spiked in 1985 though was generally less than 200 ug/l.  He stated that Lake Minneola had similar phosphorus as Lake Minnehaha, though since 2005 there had been more phosphorous due to the flow in the southern part of the chain or from runoff in developed areas.  He explained that another parameter used to determine water quality was Secchi depth, which used a Secchi disk to measure the depth of visibility in water.  He said that Secchi depths were generally around five feet in Lake Louisa and were generally between 10 and 12 feet in Lake Minnehaha.  He noted that the clarity in Lake Minnehaha had been reduced due to hurricanes creating additional flow to the lake, and that there was a similar issue in Lake Minneola with the water clarity being lower than before.  He displayed data for chlorophyll A, which was a measure of how much algae was in the water and how green the water was.  He explained that for Lake Louisa in 2004 and 2005, there was a considerable amount of material washed into the system from hurricanes that likely fueled algae blooms and caused a spike in chlorophyll A.  He said that a spike occurred in Lake Minnehaha over the same period of time and that Lake Minneola had a persistently higher amount of chlorophyll A, along with a decrease in water quality and an increase in phosphorus levels.  He added that they had recently seen some microcystis blooms, which was a potentially toxic blue-green algae bloom, though they were not persistent.  He elaborated that they were affected by the wind and that the data suggested that events were occurring in Lake Minneola which required attention.  He noted that this was the farthest north of these three lakes and could be continuing to receive input from them.  He said that there was a significant difference in size between the two lake systems, and he showed the surface area acreage of the Clermont Chain of Lakes when compared to the Harris Chain of Lakes.  He noted that Lake Apopka was the largest at over 30,000 acres, and Lake Harris had nearly 20,000 acres with Lake Griffin at around 13,000 acres; additionally, Lake Louisa was the largest lake in the Clermont Chain of Lakes at around 3,000 acres.  He stated that for residence time, water that went into Lake Apopka generally stayed there for around 7.5 years, though Lake Beauclair had less than one year of residence time due to its size.  He thought that a higher residence time in the Clermont Chain of Lakes could contribute to its algae blooms or phosphorus.  He commented that the Harris Chain of Lakes had undergone a significant amount of work from the St. Johns River Water Management District (SJRWMD), and he displayed a graph showing the baseline periods for total daily maximum load (TMDL) for total phosphorus loads from 1989 to 1994 for Lake Apopka and 1991 to 2000 for other lakes in the Harris Chain of Lakes.  He noted that from 2012 to 2016, the TMDL had been substantially reduced from the baseline periods in the lakes with the exception of Lake Yale and Lake Weir.  He showed another chart with the mean total phosphorus concentrations for the same lakes and said that with the exception of Lake Yale and Lake Weir, the concentrations were significantly lower than the baseline period.  He added that data for chlorophyll A was similar with baseline periods being higher except for Lake Yale and Lake Weir.  He explained that there had been significant effort to address water quality in the Harris Chain of Lakes, though there had been less effort put toward Lake Yale and Lake Weir.  He then displayed data for Secchi depths for the lakes and said that there had been improvements in visibility in most of the lakes, though the targets had not been met.  He said that it was important to improve water clarity so that light could reach the bottom where desirable plants could begin growing.  He showed a graph with different loadings and their sources and said that a lag after the hurricanes in 2004 and 2005 increased the total phosphorus and the chlorophyll A, though the amount of loads contributed by farms and restoration areas was small.  He opined that agricultural runoff and restoration areas were not causing an issue in Lake Apopka and that they had been addressed to reduce the load coming to the lake.  He then said that for Lake Beauclair, there had historically been a significant amount of loading from tributary discharge; however, the Nutrient Reduction Facility (NuRF) had begun operation in 2008 or 2009 and there had been a substantial reduction in total phosphorus and chlorophyll A concentrations.  He noted an increase in tributary discharge due to hurricanes in 2016 and he expected a similar increase in 2018 due to Hurricane Irma.  He remarked that there were similar trends in Lake Dora with a reduction in tributary discharges over the last decade.  He pointed out that Lake Harris did not have a direct relationship with Lake Apopka and instead received water from the Palatlakaha River and the drainage basin around it, so the tributary discharge there was generally lower.  He noted that atmospheric deposition was difficult to control, though controllable factors such as total phosphorus and chlorophyll A concentrations below the TMDL level were significant achievements.  He stated that Lake Eustis was similar to the previous lakes with the exception of increased tributary loading and septic tanks, and there was little agricultural discharge remaining.  He remarked that Lake Griffin had poor water quality in the 1980s and 1990s, though it currently had some of the best quality in the chain.  He mentioned that the total phosphorus and chlorophyll A were below the TMDL, though he noted that Emeralda Marsh contributed a significant amount of loading, along with stormwater runoff when compared to the other lakes.  He explained that Lake Yale had nearby urban residential, agricultural, and natural areas which contributed to its loading, and he said that there was a significant internal nutrient load originating from the sediments there which was not reflecting in the measurements.  He elaborated that the LCWA’s consultant suggested that up to 80 percent of the nutrient load in Lake Yale was coming from internal sources and he relayed that the LCWA would attempt to develop a project which could reduce the internal loading; furthermore, they were seeking proposals for a solution, and they thought that it would likely be similar to a coagulant and would cap the sediment to prevent nutrients from coming through it.  He commented that they budgeted funding for this activity and that one alternative would be to dredge material out of the lake, though this could cost around $330 million and would also require placing the material elsewhere. 

Commr. Campione asked if the drawdown that was previously conducted at Lake Griffin was still considered a best practice.

Mr. Perry replied that it would depend on the desired outcome. He thought that for Lake Griffin, they did not dig anything away from the shoreline so that when the water returned, there were locations for undesirable vegetation to return.  He clarified that drawdowns were a tool for fisheries, rather than a water quality tool, and he recalled that there was a substantial amount of herbicide used before the drawdown.

Commr. Campione inquired if he was expecting the request for proposals (RFPs) to propose a treatment similar to alum.

            Mr. Perry said that it would not have to be alum but that there were limited choices to reduce the amount of nutrients coming through the sediment without removing it.  He said that the lake would have to be drawn down far enough that it would cease to exist as a lake so that heavy equipment could move the material.

Commr. Campione then asked about septic tanks and why Lake Eustis was seeing additional impacts from them.

Mr. Perry thought that it could be attributed to failing septic tanks or some areas having taken their septic systems offline and converting them to a municipal wastewater treatment facility. 

Commr. Campione felt that failing septic tanks were a Florida Department of Health (DOH) issue and also affected water quality.  She proposed cooperating with the LCWA and the DOH to provide education and awareness about the issue, and she mentioned an idea to incentivize individuals to pump or retrofit their septic tanks.  She thought that this would be a good use of funds to help prevent water quality issues and she suggested a possible pilot program to help determine if residents would utilize it. 

Commr. Parks agreed that education and awareness were important and he thought that the County should pursue this along with a pilot program.  He proposed working with the LCWA and the municipalities to address this, along with addressing proper fertilizer use. 

Commr. Campione recalled that the County had enacted its fertilizer ordinance, was attempting to obtain the cities’ support for it, and had a Keep Lake Beautiful (KLB) meeting on the previous day where it was discussed how to reach out to cities and present an ordinance which they could opt into.  She said that the County could also modify its brochures for the fertilizer ordinance to inform the cities of best practices.  She relayed that a grant was recently awarded for the implementation of this ordinance and that the County would be working with KLB to conduct surveying to determine which information was best reacted to.  She said that they were also working with fertilizer companies, and she asked if the LCWA could assist with funding if the County set aside a finite amount of funds for the testing and replacement of septic tanks.

Mr. Perry stated that he could discuss this with the LCWA Board.

Commr. Sullivan proposed examining grants from state agencies which pertained to water quality.

Commr. Breeden asked if septic systems are removed when properties using them are connected to community sewer systems.

Commr. Parks clarified that the tank would be collapsed but the drain field would stay unless it was removed.

Commr. Blake noted recent reports about sewer line failures and asked if there were any studies measuring the impact of this. 

Mr. Perry related that he was not aware of any studies and that they would have to inquire if the systems conducted these measurements.

Commr. Parks said that systems in larger cities were generally older, and he relayed that the Florida Association of Counties (FAC) had opined that municipal sludge was running off into water bodies.

Mr. Perry relayed his understanding that this had not been studied in Lake County and that reuse systems which were irrigating close to a lake could affect the issue.  He said that the City of Tavares’ concern was for infiltration and that as the water table increased, there was water leaking into their system rather than out.  He said that they could ask the municipalities for information on issues with their infrastructure.

Commr. Campione asked if the LCWA monitored Lake Joanna, Loch Leven and Wolf Branch Creek.

Mr. Perry denied this but noted that another entity could be monitoring them. 

Commr. Campione then inquired if the LCWA would become involved with those areas if they were asked to.  She also thought that Lakewatch monitored some of those lakes.

Mr. Perry stated that they would first try to recruit Lakewatch volunteers and said that the LCWA already had a partnership with the County’s laboratory to conduct water quality monitoring in certain areas. 

Commr. Campione noted that there had been an issue with Wolf Branch Creek which the LCWA was informed of and subsequently contacted the SJRWMD, who quickly corrected the issue.  She recalled that the incident pertained to the Lakes of Mount Dora expansion which involved a new retention pond being dewatered and introduced into Wolf Branch Creek.

Mr. Perry said that the SJRWMD enforcement staff addressed the issue immediately, though there was a concern that this water had traveled downstream into the Wolf Branch area.  He thought that the contractor had been informed of this and that they had corrected their actions.

Commr. Campione relayed an understanding that the water there was muddy but not toxic.  She asked about its impacts to the Wolf Branch Sink and the aquifer.

Mr. Perry said that it would settle out, though there would be a layer of material at the bottom of Wolf Branch Creek for a period of time.  He then presented information about hydrilla and said that they would be starting hydrilla treatment in the following week starting with Lake Dora.  He elaborated that the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) was coordinating the effort while County staff would be conducting the work.  He relayed that there was a recommendation from County staff to Mr. Cole for them to conduct the work for no charge and that this was accepted by the LCWA.  He thanked the County for this, and he displayed an image of the treatment areas in Lake Dora.  He stated that they would then move to these areas sequentially: Lake Eustis in various areas; Lake Yale to allow navigation from Marsh Park to the lake; the western side of Lake Harris including Venetian Gardens, Singletary Park and Helena Run; the eastern side of Lake Harris near Dead River and Lane Park; an area in Lake Beauclair near the Apopka-Beauclair (AB) Canal; Lake Griffin near Herlong Park, with the FWC providing additional funding for work around the Dead River; areas around Long Island; and residential canals in the Dead River area.  He said that in addition to the LCWA’s $1.5 million, the FWC had contributed an additional $675,000 for a total of about $2.1 million.  He hoped that the FWC would receive state funding to maintain the hydrilla, and he said that there had been a request for the Harris Chain of Lakes for about $4 million which was not in the budget, but could be included in the Governor’s water bill.  He said that the LCWA was working to treat as much hydrilla as possible.

Commr. Breeden asked if any areas in Little Lake Harris would be treated.

Mr. Perry clarified that there was not anything proposed for spring 2019 and that work had been done there in fall 2018.  He felt that the area was properly treated at the current time.

Commr. Campione relayed a resident’s issue with tussocks floating into the Marsh Park boat ramp area and creating difficulty with boating.  She inquired if a barrier could be used to prevent them from floating down the canal and blocking the boat ramp.

Mr. Perry said that the islands could become very heavy and that the FWC would soon be conducting a tussocks removal project in Lake Yale.  He commented that they were able to obtain about $160,000 for this activity and that he would let the FWC know about this issue.

Commr. Sullivan opined that they should stay close to the hydrilla issue and said that the County asked for a considerable amount of funding from the State Legislature to address it.  He related that the FWC did not increase their allotment for invasive species issues and that the County would have to find funding from another location.  He asked if the quality of the water had allowed the hydrilla to grow.

Mr. Perry confirmed that they had created conditions where the water was clear enough for vegetation to grow, including exotic invasive species.

Mr. Cole said that staff was trying to have Mr. Perry come before the Board quarterly and that they could continue these arrangements.  He proposed that the next topic could include issues with septic systems.

recess and reassembly

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

public hearing - ordinance adjusting boundaries of country greens community development district

Mr. Tim McClendon, Director for the Office of Planning and Zoning, said that this ordinance would contract the boundary of the Country Greens Community Development District (CDD) and that it had been properly advertised; however, the applicant was requesting a continuance until the May 21, 2019 BCC meeting. 

Mr. Jimmy Crawford, an attorney representing the applicant, requested a postponement due to the previous night being the first time that the Country Greens CDD Board could formally consider the petition.  He elaborated that they requested additional time to speak with the applicant about conditions for leaving or potentially staying in the CDD.  He was unsure if an agreement to stay in the CDD could be reached, though he did not want the ordinance to be heard before the CDD Board could review it completely and discuss it with the applicant. 

The Chairman opened the public hearing.

Ms. Heather Brush, a resident of Equestrian Trail in Sorrento, claimed that she could not find the original ordinance for the Country Greens CDD.  She said that she wanted to know when and why it was created in order to know why the property in question would be allowed to be removed and how it could affect the property for any zoning it may obtain. 

Commr. Campione thought that Mr. Crawford may have the original document.  She explained that CDDs are typically set up to provide infrastructure internal to a subdivision.

Ms. Brush mentioned that there was a 40 acre tract north of her property which was currently in the CDD but was not being asked to be removed.  She asked why it was not included.

Commr. Campione stated that Mr. Crawford might also have this information.

Ms. Marsh clarified that this contraction proceeding did not involve the zoning and that it would be a separate hearing. 

Ms. Brush asked if this proceeding would affect the zoning if a different zoning or density would be approved due to the property being allowed to be removed from the CDD.

Commr. Campione stated that this would not lead to a change in zoning, but only that it would not be encumbered with the CDD requirements, which were a taxing mechanism.

Ms. Marsh confirmed this and explained that the CDD was developed to distribute the costs of the infrastructure toward all of the residents.  She stated that this request would remove them from Sorrento Springs and set them up as their own subdivision.

There being no one else 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 postponed an ordinance adjusting the boundaries of the Country Green Community Development District to the May 21, 2019 BCC meeting.

public hearing – resolution 2019-54 to vacate right of way

Mr. Fred Schneider, Public Works Director, said that the requested action was to approve a resolution to vacate platted rights of way and clear title for the Lake County Animal Shelter, proposed fairground facility and existing solid waste activities.  He commented that there were no letters of support or objection and he showed an overhead map of the area.  He noted on the map the locations of County Road (CR) 448, State Road (SR) 19, the Lake County solid waste facility, property recently purchased by the BCC, and the public right of ways.  He explained that these tracts were platted many years prior and that the land requested to be vacated was internal to the County owned property; furthermore, no roads or property adjacent to private property owners was requested to be vacated.

The Chairman opened the public hearing.

Mr. Sonny Nowlon, President of the Eustis Gun Club, said that his organization was a neighbor of this location and that he supported any action which would improve the roads there.  He claimed that some residents had difficulty navigating the area due to the sugar sand roads. 

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

Commr. Campione asked to confirm that this would not create any access issues and if it would revert to the County once vacated.

Mr. Schneider said this was correct and that it was internal to County owned property only.  He also confirmed that it would revert to the County.

On a motion by Commr. Sullivan, seconded by Commr. Breeden and carried unanimously by  vote of 5-0, the Board approved to execute Resolution 2019-54 vacating portions of unnamed, platted rights of way and blocks, in the Map of Land of Denis E. Lowell, which is located south of CR 448, east of SR 19 and west of CR 561, near the City of Tavares.

public hearing – resolution 2019-55 to vacate right of way

Mr. Schneider said that this was petition #1244 and the applicants were Mr. Danny and Ms. Jessica Allen.  He explained that the property was south of East Orange Avenue and west of Abrams Road, and the request was for approval to vacate the platted right of way for the purpose of clearing title and eliminating the encroachment of the existing garage which had been built there.  He relayed that there had been letters of support from the City of Eustis and neighbors.  He showed a map with the location and noted the positions of East Orange Avenue, Fruitwood Avenue, the property, the City of Eustis stormwater pond, the home, and the old platted right of way which went through the residents’ garage.  He noted that Fruitwood Avenue would continue to provide access and that staff supported the request.

The Chairman opened the public hearing.

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

            Commr. Campione felt that the request would be a way to solve the situation and that the right of way was not needed for any purpose.

On a motion by Commr. Breeden, seconded by Commr. Blake and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved to execute Resolution 2019-55 vacating an unnamed platted right of way in the plat of Orange Summit Subdivision, which is located south of East Orange Avenue and west of Abrams Road, near the City of Eustis.

public hearing – EMERGENCY ordinance 2019-27 exemptions to tree removal permits

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


Ms. Marsh explained that this was an emergency ordinance because the County did not meet the 10 day advertising time required by state law and that in order to pass it as an emergency ordinance, the Board would first need to pass a motion by a four-fifths vote to waive the notice requirements.  She elaborated that if the motion passed, the Board could open the public hearing to discuss the ordinance.

Commr. Campione said that this issue originated about two weeks prior when she began receiving emails from residents of Sullivan Ranch who were concerned that the County had authorized the removal of up to 45 mature oak trees along the edge of Round Lake Road near Sullivan Ranch.  She said that there had been a right of way utilization permit which was given for a reclaimed water line that the City of Mount Dora was trying to bring in from the City of Apopka to provide water for subdivisions in the city; however, it was unclear if the trees were in the County’s right of way or in an easement which was granted to the City of Mount Dora.  She stated that the Sullivan Ranch Homeowners’ Association (HOA) had argued that the easement itself was limited use rather than a general utility easement and could only be used for infrastructure directly related to their neighborhood.  She said that the County’s landscape ordinance had authorized municipalities to remove trees from utility easements without having to obtain additional authorization, which she opined was an issue due to allowing the indiscriminant removal of trees; additionally, the County would be responsible when trees were removed.  She felt that this needed to be addressed quickly so that mature trees could not be removed from utility easements without a review of if it was necessary or if there were other options to protect the trees.  She commented that there was a dispute between the City of Mount Dora and the HOA about whether the utility easement could be used for the City’s intended purpose, and she relayed an understanding that the easement was located near the trees’ root system.  She displayed an image of the 10 foot easement and noted that a fence was in the middle, that the easement came close to the trees, and that the trees were located within the County’s right of way.  She clarified that most of the trees were in the right of way, though the root system was located in the easement.  She remarked that the ordinance change would address the ability for a municipality which was providing utilities to remove trees from a utility easement without additional permitting.  She opined that the ordinance was too open ended and that while it was important to accommodate utilities, the proposed ordinance would require trees to be marked, for a permit to be obtained to remove them, and for measures to be taken to attempt to work around removing the trees, such as using alternative easement locations.  She said that she had met with both the HOA board and the City of Mount Dora to attempt to mediate a solution to preserve the trees and the fence, and the City had offered a solution to relocate the easement between the white fence and the brown fence and to lay the pipe as far from the trees’ root system as possible.  She commented that she received feedback from the HOA Board which she would take to the City of Mount Dora to help find a solution.

Commr. Parks asked if the trees were going to be removed imminently.

Commr. Campione said that it appeared to be imminent and that there would not have been a permitting process.  She added that there were still some trees which this would apply to and that a similar situation could be occurring elsewhere without the County’s knowledge.  She indicated an interest in making the utilities process seamless and cost effective, though noted that the County would be responsible if its ordinance authorized the removal of trees in the unincorporated area without consideration from the Lake County Public Works Department.

Ms. Marsh suggested that if the utility line was installed where the fence was and it damaged the root system, this would be a liability to the County due to the trees being within the County right of way.  She elaborated that if the trees were killed and then fell and injured an individual, for example, the costs to resolve a lawsuit or remove the trees would be incurred by the County.

Commr. Sullivan said that he would support a motion to waive the notice requirements and felt that it would be a good discussion to have.  He commented that within the ordinance, the County had developed specific criteria for trees to be removed, though not on the scale which was currently being discussed.

On a motion by Commr. Breeden, seconded by Commr. Parks and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved to waive the notice requirements for the emergency ordinance.

Mr. Cole stated that he had heard from a municipality which was concerned about the costs relating to tree removals and that it was the Board’s discretion whether to waive fees for tree removal permits and the related tree removals for local governments.

Commr. Campione remarked that working around trees could be more costly, though it was preferable to avoid killing or removing trees. 

Commr. Breeden said that the County could waive the fees.

Mr. Cole clarified that there would still be a permitting process and that he would recommend to universally waive these fees for local governments seeking this permit.

Ms. Marsh added that under the fee resolution, the County Manager had the authority to waive fees under certain circumstances and that the Board could direct him to do this; furthermore, staff could bring back the resolution for adjustment.

Commr. Parks asked if the picture of the location showed where the City of Mount Dora wanted to move the line.

Commr. Campione clarified that the dotted line was the western edge of the 10 foot easement which was shown on the plat of Sullivan Ranch.  She said that the fence was on the five foot mark and came close to the trees; additionally, some trees could have been inside of the easement.

Commr. Breeden suggested that a trench could be dug closer to the trees.

Commr. Campione said that the City had indicated that they would have to remove the white fence.  She relayed her understanding that the City of Mount Dora’s intention was that if they could resolve their civil issues with Sullivan Ranch and if an alternative location could not be found, then they would remove the white fence and it would not have to be replaced due to being within their easement.  She expressed a concern for the root systems being affected even if the pipe was pushed away from the trees.  She indicated an interest in both parties agreeing to shift their easement over to between the white and brown fences.

Commr. Blake inquired why this would not happen.

Commr. Campione opined that the situation was challenging to navigate but that there would be a benefit if it did not create harm.  She thought that the HOA was seeking to avoid property damage and the City wanted to install the line because it would serve their entire system and provide reclaimed water to Sullivan Ranch.  She added that Sullivan Ranch currently had reclaimed water, though it was augmented by a potable water well and when the SJRWMD issued a consumptive use permit to the City, they required them to abandon the augmentation well when they were able to do so.  She said the City had a requirement to provide more reclaimed water to Sullivan Ranch, though it would not be used only for Sullivan Ranch.  She explained that the dispute was that the City thought they could use the easement to help Sullivan Ranch, while the neighborhood felt that it was also a transmission line and that the easement could only be used for improvements internal to the subdivision.  She thought that if the City and Sullivan Ranch could both obtain what they wanted, then a solution could be reached and the trees could be preserved.  She said that this ordinance would allow for oversight before trees were removed and she expressed support for it.

Commr. Breeden asked if the Lake County Public Works Department would be given guidance for processing tree removal permits.

Commr. Campione responded that the criteria included circumstances such as the following: the location of a tree restricts the opening of a street or right of way, and streets and rights of way shall be located to minimize the loss of trees, especially specimen and heritage trees; and the location of the tree restricts the construction of utility lines or drainage facilities, though utility lines and drainage facilities shall be located to minimize the loss of trees.  She thought that lines could be bored in a way to help prevent conflict and that this could be required by the Public Works Department.  She noted that language was added that utility providers shall coordinate with adjacent property owners and seek alternative easements to the extent practicable to minimize the loss of trees. 

Commr. Parks suggested consulting with an arborist for cases with a large number of trees.

Mr. Schneider indicated that the Florida Forest Service provided work on a volunteer basis to examine trees and that if a tree removal was thought to be needed, the County had an individual under contract to provide formal documentation of this. 

The Chairman opened the public hearing.

Mr. Joe Grusauskas, Utility Director for the City of Mount Dora, claimed that the City had reached out to obtain an alternative right of way easement from Sullivan Ranch.  He explained that this was a 10 foot easement and was plotted before houses were built there.  He said that the water would be moving from an augmentation well and was needed for Sullivan Ranch; additionally, the SJRWMD was helping to fund the project.  He stated that Sullivan Ranch was not open to any negotiations or alternative use of the property and that the City had to move forward with the project in the existing easement.  He clarified that they were not planning to remove any trees and would conduct root pruning and canopy pruning which would not require a tree removal.  He commented that root pruning was common for utility systems and opined that as long as they did not prune more than 50 percent of the root structures, they should lose less than one per 1,000 trees.  He remarked that there were three trees in the area which they would prune roots near, though the trees had been damaged by cars and he thought they would survive.  He said that he was unsure why there was an emergency ordinance due to there being a lack of intent to remove trees and he suggested that pipes could not be bored through tree roots due to storms possibly ripping them up.  He related that the City had to maintain the utility and would occasionally prune roots to do this.  He reiterated that the easement was plotted nearly 20 years ago and said that there would be a cost to move the utility.  He felt that this ordinance would increase costs to residents and cities, and he suggested holding a stakeholder meeting with utilities to determine how the easements could be used.  He opined that while they would prune the roots, they would not kill or remove trees.  He stated that there was only one tree which was in the ten foot easement and that they should be eight feet away from most of the tree roots for pruning purposes. 

Commr. Campione asked about a tree adjacent to the road where a fatality had occurred and noted that there was a cross on the tree.

Mr. Grusasuskas responded that they would stay as far from that tree as they could, though the road bent there and it was a dangerous area.  He said that the City already had right of way permits for the project and they could possibly adjust the right of way there after meeting with County staff in the field. 

Commr. Breeden inquired if the proposed ordinance would prohibit the City from moving forward.

Mr. Grusasuskas confirmed this and opined that there was not an emergency for this need.  He felt that it was a legal dispute between the City and the HOA and that the communication between them had been insufficient.

Commr. Campione thought that the County could help mediate a solution to fulfill the needs of both parties and to protect the trees.  She opined that this was an emergency situation regardless of this issue because trees in utility easements could be destroyed due to a lack of limitations.

Ms. Marsh clarified that the exemption for municipal utility projects had gone into effect in January 2019 and that prior to that date, every provider had been required to obtain a tree removal permit.  She commented that those should be costs which the providers had already considered because they had been obtaining permits previously.

Commr. Parks asked to clarify that the trees would not imminently be removed.

Mr. Grusauskas confirmed this and said that they were discussing root pruning, which would be separate from this issue and was necessary for utilities.

Commr. Parks noted that directional boring was conducted underneath roots and that it would not have to go through the roots.  He stated that this could be a measure to protect the trees and that the County would be reverting the process to that which was used before January 2019, along with the County Manager’s ability to waive fees.  He also opined that directional boring should not be used in all cases due to cost.

Mr. Cole confirmed that he could waive fees under certain circumstances and that he would prefer for the Board to waive the fees.

Mr. Grusauskas reiterated his suggestion to hold a stakeholder meeting due to thoughts about easements and their associated costs.  He relayed that the City of Mount Dora was spending millions of dollars for the rights to lay pipe under properties which would not be used, and he opined that the ordinance would be placing the cities in a vulnerable position when requiring them to acquire easements first. 

Mr. Cole commented that one option would be to move forward with the proposed ordinance today and hold a stakeholder meeting at a later date.  He added that changes could then be brought back for the Board’s consideration.

Commr. Campione thought that a stakeholder meeting was a good idea due to there being other issues to discuss.  She felt that acquiring easements in the area could be costly and she opined that residents could work with the City to provide alternative easements to preserve trees. 

Mr. Grusauskas suggested that there should be guidelines for timing and he expressed a concern that the proposed ordinance could become an obstacle for permitting. 

Commr. Blake asked if there had been other issues since January 2019.

Mr. Cole responded that he was not aware of any other issues, though the County had not expected the current issue and another could arise at any moment.

Ms. Marsh related that if the Board chose not to approve the emergency ordinance today, they could consider this as an approval to advertise and staff could bring it back at the May 7, 2019 BCC meeting for adoption. 

Commr. Campione indicated support for the emergency ordinance and expressed that she did not want the County to be responsible for a situation where trees were indiscriminately removed due to a provision in their ordinance allowing a municipal utility provider to remove them.  She felt that it was a reasonable approach and said that it was how the ordinance was written before January 2019; furthermore, she did not think it would add costs.

            Commr. Parks expressed his support for the ordinance and for having a workshop in the near future for how it would be implemented.

            Commr. Campione added that they could amend it once feedback was received.

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

Commr. Sullivan indicated a concern for delaying this item due to the easement process and opined that the ordinance was implemented without considering all of its effects.  He also indicated support for a stakeholder meeting.

Commr. Campione said that the County had recently discussed a possible meeting with the Lake County Public Works Department and the City of Mount Dora due to the activity around Round Lake Road, Wolf Branch Road and SR 46.  She commented that the law currently read that if there was a pipe or other infrastructure in a utility easement and the County needed to expand or move that road, then the County would be responsible for the cost.  She remarked that the County could have an additional cost if they neglected to coordinate this in advance.

Mr. Grusauskas noted that the City was conscious of this and that they were working to better utilize their right of ways to benefit the City, the County, residents and developers.  He gave an example of considering trails and utility pipes, and he felt that roads and utilities could coexist under a larger infrastructure for utilities, roads and trails.  He felt that currently, utilities were not in conflict when located under trails and sidewalks due to being outside of the road right of way.  He stated that the City had made an effort to place its utilities outside of those areas, though they would be located under trails and other ancillary activities to avoid being under trees.

Commr. Campione expressed support for this and indicated an interest for the County and the City to be aware of engineering plans.

Mr. Grusauskas added that utility pipes could be located beneath roads under certain conditions, and he did not feel that the City had constructed any utilities which precluded road work.  He said that the City’s work was outside of the 80 feet where the County would want to have a reasonable road.

On a motion by Commr. Breeden, seconded by Commr. Sullivan and carried by a vote of 4-1, the Board approved emergency Ordinance 2019-27 amending Section 9.02.04, Land Development Regulations, entitled "Exemptions to Tree Removal Permit Requirements;" Removing Exemption from Obtaining a Tree Removal Permit for a Municipal Public Works' Projects; Amending Section 9.02.05, Land Development Regulations, Entitled "Criteria for Issuance of Tree Removal Permit." Also included in the motion was a request that the Board discuss this item with stakeholders to receive recommendations for potential future amendments, and direction to the County Manager to waive permit fees.

Commr. Blake voted no.

work sessions – fy 2020 proposed budget presentations

department of information technology

Mr. Erikk Ross, Interim Director for the Information Technology (IT) Department, stated that the mission of the IT Department was to enable high performance within Lake County government through the delivery of powerful and innovative technology solutions designed to meet the needs of its users, businesses, and citizens.  He displayed the department’s organizational chart and noted that there were 26 full time employees (FTEs), and that the IT business office included 12 FTEs and was composed of the service desk, records management and administrative staff.  He commented that the department’s programming and application support services division had four FTEs who focused on custom programming, application support and database administration.  He remarked that technical services had four employees who handled the County’s phone system and the audiovisual equipment in board chambers.  He then stated that security and networking services was a new division formed in 2019 by taking two employees out of the IT business office and one from technical services; furthermore, the employees who worked on the County’s network and security infrastructure were under a single division, which increased collaboration and efficiency.  He related that the geographic information systems (GIS) group had three FTEs, and he said that the IT department also provided computer services which included these items: maintaining computer devices; maintaining networks and file services; application support; custom programing; database administration; infrastructure design; and internet and email services.  He noted that in addition to the BCC, computer services were also provided to the Lake County Supervisor of Elections, Lake County Property Appraiser, LCWA and Lake-Sumter Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO).  He commented that they also provided telephone, mobile and cellular services through their technical services division for the BCC and other government agencies in the County including the Lake County Clerk of the Circuit Court and Comptroller, Supervisor of Elections, Lake County Sheriff’s Office (LCSO), Lake County Tax Collector, and others.   He elaborated that the department also provided these services: geographic analysis, mapping, and data services, including providing some GIS data to the LCSO on a monthly basis; records management; and audiovisual services in board chambers.  He listed these accomplishments from the previous year: completed the Office of Emergency Medical Services (EMS) transition, which introduced some cost increases from encryption support, licensing, and compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA); migrated most users to OneDrive for Business for their work files, which allowed them to access their work files from any machine which they were logged into; conducted several Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) initiatives including training staff to create accessible documents; worked with the Office of Communications to launch the new fairgrounds website; and developed a master plan for updating the telephone system and the telephone devices throughout the county.  He explained that they currently had about 1,800 digital phones with an average age of 18 years and which were no longer supported by the vendor.  He said that the department had developed a plan to begin replacing the phones, and he relayed that the GIS group had completed over 200 map and analysis requests; additionally, they added over 75 miles of new streets to the GIS system.  He stated that they worked with the Supervisor of Elections to improvement the security of their computer equipment, and provided website protection and failover for the 2018 elections.  He listed these efficiencies over the past year: developed a special needs call out application to reduce the time to call and verify the data of people on the special needs registry through the citizen’s information line; updated the KLB litter reporter application with the ability to report commercial litter issues; and developed several interactive mapping applications including dispatch support for EMS, a Lake County demographics map, a downtown Tavares government campus map; and a disc golf trails map.  He remarked that they continued to move websites and databases to the cloud and that they now had nine websites and ten databases hosted in the Microsoft cloud; furthermore, this improved the performance and reliability of these services and they could scale them up and down as needed.  He said that they moved the Supervisor of Elections website to the cloud for the 2018 primary and general elections and that this allowed them to avoid having to purchase high end servers and increase bandwidth during this time by modifying computing power on demand and only paying for what was being used down to the hour.  He displayed a benchmark with the IT cost per capita, which was the total cost of the IT Department divided by the county’s population, and he pointed out that Lake County was the lowest among several other counties at $9.20 per capita.  He displayed the proposed budget and noted that personal services had a minor increase of 0.7 percent for around $16,000.  He said that they were not requesting any new positions and that this increase was partially due to overtime for EMS support and for phone system upgrades.  He commented that operating expenses increased by about 28 percent or about $236,000 over the previous year, and this included the need for HIPAA security improvements such as file encryption; additionally, they were budgeting for offsite backups of critical data.  He elaborated that if the County Administration Building and the Emergency Communications and Operations Center (ECOC) were damaged or destroyed, they could lose all of their data.  He related that they also budgeted to begin replacing the 1,800 phones and that they needed to purchase networking and server monitoring tools to identify potential issues, as well as additional security software licenses.  He remarked that their capital outlay had been reduced by around 35 percent or approximately $35,000 and that their FY 2020 proposed budget was $3,370,735 in total expenditures, which was an increase of 6.9 percent or about $216,000 over FY 2019.  He added that the department was also fully funded by the General Fund.  He said that there were several unfunded needs including additional telephone replacements.  He specified that their original plan was to replace about 300 phones annually which would cost roughly $70,000 per year for six years.  He commented that their proposed budged would fund $55,000 of this, which would allow for the replacement of about 225 phones per year over eight years.  He listed ECOC laptops as another unfunded need and said that there were currently 125 laptops at the ECOC with around half of them being purchased in 2011 or 2012 with grant funding.  He felt that nine years of age was outdated for an emergency computer and suggested that their original plan was to replace twenty-five laptops per year over five years, which was their standard replacement cycle.  He stated that the proposed budget would allow them to replace about 11 laptops for $9,900 and that it would take 12 years to replace them all unless an additional $12,600 was provided to replace 25 laptops per year.  He said that the third unfunded item was for board chambers equipment which was no longer under warranty and he added that there was no maintenance contract in place; additionally, he said that $10,000 could be used on an as-needed basis if issues arose with equipment or if they needed to contact the vendor.  He mentioned that they had also identified some unfunded ADA initiatives in the amount of $140,000 for a total unfunded amount of $177,600.

Commr. Breeden asked if telephone replacements would occur next year, and Mr. Ross confirmed this and said that they had replaced phone systems but not the actual devices.

Commr. Sullivan recalled that the Supervisor of Elections received state funding for security and inquired if the County helped coordinate this.  He inquired if the County was paying for this when the Supervisor of Elections had their own budget.

Mr. Ross clarified that they had assisted the Supervisor of Elections with a risk analysis in the previous year and a recent penetration test from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).  He stated that activities in the previous year were funded by the Supervisor of Elections, though the IT Department was involved in maintaining their equipment.

Commr. Parks recalled the offsite backup and asked if this was a large part of the operational expense increase.

Mr. Ross replied that it was about $25,000 and would not involve all of the County’s data, though they would attempt to backup critical data to a third party location such as the Microsoft cloud.  He reiterated that the destruction of this campus could cause the data to be lost.

Commr. Breeden asked if this would include the library system data or if it was backed up separately.

Mr. George Taylor, Director for the Office of Library Services, remarked that it was backed up offsite through ByWater Solutions.

Commr. Campione brought up the issue of ADA compliance and relayed that she and Mr. Carey Baker, Lake County Property Appraiser, had spoken to Congressman Michael Waltz about how costly the issue had become and if there could be an administrative ruling from Washington, D.C. to create certainty in requirements and protection from lawsuits.  She elaborated that Congressman Waltz’s office asked if the County could provide them with background on the issue and that they said they would be interested to address this issue from the standpoint of seeking clarification for protection and reduced costs.

Mr. Cole stated that the impacts of the federal law were far reaching and staff was trying to balance the issues of cost relating to making certain documents ADA compliant with the County’s limitations.  He remarked that he could provide information to Congressman Waltz and seek his assistance in addressing it.

Commr. Sullivan suggested providing this to the three congressmen involved with Lake County, and Commissioner Breeden proposed also contacting the County’s lobbyists.

Commr. Campione expressed support for this and proposed navigating this in such a way that a law change would not be required. 

Commr. Breeden asked about the most critical unfunded need.

Mr. Cole stated that his direction to staff for preparing their budgets was to work toward status quo budgets, and he mentioned that they had achieved this in a number of areas and had reductions in others.  He related that there were some areas which had been underfunded previously and opined that with the pressure placed on the IT Department to safely and securely impact the County’s operations, the County needed to invest more funding.  He clarified that the IT Department’s budget originally included the unfunded needs and that he had asked Mr. Ross to reduce the budget to a more manageable amount to propose to the Board. 

Commr. Breeden thought that it was early to mandate including those items, but they should be held for consideration as the Board was informed of the total budget.

Mr. Cole stated that when Ms. Jennifer Barker, Director for the Office of Management and Budget, would present a summary of the budget presentations in June 2019, and looking forward to setting the proposed millage and budget in July 2019, staff could then review the total budget for the County and the Constitutional Officers to identify unfunded needs in the IT Department and other departments to present several funding options to the Board.

office of extension services

Ms. Megan Mann, Interim Director for the Office of Extension Services, said that her office represented an over 100 year cooperative partnership between the University of Florida’s (UF) Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) and the BCC.  She explained that the mission of UF/IFAS Lake County Extension was to provide unbiased, research based, and science backed educational programs in the areas of urban and commercial horticulture, agriculture, livestock production, natural resource management and protection, human nutrition and food safety, chronic disease prevention and management, financial management, and positive youth development known as 4-H.  She added that in Lake County, the Office of Extension Services was home to the Mobile Irrigation Lab (MIL), which was a cooperative project of the Lake Soil and Water Conservation District, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, and the BCC.  She commented that the MIL helped farmers recognize water savings by making improvements to their irrigation systems and had a positive impact on the conservation of Central Florida’s soil and water resources.  She remarked that her office had 16 FTEs and that six were extension agents.  She elaborated that extension agents were considered to be both County employees and employees of UF, who funded a significant percentage of their salaries.  She indicated that the MIL currently employed four FTEs whose salaries were fully grant funded.  She related that the six support staff included four administrative assistant positions, one of whom provided a 50 percent support to the MIL and that the salary and benefits associated with this person were also 50 percent grant funded.  She said that the additional two employees maintained the facilities and grounds of the UF/IFAS Lake County Extension Office, also known as the Lake County Agricultural Center, and provided maintenance and upkeep for the Discovery Gardens, which was a five acre botanical teaching garden located adjacent to her office.  She stated that Lake County provided services in five programmatic areas, and she mentioned that the urban horticulture program provided education focused on the care and management of home landscapes and gardens, with a focus on conserving water and protecting water quality.  She elaborated that Ms. Brooke Moffis, the office’s local horticulture agent, trained and managed a large team of master gardener volunteers who helped extend the reach of the office by serving as speakers at community events, consulting with citizens at their in-office and mobile plant clinics, and helping in Discovery Gardens.  She noted that in the past year, these volunteers donated over 8,000 hours, which was the equivalent of four full time employees at a value of approximately $190,000 dollars.  She commented that in 2018, over 1,700 citizens visited their plant clinics and were provided with research based solutions to their home landscape and garden concerns.  She related that over 1,000 Lake County residents attended the annual Landscape and Garden Fair and more than 3,000 visitors enjoyed an educational stroll through their Discovery Gardens.  She then explained that Ms. Juanita Popenoe, the office’s commercial fruit production agent, provided consultations and training for the commercial fruit industry in Central Florida which included citrus, blueberries, peaches, and other crops.  She elaborated that Ms. Popenoe oversaw $149,000 in grants which were related to improving fruit production in 2018, and also provided over 900 individual consultations and site visits.  She indicated that Ms. Popenoe’s fruit production workshops were attended by nearly 600 people in 2018 and her annual Farm Safety Day continued to be an important program that had an impact in mitigating farming related risks. She relayed that in 2018, Ms. Popenoe administered over 150 pesticide applicator exams and provided continuing education credits required by those applying chemicals professionally.  She said that the family and consumer sciences (FCS) program addressed a variety of issues related to health, disease prevention and management, and personal financial management.  She expressed that this year, Ms. Mia Wilchcombe, the office’s FCS agent, oversaw around $6,000 in grants which addressed chronic disease prevention in Lake County. She said that Ms. Wilchcombe’s classes were well attended with nearly 1,400 residents attending one or more programs; additionally, in this year she piloted a Master Nutrition Volunteer Program which was modeled after the University of Florida’s Master Gardener Program.  She said that Ms. Wilchcombe would be graduating her first class of trained volunteers at the end of this week.  She explained that Ms. Wilchcombe had partnered with her colleagues in livestock and 4-H to develop and implement a financial management program which aimed to develop healthy saving and spending habits for young people.  She remarked that the innovative programming efforts of the UF/IFAS Lake County FCS program had received attention and recognition at the national level, and several programs which started in Lake County were now being used as a model for similar educational programs in other states.  She stated that in addition to serving as the Interim Director, she also headed the livestock and natural resources program area for UF/IFAS Lake County Extension.  She said that this program area provided research based information related to all aspects of livestock and pasture production with a focus on helping farmers and ranchers to be more financially and environmentally sustainable.  She related that in 2018, she provided consultations and site visits for nearly 1,400 citizens and conducted workshops and classes for just over 2,000 farmers, ranchers, and 4-H youth.  She elaborated that in addition to her adult programming she had a 20 percent 4-H youth appointment and worked closely with youth in the livestock and horse programs.  She shared that Lake County was home to the largest 4-H horse program in the state and that in 2018, Lake County was home to both the State Champion Horse Judging and State Champion Hippology teams.  She remarked that their final program area was 4-H youth development and that through 4-H, youth learned to raise and show animals, complete community service projects, practice leadership, and engage in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) related learning. She felt that through these experiences, the youth developed life skills that would serve them into adulthood.  She commented that Ms. Dallas Daniels, the office’s 4-H Agent, received over $13,000 in grants and nearly $38,000 in monetary contributions which were used to support Lake County youth in 2018.  She added that Ms. Daniels grew the 4-H program through the addition of four new community based clubs, and more than doubled participation in the 4-H/Tropicana Public Speaking Contest, which was a public speaking competition for Lake County school children; additionally, participation at the office’s summer residential camp grew by around 30 percent in 2018.  She explained that the MIL provided irrigation evaluations which helped agricultural producers recognize water savings and that in 2018, the MIL performed 254 evaluations covering a total of 1,877 acres.  She elaborated that as a result of their work, approximately 43 million gallons of water were saved in 2018.  She said that the MIL was based out of Lake County and was able to expand their coverage area to include all counties which fell under the SJRWMD.  She commented that this program was 100 percent grant funded including salaries, benefits, equipment and vehicles, and it presented no cost to the county.  She discussed her office’s efficiencies, noting that the UF/IFAS Lake County Extension was recognized in 2018 at both the state and national levels for excellence in innovative programming and for teamwork.  She thought that these recognitions reflected the high quality of work being done in Lake County and were a testament to the creativity and innovation of their faculty members.  She relayed that they were also able to complete renovations to the Lake County Agricultural Center conference room by securing over $9,000 in funds from UF.  She specified that the upgrades made to the conference room would allow them to attend more meetings virtually, decrease the need for travel, and further enhance their efficiency. She stated that by reclassifying a vacant position, they were able to reduce the overall budget for extension services by $3,654.  She displayed benchmarks for her office and noted that extension offices statewide were funded through a partnership between county governments and UF and that these funding sources would be considered separately.  She mentioned that for county funds per capital, Lake County, had a cost of $1.57 per resident and that the County served populations at a lower cost when compared to those with a similar population size.  She said that for state and federal funds, there was a contribution of $2.39 per capita.  She commented that when compared to surrounding offices, Lake County had a smaller number of agents, but was very productive with the greatest number of field and office consultations per agent.  She displayed the proposed budget and expressed that they were able to reduce their FY 2020 budget by 0.5 percent resulting from a reorganization efficiency, which allowed them to increase their operating expenses by 12 percent while still recognizing an overall decrease in their budget.  She reiterated that the MIL continued to be 100 percent grant funded at $264,625 per year and that the FY 2020 proposed budget was $801,226 in total expenditures.

Commr. Breeden felt that the Office of Extension Services was a great value for the County and residents for its education and research information.

office of library services

Mr. George Taylor, Director for the Office of Library Services, displayed the Office of Library Services organizational chart and said that they had 45 FTEs, with 35 serving in the County branch libraries and offering direct public services to their patrons.  He added that 10 employees supported the branches and the library system cooperative, and he explained that the Lake County Library System provided materials, programs and services to all Lake County residents.  He elaborated that the system was comprised of fifteen libraries, with nine municipal libraries and six county branch libraries, which worked together through interlocal agreements with the County to ensure excellence in customer service and to leverage grant funding.  He highlighted these statistics for his office: over 124,000 registered library card holders in Lake County; nearly 2.5 million total checkouts in the past year; over 5,000 total programs with about 110,000 individuals attending them; approximately 1.5 million library visits; over 183,000 computer sessions; more than 133,000 wireless sessions where individuals connected a device to a library’s WiFi; over 42,000 technology instruction participants which included group presentations and group classes, as well as one-on-one technology instruction; and nearly 17,000 new library card sign ups over the past year.  He listed these accomplishments for the previous year: extended operating hours at Cooper Memorial Library by 16 hours per week, which allowed them to remain open until 5:00 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays and was accomplished with assistance from the City of Clermont; connected gig-speed fiber internet to the Astor Library; increased the Second Harvest from one to seven summer food locations, with this program allowing them to feed children and teens under the age of 18 with lunches and snacks for free Monday through Friday; and offered 12 Career Online High School scholarships.  He said that the office’s efficiencies included the following: increased same day delivery requested by patrons from 50 percent to 80 percent to help more individuals receive books faster; developed a system wide team to address database consistency and make it easier to search for materials; switched their e-magazine service to save the County money and offer more popular material; and staff added e-books to their catalog, which were previously found on another site.  He elaborated that they were able to implement a scripting program in-house to import the e-books into their catalog for a savings of approximately $20,000.  He announced that the Eustis Memorial Library was requesting to join the Lake County Library System on October 1, 2019, and he indicated that this would require a $15,000 County appropriation for FY 2020, an estimated $40,000 appropriation in FY 2021 and an estimated $95,000 appropriation in FY 2022.  He displayed FY 2017 benchmarks for his office including system budget per capita, noting that Lake County provided $25.57 per capita and was behind Orange and Volusia Counties; furthermore, he specified that of this total, the County provided $10.93 per capita and the nine member libraries collectively provided $14.64 per capita.  He stated that Lake County had five library visits per capita which nearly doubled the numbers from other counties.  He indicated that Lake County’s program attendance as a percent of the population was 52 percent, which was a large number when compared to other counties, and he relayed that the Lake County Library System generally offered 300 to 400 programs per month.  He displayed a chart with the proposed budget and noted that they had a small change in personal services due to several longstanding employees retiring or leaving, which let the office replace them at a lower rate.  He said that the operating expenses and capital outlay increased slightly due to the cost of databases and business, and the grants and aids increased by 1.6 percent from $959,290 to $974,290 which included the $15,000 appropriation for the Eustis Memorial Library.  He remarked that eighty-five percent of their funding came from the General Fund, eleven percent from miscellaneous revenues including fines, fees and computer printouts, and four percent came from state aid.  He indicated that the office’s proposed budget for FY 2020 was $4,627,000 in total expenditures.

Mr. Cole clarified that the net increase to the budget was $15,000 as part of an interlocal agreement with the City of Eustis and would be coming before the BCC.  He elaborated that this would involve bringing the Eustis Memorial Library into the Lake County Library System and giving them funding similar to other libraries in the system.  He said that this would continue to increase for the Eustis Memorial Library in FYs 2021 and 2022. 

Commr. Blake stated that Mr. Taylor had been great to work with and asked if the $95,000 would continue to increase after FY 2022.

Mr. Cole responded that the Board currently allocated close to $959,000 per fiscal year for the member libraries and that there was a $15,000 flat amount which was provided to each of them; additionally, the funding above that was based on their circulation.  He commented that in the first three years, the County would be incrementally increasing funding for the City of Eustis if the Board was amicable to this.  He added that after three years, it would be the Board’s discretion to increase the $959,000 to accommodate the funding for the Eustis Memorial Library, which he would recommend.  He explained that if this funding was absorbed within the current $959,000, then the other libraries would see a decrease in their funding.  He stated that staff was unaware of the total future amounts that the City of Eustis would receive due to it being based on circulation numbers for the current fiscal year.

Commr. Campione mentioned that the Eustis Memorial Library was the only library in Lake County which was not part of the County’s system.

Commr. Breeden said that the system was started in 1982 and the Eustis Memorial Library was initially part of the system, but withdrew in the late 1980s.  She thought that one of the reasons why their funding would start low was an inability to integrate their automation system with the County’s for a few years due to some existing contracts.

Mr. Cole said that Mr. Taylor deserved credit for this and had been working with the City of Eustis.  He also thanked Mr. Taylor for reaching out to the City of Groveland, which was the last municipality which was not contributing toward its library, and indicated the Groveland City Manager would be presenting an item to their board to address this.

agency for economic prosperity

Mr. Brandon Matulka, Executive Director for the Agency for Economic Prosperity, displayed the organizational chart for his agency and noted that they had 12.5 FTEs with an Executive Director, one office manager, one financial analyst, four FTEs in the Office of Elevate Lake, 3.5 FTEs in the Office of Visit Lake, and two FTEs in the Office of Fairgrounds & Events Center.  He stated that the mission of the Office of Elevate Lake was to retain, attract and grow jobs in Lake County, in partnership with others, while protecting and improving Lake County’s quality of life and unique character.  He said that the overview of the office was centered on its economic action plan which included these seven areas: ensure Lake County remains business friendly; promote cooperation and coordination between the County and municipalities; workforce development; business retention and expansion; support start-ups and entrepreneurs; business recruitment and attraction; and protecting and improving the quality of life of Lake County residents.  He mentioned accomplishments for the Office of Elevate Lake in FY 2018 including funding new equipment for Lake Technical College’s Center for Advanced Manufacturing and connecting them with several business partners.  He added that Lake County currently had 25 profiles with several companies on the Florida Virtual Entrepreneurship Center, which was offered through a contract that the County had with the Florida High Tech Corridor Council and was a regional entity with over 52 education, research and aerospace entities cooperating to improve the region’s technology companies and workforce.  He mentioned that at the beginning of FY 2018, Hurricane Irma came through the county and postponed Manufacturing Day, though the office was able to hold it in 2018 and assisted approximately 120 students from Lake Minneola High School, East Ridge High School, and Eustis High School to tour some local manufacturers.  He stated that for Manufacturing Month in October 2017 and 2018, the office conducted a social media campaign on each business day of the month to highlight manufacturing businesses, with student highlights added in October 2018.  He commented that the office hosted the Partners 4 Success event in March 2018 at the Clermont Arts and Recreation Center where students displayed their work for school; furthermore, they allowed students and teachers to present their work onstage to attendees.  He remarked that the office conducted several social media campaigns in the previous fiscal year such as ongoing small business highlights for Lake County businesses, a social media campaign around the Partners 4 Success event, and a monthly Made in Lake business highlight to feature businesses and manufacturing on the Made in Lake Website.  He related that they supported a workforce taskforce and continued to engage approximately 35 community education and business representatives in the county on a quarterly basis to discuss ongoing projects, partnership opportunities, and future goals and needs, to positively impact the development of a strong workforce.  He relayed that projects which resulted from this included a school finder application which was positively received and would be available soon, along with the facilitation of a healthcare roundtable with education partners such as Lake-Sumter State College and Lake Technical College.  He listed these contractual relationships for the office: the Orlando Economic Partnership for marketing Lake County regionally and for obtaining data, though funding for recruitment and attraction was brought in house; the business opportunities centers which was a partnership with the small business development centers (SBDCs) that provided business consultation, training and seminars.  He indicated that there were three separate locations for the business opportunity centers in northwest, northeast and south Lake County; additionally, the SBDCs in the previous fiscal year provided roughly 1,700 hours of mentoring and services to about 260 distinct clients.  He listed these efficiencies for the Office of Elevate Lake in the past fiscal year: moved the office to the old welcome center in the Florida Commerce Park which included rolling out some new branding, adjusting their office procedures, and reassigning tasks; and hired Ms. Tracy Garcia to serve as the new Director to assist in streamlining the process of expansion, recruitment and retention.  He showed benchmarks for the office’s FY 2018 total budget, number of businesses, and budget allocation per business, noting that their total budget was at $1,172,737 which was second lowest above Sumter County when compared to benchmarked counties; however, he felt that Lake County was in the correct range when considering its size.  He said that for the number of business, Lake County was at 8,247 which was comparable to Marion County and just ahead of Osceola County.  He stated that Lake County was at $142 for budget allocation per business which he felt was in line with its counterparts of Marion, Orange and Seminole Counties.  He showed the office’s proposed budget and stated that there was little change in personal services, while the largest percentage change was in operating expenses and grants and aids. He explained that this was due to some internal pieces such as reallocating the Wolf Branch Innovation District consulting from operating expenses to grants and aids, and they had budgeted for continuing or potential consulting for Wellness Way and the Wolf Branch Innovation District.  He commented that the proposed FY 2020 budget was a 0.3 percent reduction from the previous year for a total of $1,111,830 in total expenditures. 

Mr. Matulka then presented information for the Office of Visit Lake.  He said that the office’s mission was to promote travel, drive visitation and generate hotel room nights in Lake County for the purpose of facilitating ongoing economic benefits for Lake County residents, the business community, and its 14 municipalities.  He stated that they had a marketing and advertising agreement with Akers Media and the Watauga Group which served as the County’s tourism advertising and marketing agency.  He showed some advertisements produced by these entities and noted that the Office of Communications also provided creative resources and marketing deliverables for the office.  He indicated that in the previous fiscal year, they sponsored 114 events with a total funding of $767,830 with a total of economic impact of about $88.5 million.  He relayed that they funded 20 co-op marketing campaigns for a total awarded amount of $66,124 and that the office was given the following awards: the State Public Relations (PR)/Media Campaign Award from the Florida Festival and Events Association (FFEA) for the zero wait time campaign; the Convention South Meeting Planning Award for being one of the best meeting sites in the south; and the Regional Business Partner Award associated with the Education Foundation and was for ongoing and creative support of the Lady of the Lakes Renaissance Faire, which generated proceeds for the Educational Foundation of Lake County.  He related that they launched a successful new partnership initiative promoting the LakeBigBass brand with Trophy Catch, which was run by the FWC, who allowed the County to co-brand and cross promote their websites using pictures submitted by individuals catching fish in Lake County to be used in a digital marketing campaign between the two offices.  He remarked that the office also launched their partner portal which was established in response to stakeholder needs communicated through conversations with local event organizers, meeting planners and hoteliers.  He elaborated that the tool provided valuable content such as marketing, advertising and promotions, along with easy access to sponsorship applications, Tourist Development Council (TDC) presentations, a calendar of events, and the ability for partners to manage listings and submit travel deals.  He stated that for capital projects, the office held the groundbreaking for the Hickory Point Beach Athletics Center in the past year, which was the largest complex of its kind in the state and the second largest in the United States.  He specified that the facility had been completed in the current year and that they held the ribbon cutting ceremony in February 2019.  He also listed these other projects in the past fiscal year: disc golf trail constructions with the City of Clermont and the City of Mount Dora locations being completed; the grand opening of Victory Pointe in the City of Clermont, which received capital funding from the TDC; completion of the Astor Boat Ramp project; and the grant program for advertising and marketing assistance where the office and Akers Media assisted tourism businesses which were affected by Hurricane Irma.  He described these events which were hosted in the past fiscal year: Bass Pro Shop’s Big Bass Tour; Fishing League Worldwide (FLW) Tour; National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division III (DIII) Women’s Golf National Championship; National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Softball World Series; Fondo Cycling Circuit USA; and the 2018 American Volleyball Coaches Association Small College Beach National Championship, which came back in the previous weekend with additional teams and yielded great reviews for the new Hickory Point Beach Athletics Center.

Commr. Sullivan noted that this volleyball event included 20 teams with 12 being from out of state and the remainder being from out of the county.  He said that he attended the opening meeting and that many of the coaches expressed positive feedback about the facility and an interest in returning often.

Mr. Matulka listed these efficiencies for the Office of Visit Lake: provided more flexibility and additional options for tourism sponsorships through an updated funding process and application, including a post-event checklist third party authorization form; worked closely with municipalities for events, promotions and capital projects such as the Lake County Disc Golf Trail and fishing tournaments; and launched the new partner portal.  He displayed benchmarks for fiscal year 2018 tourist development tax (TDT) revenue and TDT tax rate, commenting that Lake County collected about $3.9 million in TDT revenue which was a seven percent increase over the previous fiscal year.  He thought that this projected favorably when compared to Marion and Sumter Counties and he indicated that Lake and Marion Counties had a four percent TDT tax rate; furthermore, Orange, Osceola and Volusia Counties each utilized a rate of six percent, while Polk and Seminole Counties used five percent and Sumter County only collected two percent.  He displayed the office’s proposed budget and noted minor changes in personal services and operating expenses.  He said that out of personal service, the office also paid some positions in the Office of Communications for their work for the Office of Visit Lake, and the most significant reduction was associated with capital projects spending.  He specified that the approximate $132,000 change in grants and aids could be attributed to the completion of a few of the disc golf courses, but the office added back in the Legends Way Ballfields scoreboard replacement which was a recently approved capital project.  He said that the total expenditures decreased roughly 32 percent for a total proposed budget of $8,485,062. 

Mr. Matulka presented the overview of the Office of Fairgrounds and Events Center, indicating that this office was the venue for the annual Lake County Fair and weekly Farmers’ and Flea Market; additionally, it also hosted various private and public events throughout the year.  He listed these events which had been held at the site: the 97th Annual Lake County Fair; Vintage Motorcycle Swap Meet; concerts and private parties; gun shows; and dog shows.  He relayed that about 30 acres and roughly 50,000 square feet of indoor and covered building space were available for public events.  He said that in FY 2018, the site hosted 19 public and private events, and averaged about 277 rented spaces for each Farmer’s Market day, though this had decreased from the previous year due to adverse weather.  He mentioned a recent agreement with the Lake County Fair Association which included a conceptual master plan and designated areas where the Lake County Animal Shelter and the fairgrounds would be located on a new site.  He expressed that the office was working with the Fair Association toward a more in-depth conceptual or layout plan which would show specific facility needs and where they could be located on the potential site.  He said that they also hosted the Deliver the Difference and Remote Area Medical health, vision, and dental clinic which provided free care to 349 Lake County residents and had 272 volunteers with a total care value of $125,286.  He mentioned that the online reservation system was now live and was a fully online market and event reservation system where customers could pay online for market space or facility rentals, along with view real time map and event schedules; furthermore, this had greatly improved the efficiency for reporting and reconciliation.  He showed the Office of Fairgrounds and Events proposed budget and remarked that it was status quo with a 0.4 percent reduction for a total of $287,135 in total expenditures for FY 2020.

Commr. Breeden asked if the fairgrounds master plan would be coming before the Board.

Mr. Cole Scharlau, Director for the Office of Fairgrounds and Events Center, replied that they were currently waiting on a topographical survey which would be given to Knight Engineering, who would then assist with the concept so that the Fair Association could begin pursuing grants for the buildings.

Commr. Breeden also inquired if the medical event would be returning.

Mr. Scharlau responded that it was supposed to have occurred in the current fiscal year, though the founder of the medical clinic had passed away and the event had been cancelled; however, there were plans to bring it back in 2020.  He thought that another donation may be requested from the BCC and he opined that it was a great event.

Mr. Matulka showed the overall proposed budget for the Agency for Economic Prosperity and noted that none of the categories had significant changes.  He said that none of the offices had significant changes and that the reductions in the capital outlay and reserves were associated with capital projects.  He noted that the total FY 2020 proposed budget for the agency was $9,884,027 in total expenditures.

appointment to the planning and zoning boARd

Commr. Blake said that Mr. Cori Todd was the operator and owner of AlexCor, Inc. in the City of Leebsurg and was a longtime businessperson.  He thought that Mr. Todd would be a great addition to the Planning and Zoning Board.

On a motion by Commr. Blake, seconded by Commr. Sullivan and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the appointment of Mr. Cori Todd as the District 5 representative to the Planning and Zoning Board.


county manager

hurricane irma reumbursement update

Mr. Cole said that the County was continuing to await a reimbursement of nearly $7.8 million from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for its share of county expenses related to Hurricane Irma in September 2017.  He indicated that FEMA had released this funding to the State of Florida for the state to then disburse; however, the state hired a contractor to perform a final analysis and the County was now undergoing a process with the state which was similar to a previous 1.5 year process with FEMA.  He added that FEMA had already approved and funded these claims.  He relayed that he asked the County’s state lobbyists for their assistance and he recommended that the Board send a letter to the Governor seeking his assistance in getting the process finalized so that federal funds could be released by the State to the County.  He said that he would include a letter on the May 7, 2019 BCC meeting agenda for the Board’s consideration.

Commr. Campione asked if the funding had shifted from Washington, D.C. to the City of Tallahassee.

Mr. Cole confirmed this and said that it was approved for Lake County.  He recalled that the County had spent about $10 million and had to undergo an intensive process to get the $7.8 million reimbursement approved and verified, and he felt that they had done this.

Commr. Breeden inquired if this was happening to all counties, and Mr. Cole said that it was happening to more counties than just Lake County. 

starting time for may 7, 2019 bcc meeting

Mr. Cole indicated that the May 7, 2019 BCC meeting would begin at 10:00 a.m. instead of 9:00 a.m. to allow the Board to attend an annual law enforcement memorial in front of the Lake County Historic Courthouse.

commissioners reports

commissioner sullivan – district 1

tdc capital funding projects

Commr. Sullivan commented that the Tourist Development Council recently met and approved two capital projects from the Cities of Clermont and Leesburg that would come before the BCC.  He opined that there had been a thorough vetting process and he thanked staff for their efforts in ensuring that the TDC’s funds would be spent appropriately. 

commissioner parks – district 2

south lake chamber of commerce annual business awards

Commr. Parks expressed that the South Lake Chamber of Commerce did a great job recently at their annual business awards, that multiple Commissioners were present, and that it was a well-attended event.

wellness way boulevard resolution

Commr. Parks related that at the May 7, 2019 BCC meeting, he hoped that there would be a resolution on the agenda which would clarify how Wellness Way Boulevard would be funded.  He recalled that the Board was committed to having the road be developer driven instead of using tax dollars, and he thought that a resolution could accomplish this.  He thanked staff for working with Dr. Richard Levey, along with Mr. Schneider and the City of Clermont.

affordable housing advisory committee tiny homes ordinance

Commr. Parks said that the Affordable Housing Advisory Committee was examining a tiny homes ordinance and some changes which would need to be made to the code to enable tiny homes projects.  He added that the committee was also vetting a registry for foreclosed homes, funding for code enforcement, and impact fee waivers for affordable housing projects.

emergency crisis homeless shelter

Commr. Parks commented that he had been asked to join the Salvation Army Board and that he had attended a meeting two weeks prior.  He relayed that they discussed an emergency crisis homeless shelter and how this could be accomplished in Lake County.  He said that he suggested the possibility of the County and the cities partnering with the Salvation Army Board to create a facility that individuals in the county could use, but that it would be operated by the Salvation Army in perpetuity.  He felt that this would be a great idea as a public/private partnership, with the cities’ support, in conjunction with affordable housing funding designated to finding and preparing a location for the shelter.  He thought that this was a significant project and that the BCC could workshop it separately.

Mr. Cole thought that a workshop would be appropriate to discuss homelessness and affordable housing, and he relayed that he was currently working with staff to determine timing and a format to be brought back to the Board.

Commr. Campione expressed support for a workshop and for potentially partnering with the Salvation Army.  She thought that before entering into a partnership, the County should both determine its role and what types of shelter would fit the circumstances.

Commr. Parks indicated an interest in conducting the workshop during summer 2019.

Commr. Breeden asked if the Board would want to invite cities to send representatives to the workshop.

Commr. Campione proposed a preliminary workshop for the Board to discuss the topic, and where they could later bring in more stakeholders. 

Commr. Parks expressed interest in bringing the cities in at some point so that the County could potentially enter an agreement with them for financial contributions for the shelter.  He said that some of the larger cities were interested in this idea and they understood that there would be a long term fiscal commitment.

Mr. Cole remarked that it would be helpful for staff to understand the Board’s vision and which pieces that they wanted staff to focus on. 

Commr. Parks noted that an emergency crisis center would be different than affordable housing for veterans and the elderly.  He suggested considering these needs as well.

Commr. Campione felt that the Board would have to consider different categories and that for the emergency crisis center, there would be different types of individuals utilizing it such as chronic homeless or residents attempting to transition into permanent housing.  She said that the shelter could also be a tool for law enforcement to use to address issues such as vagrancy.  She did not think that a transient center should necessarily be in the same location as that which would be used for helping individuals to be moved into transitional housing. 

Commr. Breeden stated that if there was interest in a partnership from a responsible party such as the Salvation Army, then this could be the item to begin with.

Commr. Campione clarified that they would be focusing more on a crisis center rather than bridge housing, though it could be considered as part of a larger whole. 

Commr. Parks relayed his understanding that the Salvation Army was aware of this and would not have senior housing or another targeted group as part of a crisis center.  He said that they could be invited to participate in a BCC workshop.

Commr. Breeden opined that this issue could not be workshopped in a vacuum and that the BCC would require partners.

law enforcement softball tournament

Commr. Parks commented that at 6:30 p.m. on May 4, 2019 at the Minneola Athletic Complex, there would be a softball tournament between the Lake County Sheriff’s Office (LCSO) and the Clermont Police Department for the Commissioner’s Cup.  He said that they would be raising funds for the family of Officer Herbert Cole from the LCSO, who was killed in December 2018.

commissioner breeden – vice chairman and district 3

lake county sheriff’s office barbecue

Commr. Breeden stated that LCSO would be having a barbecue around noon on April 25, 2019 in front of the Lake County Historic Courthouse.  She added that it would be a fundraiser event.

leesburg bikefest

Commr. Breeden mentioned that the Leesburg BikeFest would be occurring this weekend.  She urged residents to drive carefully and said that she would be volunteering for Leadership Lake County and the Leesburg Chamber of Commerce.

riding bus route

Commr. Breeden commented that she would follow up on a pledge and ride a bus route in the following week. 


city of umatilla heritage festival

Commr. Blake said that on Saturday, April 20, 2019, he visited the south side of the City of Umatilla for their heritage festival.  He stated that the BCC had been working with a coalition of pastors who were focused on revitalizing their community.  He noted that there were different areas where infrastructure was being worked on and that residents were appreciative of the County’s efforts.

commissioner campione – CHAIRMAN AND district 4

medmen medical marijuana facilty community meeting

Commr. Campione remarked that she recently attended a community meeting about the MedMen medical marijuana facility.  She said that she was able to connect with Senator Dennis Baxley and that they had a great conversation.  She elaborated that an idea was to contact Ms. Nikki Fried, Florida Commissioner of Agriculture, who was a proponent of medical marijuana.  She felt that the processing of marijuana was impacting adjoining residential communities in agricultural areas and she expressed a hope that Ms. Fried could conduct a site visit at the Medmen facility which could lead to uniform state regulations for items such as buffers and night sky lighting.  She said that Senator Baxley was supportive of Lake County examining whether they should amend their noise ordinance and utilize the local zoning code to bifurcate how agricultural uses are treated when compared to processing agricultural goods.  She indicated an intent to work with staff to develop possible amendments to the County’s noise ordinance and to bring back concepts for Land Development Regulation (LDR) changes which could help with this facility or others in the future.  She said that she received correspondence from the facility indicating that they pledged to internalize their processes by constructing a new facility at the property and ceasing to use outdoor dehumidifiers.  She opined that this could address the noise issue, but would not fix the lighting issue for adjoining property owners nor the transportation and traffic issue; however, she hoped that some of these items could be mitigated. 

keep lake beautiful liaison and wildflower issue

Commr. Campione said that KLB had a recent meeting and that Ms. Lavon Silvernell would be KLB’s liaison to the Lake County Public Works Department to develop a better system for designating areas where wildflowers were growing or seeding, along with helping engage volunteers.  She said that they would discuss this item with mowers to find the best way to inform them of where and when not to mow. 

round lake road pd&e study

Commr. Campione commented that in May 2019 there would be a presentation on the Project Development and Environment (PD&E) study for the Round Lake Road extension, and she asked if staff could examine a no build option.  She relayed that she had received emails about this and felt that there should be an overview of the characteristics of a no build option and how it would affect other north-south connector roads.  She opined that if the no build option was used, then improvements and changes to other routes would be necessary. 

pardons for groveland four

Commr. Campione relayed that the County received the pardons for the Groveland Four from the State, and she intended to present them to the Lake County Historical Society to keep at the Lake County Historical Museum in perpetuity. 

Commr. Breeden asked if the families of the Groveland Four also received them.

Commr. Campione noted that they were also in contact with the Governor’s Office and that these copies were issued to Lake County.

groveland four monument

Commr. Campione displayed two images for possible Groveland Four monuments and said that the proposed verbiage was formulated in conjunction with the authors Mr. Gary Corsair and Mr. Gilbert King.  She observed that a significant amount of verbiage would be displayed on the monument, though the purpose was to tell the story comprehensively without having to visit a museum or other location; additionally, the last paragraph would describe why the community felt that it was important to display the monument for present individuals and future generations and communicate that today, the county would not stand for these events.  She stated that they wanted to ensure that residents knew that the County believed in fairness, compassion and equal protection under the law for all residents.  She requested input for the two potential monuments and she pointed out that the next step would be to present the selected monument to the Groveland Four family members to obtain their feedback and approval. 

Commr. Breeden said that she appreciated this effort and proposed the possibility of an etching of the Groveland Four on the monument. 

Commr. Parks inquired how this would fit with another Groveland Four exhibit which would be brought to the Lake County Historical Museum.

Commr. Breeden thought that the monument would be separate because it would be available at all times.  She also thought that both proposed monuments looked great.

Commr. Campione stated that they could ask the family members about how they would feel about an etching, and she expressed a preference to create a composite of individual pictures of the Groveland Four. 

Commr. Parks indicated support for the first monument sample and commented that his concern about reaching out to the families had been addressed.

Commr. Campione noted that the feedback received from the families was welcoming, though they wanted to see the monument verbiage and how it would be displayed.  She said that the monument could change if the families had input, and she felt that they would be pleased with it because it gave the full context and was sensitive to the issue.

Commr. Breeden also indicated support for the first sample and opined that it felt warmer than the second.

Commr. Blake expressed a preference for the second sample and related that he preferred this more vertical version and found it to be more solemn.

Commr. Sullivan agreed with Commissioner Blake and expressed that he wanted the monument to be as visible and easy to read as possible due to the quantity of verbiage.  He thought that it was great to receive the families’ input, and he felt that it was important to place the monument in front of the Lake County Historic Courthouse in an accessible way with comprehensive verbiage.

Commr. Breeden thought that sample two should be placed closer to the sidewalk to benefit individuals with limited mobility. 

Commr. Campione suggested adding a comma followed by “and the incarceration of Mr. Irvin and Mr. Greenlee” for the last sentence of the first paragraph which only mentioned the deaths of Mr. Earnest Thomas and Mr. Samuel Shepherd.

Commr. Breeden agreed that this would be a good addition.

Mr. Cole indicated that the only other change was to an oversight noticed by Commissioner Breeden involving punctuation in the first line.

Commr. Campione indicated a preference for the second monument sample and agreed with Commissioner Blake’s thoughts.

Commr. Parks thought that both samples were agreeable and requested to check with the families.

Commr. Campione said that they could also ask about the etchings.

Mr. Cole explained that the other part of the process once approval was obtained from the families was to perform an RFP for the creation and installation of the monument.  He relayed his understanding that there was a consensus for the second sample, for staff to consider the possibility of etchings relating to the Groveland Four’s images, for support of the verbiage as written with the noted changes, and for the location being on the left side of the walkway in front of the Lake County Historic Courthouse and closer to the sidewalk.

Commr. Campione mentioned that staff would be given authority to correct any minor scrivener’s errors.

Commr. Parks asked if basic landscaping would be installed around the monument, and Mr. Cole confirmed this and added that there would also be a dedication event.


There being no further business to be brought to the attention of the Board, the meeting was adjourned at 1:00 p.m.








leslie campione, chairman