May 7, 2019

The Lake County Board of County Commissioners met in regular session on Tuesday, May 7, 2019 at 10:00 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; Sean Parks; and Josh Blake. Commissioner not present: Timothy I. Sullivan.  Others present were:  Jeff Cole, County Manager; Melanie Marsh, County Attorney; Niki Booth, Executive Office Manager, County Manager’s Office; Gary J. Cooney, Clerk of the Circuit Court and Comptroller; Kristy Mullane, Chief Financial Officer; and Kathleen Bregel, Deputy Clerk.

INVOCATION and pledge

Pastor Mario Bolivar with First Presbyterian Church of Eustis gave the Invocation and led the Pledge of Allegiance.

Agenda update

Mr. Jeff Cole, County Manager, asked for the employee awards section of the meeting to be removed and relayed that it would be rescheduled for another Board of County Commissioners (BCC) meeting.

Commr. Parks introduced Mr. Justin Kraus, with Congressman Michael Waltz’s office, and shared that he would be Lake County’s liaison while the Congressman was representing the County in Washington, D.C.

Minutes approval

On a motion by Commr. Blake, seconded by Commr. Breeden, and carried unanimously by a 4-0 vote, the Board approved the minutes for the BCC meeting of March 12, 2019 (Regular Meeting) as presented.

citizen question and comment period

Mr. Michael Watkins, a citizen from the City of Tavares, shared his experience with attending the Lake County Historical Society’s annual meeting and said that he was concerned with the way they changed their bylaws without public input; additionally, he felt that those in leadership were not being sensitive to the African-Americans within the community, especially in regards to the decision to bring the Confederate General Edmund Kirby Smith statue to the Lake County Historical Museum. 

Ms. Mae Hazelton, a resident from the City of Eustis, asked if the County Commissioners would still support the Confederate General Edmund Kirby Smith statue coming to the Lake County Historical Museum as they did when the issue was first considered.

Mr. Vance Jochim, a concerned Lake County citizen, relayed that he wanted the BCC to consider these taxpayer advocate issues: the timeliness of approving BCC meeting minutes; the need for a consolidated, standardized, web development platform for the various County websites as he expressed concerns with Tab 12 on the agenda; the desire for financial and budget information to be available for public review prior to BCC meetings; and the need for a workshop on the maintenance of roads when cities annex properties on either side of a road.

Commr. Parks explained that the BCC meetings could be viewed live on the County website with continued access to them.

Mr. Cole relayed the following information to help address some of Mr. Jochim’s concerns: that BCC meeting agendas were finalized several weeks prior to the actual meeting and that was the reason it took time to get minutes placed on an agenda; that the purpose for Tab 12 was to have available document remediation services for the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in order for the County to have access in regards to any documents that might need to be converted; that draft presentations were not uploaded prior to meetings due to possible changes that might be made; that the various office budget presentations currently being presented at the BCC meetings were for the purpose of showing accomplishments and draft budgets for each of those units of the organization;  and that Ms. Jennifer Barker, Director for the Office of Management and Budget, would be presenting a detailed budget summary in June 2019 prior to the setting of the tentative millage rate in July 2019.

Ms. Nancy Hurlbert, a resident of Harbor Shores, opined that the Lake County Historical Society’s application for membership seemed to have become a partisan issue, that the society appeared to not be open to diversity, that their bylaws were altered without a member vote, and that the Lake County Historical Society annual meeting was not properly conducted.

Commr. Campione remarked that she had attended the Lake County Historical Society annual meeting and opined that the meeting was too disruptive to get business accomplished.  She said that the current bylaws allowed for two means of amendments, with one being through the Board of Directors and the other through the membership.  She felt that the society followed those rules when they altered their bylaws, noting that the two year requirement was only for the president and vice-president positions for the purpose of continuity in knowledge of the organization.  She explained that the society started out as a small organization and did not necessarily need the same processes as a larger organization; furthermore, she relayed that the processes were improving and that she hoped that if the meetings could become orderly, real discussions and business could be accomplished. 

Ms. Andrea Litton, a citizen from the City of Mount Dora, shared her disappointment with the Confederate General Edmund Kirby Smith statue coming to Lake County and offered these possible solutions for the BCC to consider: to forbid any confederate statues to be displayed in any County buildings or on their property; to not allow the statue to be displayed in the museum; and to not renew the lease of the building to the Lake County Historical Museum.

presentation of proclamation 2019-16

Commr. Campione read and presented Proclamation 2019-16, designating May 19-25, 2019 as National Emergency Medical Services Week, to several emergency medical services team members.  She thanked them for their hard work and relayed the County’s appreciation for what they do, for how integral they are to the community, for going the extra mile to be trained and prepared, and for having a great attitude when working with the citizens of Lake County, noting that they often receive compliments regarding their services from those they assist.

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 4-0 vote, the Board approved the Clerk of the Circuit Court and Comptroller’s Consent Agenda, Items 1 and 2, as follows:

List of Warrants

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

Southwest Florida Water Management District’s CAFR

Request to acknowledge receipt of the Southwest Florida Water Management District’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2018, and the Fiscal Year 2018 Annual Financial Report which was filed with the Department of Financial Services, Bureau of Local Government on March 26, 2019.

presentation of the comprehensive annual financial report

Mr. Gary J. Cooney, Clerk of the Circuit Court and Comptroller, thanked the Clerk’s Office staff who assisted in preparing the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) and recognized the following employees who had worked on the project as follows: Ms. Kristy Mullane, Chief Financial Officer; Ms. JoAnne Drury, Accounting Director; Mr. Kevin McDonald, Budget Director; Ms. Tracy Zeller; Ms. Julia Wilson; Ms. Cyndi Richardson; Ms. Connie Rodgers; Ms. Merrilyn DiVenanzo; Ms. Lisa Yanco; Ms. April Allman; and Ms. Kathleen Bregel.  He also thanked Ms. Magda Zapata, Ms. Cierra Danko, and Ms. Dianna Magrum from the County staff for their assistance with the design and printing of the CAFR as well as the Citizens’ Annual Financial Report, which is the public version of the CAFR and also known as the Popular Annual Financial Report (PAFR).  He reported that the previous year, the Lake County CAFR had received the Certificate of Achievement Award for the 37th year in a row, and that this report would potentially be the 38th year to receive this award; additionally, he relayed that the PAFR had also received the Award for Outstanding Achievement in Popular Annual Financial Reporting every year since the report had been prepared.  He then introduced the external auditor, Mr. William Blend, Shareholder with Moore Stephens Lovelace (MSL) CPAs & Advisors, who presented the report.

Mr. Blend presented the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report for Fiscal Year (FY) ended September 30, 2018, and stated that he would go through the required communications under audit standards and would present a high level overview of the financial information.  He remarked that while this document was over 150 pages and time would not allow for him to present everything, he was always available for any questions that County staff or the Commissioners might have.  He then went over required communications, and said that MSL had performed their services in accordance with the appropriate audit standards which included the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) standards, government audit standards, and rules of the Auditor General.  He remarked that management had met their responsibility to provide information in a timely and accurate manner to MSL.  He clarified that while MSL did evaluate internal controls of the County for the purposes of planning the audit and did report on them in accordance with government audit standards, they were not auditing internal controls.  He stated there were not significant matters beyond those that would be formally reported.  He remarked that management did provide them with the appropriate management representation letter, which identified the fact that they provided information and gave MSL support throughout the audit.  He said that Ms. Mullane was the assigned individual to oversee their services to the County and he thanked everyone for their support of the process.  He mentioned that the last required communications was the audit schedule which included being present today to report.  He explained that the main significant item that occurred during the audit was the implementation of Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) 75, which he relayed was similar to the standard that occurred two to three years prior relating to pensions, and was for the purpose of having the Other Postemployment Benefits (OPEB) liability reported in the financial statements on the full accrual level; furthermore, he said this ultimately resulted in a restatement of a $13 million negative impact to the equity section of the County’s financial statement.  He then shared deliverables, noting that the main deliverable was the Independent Auditor’s Report on pages 13 and 14 of the document, which was the auditor’s report on the financial statement in the CAFR, and he reported that information was accurate.  He said that in regards to the report on compliance with each major fund, the County was required to do a federal and state single audit in addition to the government audit standards, and that MSL had performed those services in accordance with the uniform guidance as well as the Florida Statutes related to single audits; furthermore, the report had no findings.  He explained that MSL did not audit every County program but utilized a formula base in accordance with the standards to identify what was deemed to be major programs and therefore audited, noting that the specific programs that were audited were listed on page 218.  He said they evaluated and reported on internal controls, and that there were no significant issues, deficiencies or material weaknesses to report.  He commented that the management letter was required by the Florida Statutes via the Auditor General’s office, and that there was one item that MSL had addressed in prior years which related to the County’s financial condition.  He stated that for their evaluation, they were provided with a format for evaluation of financial condition by the Auditor General’s Office as a calculation of various items on the County’s financial statements and MSL evaluated it; unfortunately, he noted that a majority of the items reviewed came out negative with the largest issue being the fund balance in the General Fund.  He indicated that the County decreased from about $15 million to $7 million with Hurricane Irma expenditures being a significant outlay.  He added that the County was also below their goal of having seven to twelve percent of an unassigned fund balance.  He remarked that the final item they were required to report was the Independent Accountant’s Report as it related to compliance with the Florida Statute on the County’s investment policy, noting that MSL procedures determined that the County was in compliance with that standard.  He then asked if there were any questions regarding the deliverables or required communications.

Mr. Cole specified that Mr. Blend was correct in regards to the fund balance and relayed that under Tab 26 of today’s agenda, he would be providing an update on the $7.8 million that was outstanding from the Federal Government to Lake County which he believed would resolve the fund balance concern.

Mr. Blend noted that the Management Discussion and Analysis at the beginning of the CAFR document was informative, provided comparative year-over-year data, and had additional information that was not found in the financial statements.  He then displayed a chart of the government-wide analysis which showed certain items such as current assets over current liabilities, total assets and deferred outflows, and total liabilities and deferred inflows, noting that this was the government accounting standards attempt to present government information similar to a business type report.  He reported that current ratios were solid from a business perspective, and that in the equity section, the major portion was investment in capital assets such as the infrastructure, buildings and other County assets which was consistent year-over-year.  He relayed that the unrestricted equity section was a negative amount, noting that over the years that was a result of the implementation of the two standards which he had previously discussed regarding pensions and OPEB.  He remarked that the unrestricted net position as a percentage of total expenses was a negative amount; however, he said that was not uncommon in a government environment.  He then showed a chart of the General Fund and commented that assets were well in excess of liabilities.  He reiterated that the unassigned fund balance was $6.9 million, which was about 4.6 percent of the total expenditures and transfers out, with a net change for this year of a negative $7.7 million.  He said that in regards to the budget to actual numbers, the County came in over what was budgeted for revenues and also slightly under what was budgeted in expenditures and transfers.  He opined that the County held the line on the budget of expenditures and saw an improvement in the revenue side; additionally, he said that the County budgeted a negative $11.8 million but came in at only a negative $7.7 so from a budgetary perspective, he felt that the County was in line with what they expected.  He then showed a proprietary funds slide, which he said were intended to be self-operating, and noted that they were slightly in the negative overall but not as large of a deficit as the governmental funds.    

Mr. Cooney thanked Mr. Blend and his staff for the great job they performed on this process, and commented that the complete CAFR and PAFR would be available on the Lake County Clerk of the Court and Comptroller’s website later that afternoon.

On a motion by Commr. Breeden, seconded by Commr. Blake and carried unanimously by a vote of 4-0, the Board approved the acceptance of the County’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report for the fiscal year ended September 30, 2018 as presented.


On a motion by Commr. Breeden, seconded by Commr. Blake and carried unanimously by a vote of 4-0, the Board approved the Consent Agenda, Tabs 5 through 24, as follows:


Request approval of Proclamation 2019-56 designating June 2019 as Tobacco-Free Parks Month. There is no fiscal impact.


Request approval of an agreement with Harbor Hills Homeowners’ Association, Inc. for traffic law enforcement on private roads. There is no fiscal impact. Commission District 5.

Request approval of Resolution 2019-57 authorizing the release of the automatic statutory reservation of petroleum and mineral rights under Section 270.11, Florida Statutes, for two properties located in the Lake County Central Park in Groveland, which were previously owned by Lake County.  There is no fiscal impact.  Commission District 2.

Request approval for the County Attorney, or designee, to execute the Stipulated Final Judgment in Court Case No. 2017-CA-1624, Lake County vs. Mary Elizabeth McAbee, et al. (Parcel Number: FP-20) for needed right of way on the CR 466A Road Project, Phase 3A. The fiscal impact is $35,133.00 (expenditure - Total Settlement of $71,533.00 less $36,400.00, which was previously deposited with the Court per the Stipulated Order of Taking). Commission District 5.

Request approval to:

1. Accept the following properties acquired through Escheatment Tax Deeds and surplus for the purpose of disposal: Alternate Keys 1127513, 1336864, 1337933, 1341191, 1415268, 1416566, 1416710, 1643163, 1722454, 2537647, 2580984, 2581034, 2666820, 2689633, 2812206, and 3784496.
2. Accept an Offer to Purchase on Alternate Key 1319315 and authorization for the Chairman to execute any necessary closing documents. 

The fiscal impact is $1,800.00 (revenue).


Procurement Services

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


Request approval of sponsorship funding associated with the Greater Orlando Sports Commission (GO Sports) bids for the 2020 Bassmaster Team Championship and the 2020 B.A.S.S Nation Championship in Leesburg, and authorization for the Chairman to execute the agreement with GO Sports, if selected as the tournament host location. The fiscal impact is $116,000.00 (expenditure - TDT funding). Commission District 3.


Information Technology

Request approval to award Contract 19-0427 to Agilitech Solutions, LLC (Clayton, NC) and CommonLook (Arlington, VA), for Americans with Disabilities Act document remediation services on an as-needed basis. The annual fiscal impact is not to exceed $50,000.00 (expenditure).


Emergency Management

Request approval of the 2018 update to the Statewide Mutual Aid Agreement with the Florida Division of Emergency Management, including Resolution 2019-62, authorizing the Chairman to make, execute, and deliver a statewide mutual aid agreement to the State of Florida, Division of Emergency Management. There is no fiscal impact from this action.

Fire Rescue

Request approval of a Real Estate Purchase and Sales Agreement with Walter and Franci Oller, authorization for the Chairman to execute any necessary closing documents, and approval for the County Manager and County Attorney to execute an amendment extending the purchase agreement or to terminate it, should the tenant not vacate the property within the required timeframe of closing. The estimated fiscal impact is $91,500.00 (expenditure). Commission District 5.

Request approval of an Automatic Aid Agreement with the City of Mascotte for fire protection and other emergency services, and approval of any related budget adjustments. The annual fiscal impact is $32,000.00 (expenditure). Commission District 1.


Parks and Trails

Request approval to award Contract 19-0919 to William Medley Construction, Inc. dba Medley Sports Construction (Sorrento, FL) for the construction of a picnic pavilion at Ferndale Preserve, located in Ferndale. The fiscal impact is $42,500.00 (expenditure).  Commission District 2.

Public Works

Request approval to accept an additional obligee rider to a performance bond of $1,413,500.00 held by the City of Tavares associated with Right-of-Way Utilization Permit #8750 issued for the City’s Old 441 Utility Extension Project. The fiscal impact is $100.00 (revenue – permit application fees). Commission District 3.

Request approval to accept an additional obligee rider to a performance bond of $4,748,847.78 held by the City of Clermont associated with Right-of-Way Utilization Permit #8520 and Commercial Driveway Connection Permit #53204 issued for the Lakeview Preserve subdivision. The fiscal impact is $800.00 (revenue – permit application fees). Commission District 2.

Request approval to accept a performance bond of $384,380.87 associated with Right-of-Way Utilization Permit #8839 and Commercial Driveway Connection Permit #53201 issued to construct turn lanes and a water main on Hancock Road for the Crestview subdivision in Clermont. The fiscal impact is $800.00 (revenue – permit application fees). Commission District 2.

Request approval of Resolution 2019-58 transferring jurisdiction of a portion of Old Highway 441 (5th Avenue), from Alexander Street to Tremain Street, to the City of Mount Dora. There is no fiscal impact. Commission District 4.

Request approval of a Haul Permit application submitted by KBC Verandah, LLC (Sanford, FL) for hauling activity associated with the Verandah Park subdivision located on Old Highway 441, within the City of Tavares. The fiscal impact is $500.00 (revenue – permit application fees).  Commission District 3.

Request approval to award a contract to PAQCO, Inc. (Leesburg, FL) for pavement and base repair contractor services on an as-needed basis. The estimated annual fiscal impact is $150,000.00 (expenditure).

Request approval of Unanticipated Revenue Resolution 2019-59 to receive funds from the Florida Department of Health, Division of Disease Control and Health Protection, for the Lake County Mosquito Management Program, to be used for domestic mosquito control services, including vector borne disease surveillance, and prevention of and response to the Zika virus. The fiscal impact is $60,000.00 (revenue/expenditure - 100% grant funded).

Transit Services

Request approval to apply for the Florida Commission for the Transportation Disadvantaged Trip and Equipment Grant, and approval of supporting Resolution 2019-60 for Fiscal Year (FY) 2020. The fiscal impact is $823,660.00 (revenue/expenditure - $741,294.00 in grant funding and $82,366.00 in a County in-kind match).

public hearing: round lake road pd&e

Mr. Luis Diaz, with Stantec Consulting Services, recalled that his company was hired by the County to complete the Round Lake Road Project, Development and Environmental (PD&E) study, and that the purpose of today’s public hearing was to present the findings of that study and to request the Board’s approval of the study recommendations; additionally, he noted that all public comments from this meeting would become part of the public record that would be provided in the final documents as required by the federal government as part of the process for this project.  He relayed that the environmental review, consultation, and other actions required by applicable federal environmental laws for this project were being, or had been, carried out by Lake County pursuant to U.S. Code, Title 23, section 327 (23 U.S.C. § 327).  He then displayed a list of the federal and state laws and regulations that they had followed throughout the preparation of the document in order to meet both federal and state requirements in case it was submitted for funding requests; furthermore, he said the public hearing was set up in accordance with Title VI Compliance and was being conducted without regard to race, color, national origin, age, sex, religion, disability or family status and he provided the contact information for any persons wishing to express their concerns relative to Lake County compliance with Title VI.  He then showed a bar graph depicting the growth for Lake County from 1980 through 2040, noting that over 350,000 residents were expected to live in the county by 2020 with about 484,000 by 2040.  He indicated that east Lake County where the study was performed was projected to have substantial growth due to the Wolf Branch Innovation District, the Wekiva Parkway, the regional multiuse trail, the Mt. Plymouth-Sorrento Community Redevelopment Area, and proposed new residential and commercial development within the City of Mount Dora.  He explained that a project development process followed the five steps of long-range planning, project development and environmental study, project design, right-of-way (ROW) acquisition, and construction.  He recalled that in 2013, the Lake-Sumter Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) requested that the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) complete a study of this area due to the potential growth projected and to access the improvements needed in order to be able to handle this growth.  He specified that they recommended the extension of Round Lake Road and the realignment of County Road (CR) 437 in order to improve traffic conditions which then led to the PD&E study phase of the project development process.  He remarked that with any PD&E study, the first step is to identify the purpose and need and he relayed the following purposes for this improvement project: to provide a long-term north-south corridor for northeast Lake County in order to allow traffic flow from the Wekiva Parkway into the county; to improve the traffic safety in the area; because it was included in the Lake-Sumter MPO priority projects list; and it enhanced emergency evacuation and safety.  He showed a map of the study area, noting that it started south at the Orange-Lake County line and extended north along the existing Round Lake Road corridor, with the area between Wolf Branch Road and State Road (SR) 44 being the area that needed to be connected.  He stated that they met with various stakeholders including the Lake-Sumter MPO, the Cities of Mount Dora and Eustis, the Lake County School Board, FDOT, the Round Lake Charter School, property owners, and the BCC.  He relayed these outreach endeavors: project overview public meeting in March 2018; BCC briefing of alternative concepts in October 2018; alternative concepts public workshop in October 2018; recommended alternative briefing to the BCC in February 2019; recommended alternative public meeting in March 2019; and a project website for information and comments.  He remarked that the existing Round Lake Road had two travel lanes, was a rural roadway, and had turn lanes and traffic lights at the intersections of Wolf Branch Road, SR 46 and the Round Lake Charter School.  He indicated that as part of the FDOT study, a “no build” condition was considered which assumed that the roads and intersections remained the same in the future, evaluated the impacts associated with growth in the study area if no improvements occurred in the study corridor, and served as the basis for comparison to any build alternative for improvements.  He explained that under the no build option, the level of service (LOS) for Round Lake Road would fail between the county line and Wolf Branch Road, the LOS for Wolf Branch Road would fail between Round Lake Road and U.S. 441, and the LOS for Britt Road would fail between Wolf Branch Road and SR 44.  He said that as a result of this, the east Lake County study evaluated the potential to widen Wolf Branch Road and Britt Road which he relayed would require a large number of residential and business parcels to be purchased as part of the ROW requirements; therefore, the study instead recommended the extension of Round Lake Road from Wolf Branch Road to SR 44.  He explained that the build condition, similar to the no build condition, would evaluate the impacts associated with growth in the future by considering solutions to fix the problems identified.  He stated that the build condition assumed the extension and widening of Round Lake Road to a four-lane facility, revised the study intersections as needed to improve operations, and provided five alternative alignments for the widening and extension of Round Lake Road.  He displayed a graphic of the proposed roadway and explained that it would be four lanes with two twelve foot lanes in each direction, and would have a 22 foot median, a five foot bike lane and utility strips on both sides of the road, a sidewalk on the east side, and a multiuse trail on the west side.  He then showed the following: maps of the five possible alternatives; the alternatives evaluation matrix which included technical information, engineering impacts, environmental impacts, construction costs, impacts to ROW, and public input; estimated construction costs for each of the alternatives, which ranged from approximately $52,500,000 to $54,000,000 and did not include ROW impacts; and a chart of the ranking of the alternatives, noting that a number one ranking was the best alternative for a specific criteria.  He indicated that the ranking favored the blue alternative, and he reiterated that the recommendation was based on the information collected and analyzed within the study and included technical information, engineering impacts, environmental impacts, construction costs, impacts to ROW, and public input.  He then showed a map of the recommended blue alternative and explained that this path would start at the Orange-Lake County line, would stay on Round Lake Round up to Wolf Branch Road, and then north of Wolf Branch Road it turned west and then aligned with CR 439.  He provided this update regarding impact concerns for the blue recommended alternative: it would not impact wetlands, surface waters, or drinking water; no adverse effects to any cultural or historic resources were anticipated; no adverse effects due to contaminated sites were anticipated; was not expected to result in unacceptable impacts to protected species or their habitats; air quality impacts were not expected to occur as a result of this project; and noise abatement measures would not be required since traffic noise levels were not expected to exceed FDOT standards at any noise sensitive sites.  He then displayed several maps outlining each part of the recommended blue alternative, noting the following: that a roundabout would be added at Sullivan Ranch Boulevard; left turn phases would be improved at the SR 46 signal; median openings near the Round Lake Charter School would be added for access; the traffic signal at Wolf Branch Road would be replaced with a roundabout; a new connection to Scenic Hills Drive with a roundabout would be added; proposed mitigation west of the Hills of Mount Dora subdivision would include a depressed roadway, landscaped buffer, and a privacy wall, which he then showed a graphic display of these mitigation measures; and a future signal would be added at the intersection of SR 44.  He reported that ROW requirements would include about an additional 48 acres for roadway improvements, about 20 acres for off-site ponds, two potential residential relocations, and no potential business relocations; furthermore, project cost estimates were around $53 million which would include design and construction but not ROW costs.  He relayed that based on the BCC’s potential approval at this meeting, project documents would be finalized within the next couple of months and would include all input from the Board and the public.  He said that the final design phase for engineering was funded; however, there were currently no funds for ROW acquisition or construction.  He specified that draft study documents were made available on April 16, 2019 and would be available until May 17, 2019 at the public library in the City of Mount Dora and the Lake County Public Works Department as required by the federal government; furthermore, he explained that oral statements could be made at this BCC public hearing and that written comments could also be mailed or emailed to the contact information which he displayed on the screen. 

Commr. Campione asked if street lighting was proposed for this roadway and Mr. Diaz replied that there was not lighting proposed at this time.

Mr. Fred Schneider, Public Works Director, responded that the only location for street lighting was at roundabouts as they were required to be lighted for nighttime visibility.

Commr. Campione also asked if dark sky lighting was able to be used and Mr. Schneider replied that type of lighting could be utilized.  She then asked if the four lanes would be constructed together or if their construction would be phased based on traffic counts and need.

Mr. Schneider responded that since the project was estimated to cost $53 million, the County typically did not have enough funding to build it all at one time.  He relayed that they would likely build it in phases and begin with a two-lane road possibly in conjunction with a future development; furthermore, he stated that the other lanes would be built as they were needed which could be ten years into the future.

Commr. Campione relayed that in discussions with the City of Mount Dora regarding Round Lake Elementary, the school had indicated that they had developed an alternative system for getting parent vehicles onto their campus which might work better if the entrance off the proposed road was between the church and the school; therefore, she encouraged staff to discuss this with them prior to construction.

The Chairman opened the public hearing.

Ms. Elizabeth Pachelli, a nineteen year resident of the Hills of Mount Dora, opposed the extension of Round Lake Road as she opined it would negatively affect her way of life and the wildlife in the area.  She asked for the Board to vote for the no build option.

Mr. Rick Dragon, a Lake County citizen since 1992, stated that he grew up admiring the City of Clermont area because of its rolling hills and lack of congestion.  He relayed that he moved to this area for the same reason and felt that issues with city life were encroaching on his quiet lifestyle.  He said he was against the extension of Round Lake Road.

Mr. Barry Weiss, a resident of the Hills of Mount Dora, mentioned that he grew up in crowded south Florida and did not like the congestion.  He relayed that when he retired, he picked Lake County due to its quiet, rural atmosphere.  He opined that government representatives were supporting unlimited growth rather than protecting the existing environment and residents.  He said he was against building this road.

Ms. Barbara Weiss, from the Hills of Mount Dora community, opposed the extension of Round Lake Road as she felt it would unfavorably affect her tranquil lifestyle if it was approved.  She remarked that she retired to this community because of its quiet, pastoral layout and believed that due to the zoning in the area, she would be safe from the type of development which would alter the character of the area; however, she thought that this road would radically change the character of the area and take away the semi-rural environment.  She indicated that many local residents signed a petition asking for the no build option because of their desire to live away from congestion and development.  She said that she understood that this road would bring financial gain to some and would assist with commute times for many, but she opined that it would come at the expense of current residents.

Mr. Jon Suarez, a Lake County citizen, alleged that he had emailed the Commissioners a petition which had 700 citizen signatures requesting the no build option.  He shared concerns with this road project being within the Wekiva River Basin, the Wekiva Study Area, and near the Wolf Branch Sink Preserve which he felt needed to be protected since it was a direct flow into the aquifer; furthermore, he expressed frustration that the community meetings regarding this project were held in the City of Mount Dora and not within any County buildings or facilities.

Commr. Campione remarked that the locations for the community meetings were utilized for convenience for residents and she relayed that she had attended many of those meetings.

Mr. Stan Austin, a resident of Scenic Hills Drive, opposed the Round Lake Road extension; however, if the road was approved, he requested a reverse residential impact fee from the BCC to the residents in order to help offset the negative financial impact which he felt they would experience due to the decision to extend Round Lake Road.  He asked for the following to be included as part of this proposed reverse impact fee: for the County to deed a 300 foot buffer between the road and the residences on the west side of the Hills of Mount Dora to the Homeowner’s Association (HOA) to ensure potential future encroachment on their back property lines; to build an entrance gate and wall around their neighborhood; to install a natural gas trunk line and fiber trunk for network connectivity to each resident at their discretion; to resurface and agree to maintain the two roads within the subdivision; and to add a traffic signal or roundabout for easy access in and out of the neighborhood.  He also asked for an additional tree buffer and an eight to ten foot sound barrier wall between the road and the Hills of Mount Dora subdivision.  He felt that the items he was suggesting would protect his investment and would require a formal agreement between the County and the HOA.

Ms. Kathy Rush, a resident of Scenic Hills Drive, said that this proposed road would be adjacent to her backyard and she opined that the constant noise of traffic would take away the serenity of her nice, quiet neighborhood which she had grown to love.  She relayed that she had lived there for 15 years, that this road would negatively change her neighborhood, and she asked the Board to vote no on this request.

Mr. Terry Rush, a Lake County citizen, commented that he moved to Florida in 2003 and loved the rural nature of the Hills of Mount Dora.  He felt that the proposed berm would not help with noise abatement and asked the BCC to say no to the construction of this road.

Mr. Michael Ambrose, a resident of Scenic Hills Drive, remarked that he moved to Lake County and bought property in the Hills of Mount Dora due to the beautiful environment.  He said that he enjoyed sitting in his back yard and watching the wildlife, and felt that this road would take that away.

Mr. Tim Bailey, a lifetime Florida resident, commented that he had served on various governmental entities which oversaw development and was currently serving on the Lake-Sumter MPO as well as the Mt. Plymouth-Sorrento Community Redevelopment Advisory Committee.  He indicated that he had learned over the last 20 years that change will happen, and that the best development happens when the community works together with government and landowners.  He opined that the growth coming to this area was inevitable, that this was a difficult but necessary decision, that the Lake-Sumter MPO recommended the change, and that the Mt. Plymouth-Sorrento Community Redevelopment Advisory Committee acknowledged the change.

Mr. Henry “Ron” Williams, a resident of the Hills of Mount Dora, remarked that he purchased his home in order to get away from urban sprawl, and he thought that the rural transition density zoning and the City of Mount Dora Joint Planning Agreement (JPA) would protect the character of the area.  He opined that high traffic roads, dense housing, and the loss of natural habitat and wildlife was incompatible with the JPA’s goals.  He shared concerns with the PD&E study, the increased noise levels that this proposed road would bring to the area, and the possible decrease in property values, privacy and natural beauty.  He then submitted over 200 petitions opposing the recommended route and supporting a no build option. 

Ms. Clare Jordan, who lived on Scenic Hills Drive, said that she strongly opposed this project.  She opined that this planned road did not acknowledge the rights of the residents of the Hills of Mount Dora, and that it would cause local residents to lose their lifestyle, privacy, connection with nature, clean air, dark skies, safety, and property values.  She thought that the plans to widen other existing roads in that area, such as SR 437, SR 44, and U.S. 441, would eliminate the need for the Round Lake Road extension. 

Mr. Clark Morris, a Mt. Plymouth resident, said that he moved to the area because of its quiet nature.  He commented that in the past, he tried to oppose growth but realized that attempting to stop it only resulted in unhealthy growth.  He remarked that he was impressed with the presentation today and the way it considered all aspects; furthermore, he opined that this process took work and people have to get involved.  He felt that no roads was not the right answer.

Mr. Tim Green, President of Green Consulting Group, Inc., said that he was a registered landscape architect in the State of Florida, a Lake County native, and a certified land planner.  He relayed that he was representing the owner of the property that was west of the Hills of Mount Dora subdivision, noting that this property was 355 acres and owned by Wolf Branch LLC, also known as the Battaglia Group.  He relayed that this owner had been working with County staff and Stantec Consulting Services regarding the route, and he relayed that 47 percent of the route north of Wolf Branch Road was on this piece of property which would mean a significant change to this property since it would consume approximately 34 of the 355 total acres.  He then shared a letter that the Battaglia Group had sent to Mr. Schneider which indicated if the proposed alignment for the road was approved, the land owner would be willing to continue discussions regarding the Round Lake Road extension as well as work with staff on the design aspects of the roadway, including the width of the buffer, potential walls and landscaping, with the goal to find a mutually acceptable solution that would be effective for any homes impacted as well as for the Battaglia property. 

Mr. Kirk Martin, a Hills of Mount Dora resident, urged the Board to vote for the no build option as he was concerned about the safety of the children in that area due to potential additional traffic if the road was built.

Mr. Walter Graf, a resident of the Hills of Mount Dora since 1997, said that he moved to the area due to its rural lifestyle, quietness, wildlife, and starry nights, and he opined that would all change if the road was built.  He expressed concerns that property values might decrease, and that the County might not have enough funding to build a privacy wall; additionally, he stated that he supported the no build option.

Mr. Cole clarified the following: that the word proposed was used in the presentation because it was the proposal to the County Commission; that the recommended alignment to the Board would include all of the elements that the consultant showed in their presentation including the wall and road elevations; and that the square shape of the retention ponds on the map was strictly a depiction of the location for these retention areas and was not intended to represent the actual design.

Commr. Campione asked if the condition to lower the road would become part of the design if the Board approved this proposal today and Mr. Cole said that was correct.  She then asked if the only way to make changes was to conduct an additional public hearing process.

Mr. Cole responded that was correct, and added that if the Board made the recommendation for the proposed alignment, then he suggested that they include verbiage such as “as depicted by the consultant in the presentation.”

recess and reassembly

The Chairman called a recess at 12:10 p.m. for 20 minutes.

public hearing: round lake road pd&e continued

Ms. Lori Rees, a resident of the Hills of Mount Dora, said that she lived in the area of her neighborhood that would be the most affected by this road.  She shared that she had lived there since 1997 and had built there due to its peaceful, safe atmosphere.  She said that she agreed with other sentiments expressed by her neighbors and that she wanted the Board to vote no on the Round Lake Road extension.

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

Commr. Campione remarked that she understood the emotional side of this item and the desire to keep things the same.  She shared that she grew up in Lake County, settled back in the area after college, and loved living here.  She opined that that the Board could not stop growth but that it was their responsibility to manage it as best they could and to address infrastructure needs within the community.  She commented that roads were failing in that area; additionally, she relayed that the Wekiva Protection Act would protect certain areas and was developed because of the Wekiva Parkway being built.  She said that this proposed road was on the edge of this conservation area, yet close enough to the City of Mount Dora which made this area desirable.  She felt that property values would not diminish although lifestyles would be different, noting that the Commissioners had discussed with the consultant and the engineers a way to design the road to lessen the impact to residents’ backyards.  She thought that the property next to the Hills of Mount Dora subdivision would probably be developed or altered at some point since they had submitted a development request to the City of Mount Dora; therefore, she felt that consideration had been given to how to build a road in such a way to mitigate impacts to residents but to also alleviate the failing conditions on Wolf Branch Road and Britt Road.  She explained that some of the proposals presented in this meeting, such as dropping the road lower and building a wall, came out of the last BCC meeting.  She opined that the no build option was not truly an option as something had to be built; furthermore, if another option was considered, such as widening Britt Road, it might include having to relocate some property owners and then there would be other citizens opposing the impacts to them.  She reiterated that Wolf Branch Road and Britt Road were failing and that something had to be done to alleviate that.     

Commr. Parks said that he was a Central Florida native, had seen many changes due to growth, and agreed that the Commissioners could not control that growth.  He commented that he was sympathetic to those concerned with growth and change, and shared that in his district, the Commission was addressing ways to protect the Green Swamp from new development.  He felt that the citrus freeze in the 1980’s contributed to higher densities and more land entitlements, and he thought that making changes to those land entitlements would be difficult, noting that sometimes saying no to development could actually cause more issues.  He agreed that the no build option was not an option and that some type of development was probably coming into the land beside the Hills of Mount Dora; furthermore, he expressed interest in the red alternative route and desired for the Board to discuss that option.

Commr. Breeden thanked the citizens for taking the time to attend the meeting and for sharing their thoughts regarding this project.  She said that regardless of the outcome, their input and suggestions were important and had been taken under advisement when considering the design of this proposed road, such as reducing the median to allow more footage for buffering, lowering the road, and adding a wall.  She indicated that she did not support the no build option because it was important to plan ahead and to get the infrastructure in place; furthermore, she felt the proposed route was a logical alternative for a north-south corridor.  She explained that the Board was not supportive of uncontrolled growth and reminded the audience that in the last two years the Board had turned down two projects in the east Lake County area due to the density being too high.  She shared that the Board was sensitive to the lifestyles of residents in that area but she felt that the property behind their subdivision would eventually change, whether due to a road or a development.  She related that she had grown up in the county, had witnessed changes due to growth, and was sympathetic to the impacts this road might have; however, she believed it was the right decision and said she would support the recommended route.

Commr. Blake expressed his empathy for the neighbors and understood their concerns.  He shared that he moved to Lake County at age five and that the population had more than doubled since that time.  He mentioned that while his family left congestion to seek a rural lifestyle, when 150,000 other people have the same idea, it can create problems.  He relayed that he had met with some of the residents and discussed the various options with Mr. Schneider, but felt that the proposed route was the best option.  He indicated that he had also considered the red alternative but was concerned with how that route bifurcated the property of the one landowner.   

Commr. Campione remarked that the bifurcation needed for the red alternative would significantly increase the ROW costs.

Commr. Parks asked if that property owner would receive 2.5 dwelling units to the acre for that land density.

Commr. Campione replied that she believed that was the density they had applied for to the City of Mount Dora; additionally, she said that part of it was in the JPA and part of it was not. 

Ms. Melanie Marsh, County Attorney, responded that she believed that was correct, that it was 2.5 dwelling units to the acre and that part of it was in the JPA and part of it was not.  She said that whether the road going through the center of their property would enhance or take away from that would be a question for the City of Mount Dora.

Commr. Parks questioned that if they received that density, then it might change the lot sizes if the red alignment was chosen.

Ms. Marsh replied that from an eminent domain perspective, when a parcel of land is bifurcated like that, it increases the severance damages that have to be paid by law; therefore, she opined it was fiscally better to build on one side of a piece of property then to go through the center of a parcel.

Mr. Cole remarked that if the Board decided to approve the recommended route, he had some additional language that could be added in order to alleviate concerns mentioned earlier in the meeting and to ensure clarity that the features approved were as described.

Commr. Campione asked for more information regarding the buffer specifications.

Mr. Schneider responded that currently they were considering a 140 foot ROW with the eastern 20 feet of that within a utility easement on the Battaglia Group property.  He explained that for the typical cross-section of roadway from outside of the trail to outside of the sidewalk, they had reduced it from 120 feet to 107 feet by reducing the median width.  He indicated that they provided approximately 33 feet of green buffer space that would not be disturbed, noting that the first 20 feet was underneath the power lines.  He relayed that the attorney for the Battaglia Group was willing to discuss options for an improved buffer.  He elaborated that if the property owner were to develop within the City of Mount Dora, staff would talk to the owner in regards to how their residents as well as the residents from the Hills of Mount Dora could benefit from an additional buffer and privacy wall.  He felt that there was the opportunity to negotiate for some additional area and how it would benefit the existing as well as any future homes that might be approved.  He explained that the first two lanes would most likely be built first and would be about 70 or 75 feet from the property line; therefore, there would be approximately 30 feet initially not disturbed.  He said that as traffic increased, then they would have to decide when to make the four-lane improvement; furthermore, he mentioned that there was still quite a bit of expense and planning to perform on the current Round Lake Road starting near the county line and up to SR 46 and Wolf Branch Road.  He concluded that there was an existing section of road to be built, that it would be helpful to at least build two lanes to connect from Wolf Branch Road to SR 44, and then eventually complete the road over time.

Commr. Campione asked if the Battaglia Group would have to setback from the 20 foot utility easement and if they would not be able to build in that area.

Ms. Marsh responded that there were typically setbacks from those types of easements and that they could not be built on since they were for utility uses. 

Commr. Campione asked who would maintain it if an additional buffer was added next to the utility easement.  She wondered if there would be an agreement with the HOA for maintenance since it would be behind the privacy wall for the neighborhood.

Mr. Schneider replied they would look for a natural buffer that would not have to be mowed and that was the reason they suggested the displayed wall option.  He said the wall could be located closer to the property line so that the 20 foot utility easement was adjacent to part of the County ROW.  He indicated it would be maintained by the power company, but if the power lines were relocated, they could consider whether to leave it natural or relocate the wall.  He relayed that the main purpose of the wall was to provide a privacy buffer, noting that the eight foot wall was above the lowered roadway which provided extra privacy and some sound reduction.  He specified that the wall could be located on either side of the easement and was something they could negotiate with the HOA if this was approved.  He added that they wanted to hold public meetings during the design process. 

Commr. Breeden inquired if the HOA could help decide whether to have the placement of the wall at the edge of the 20 foot easement or somewhere between there and the property line.

Mr. Schneider responded that those details could be decided on between staff and the HOA; additionally, he said that some of the residents already had landscaping in the back of their properties which provided more buffer, noting that most of the homes were setback approximately 150 feet from the property line and there was room on both sides of the wall to add trees.

Commr. Campione asked if the dirt taken from lowering the road would be added to the berm and then if the wall would be placed on top of it in order to add height, although she noted that might impact the existing trees.

Mr. Schneider relayed that the residents had requested for that area not to be disturbed; therefore, staff was proposing to not bring in additional dirt nor remove existing trees and to keep that area as natural as possible.  He said that they might have to bring in equipment to build the wall but they would not need to clear the entire area.  He reiterated that bringing in dirt and building a berm would require clearing the whole area; however, he stated they could build the wall by utilizing the utility area and therefore avoid the existing trees as much as possible.

Commr. Parks inquired about the email from the Battaglia Group read earlier in the meeting and their desire to work on the best alignment.  He asked if it was possible to make the buffer larger by moving it farther out from where the landscape slope ended.  He suggested possibly making it 100 feet. 

Mr. Schneider replied that he had contacted the Battaglia Group to see if they would allow the County to acquire a larger buffer and he said that they agreed to consider it.  He stated that the email read earlier by Mr. Green had come from the Battaglia Group’s attorney, Ms. Cecilia Bonifay, which indicated they would be willing to consider alternatives in order to benefit both sides.

Commr. Parks shared his concerns that if the County was going to have the cost to acquire more land then they could consider the red alternative; however, Commissioner Campione added that the red route would add bifurcation costs.

Commr. Breeden mentioned that the red alternative route would require the County to maintain the wider buffer on both sides instead of having the developer maintaining one side.  She felt that the buffer they were currently discussing for the proposed route could be adopted as the minimum buffer with allowance for more if needed.

Commr. Parks asked if this buffer could be counted as open space for the developer and if he could receive credits for it so that the County did not have to purchase it.

Mr. Schneider replied that he had proposed to the developer to use the buffer as their open space.  He said that when a developer donates ROW, the County does not penalize them in terms of the number of homes they could have built if they had not donated ROW.  He clarified as an example that if they could have built 100 homes and gave three to six acres of ROW, then they were allowed to still build the same number of homes on the remaining land, which he noted encourages donation of ROW and public-private partnerships.  He stated that the developer could ask for additional compensation for the larger buffer; however, he said that as part of the compensation, the County attempts to put in place improvements such as a privacy wall, buffer, or better access. 

Commr. Campione shared her desire to confirm to the residents that they would increase the buffer; however, Commissioner Breeden opined that the Board could relay it was their preference to increase the buffer but she did not feel that they could promise more than the minimum.  Commissioner Campione said that if staff was able to obtain 33 feet from the real property line then they would need to obtain 67 more feet to the edge of the pavement if the Board desired to have the buffer be 100 feet.  She reiterated that the open space credit option would be up to the City of Mount Dora.

Commr. Parks said that if the Board was able to increase the buffer to 100 feet, then he would be supportive of this route.

Commr. Campione felt that the combination of a wall and additional buffer would be good.

Mr. Schneider indicated that there was 33 feet from the property line, with 48 feet to the closest traffic lane; therefore, he asked if the Board was talking about the buffer distance from the ROW, the sidewalk, or the travel lane.

Commr. Campione asked if the median was being reduced.

Mr. Schneider responded that a 15 foot median was currently proposed; however, he said they would not want to approve any access to that area due to traffic safety concerns with vehicles making turns.  He stated they had proposed a roundabout for safer access near Scenic Hills Drive as well as one a little north near the Battaglia Group property.  He asked if the Board wanted to reduce the median any further, and indicated that was the reason he was inquiring whether they wanted the buffer distance from the travel lane.  He reminded them that beyond the travel lane was the utility strip, sidewalk, slope, etc.

Commr. Parks thought the distance should be from the outer edge of the sidewalk.

Commr. Campione felt that a smaller median would prohibit additional uses in the future.  She asked if the smaller median was just for the area near the Hills of Mount Dora subdivision and Mr. Schneider confirmed that was correct.

Mr. Cole remarked that it was essentially in the area near the Hills of Mount Dora and any northbound traffic would not be able to make a turn in any of the median area.

Commr. Campione relayed Board consensus to make the distance for the buffer from the edge of the sidewalk to the rear property line to be at least 100 feet and would include the utility easement as part of that, noting they would encourage the City of Mount Dora to work with the developer regarding credits.

Commr. Parks added that the buffer could possibly be more than 100 feet if additional open space was granted by the City.

Commr. Breeden expressed concerns with this added distance as it could create a higher density of development and less open space within any future development since there would be additional open space on the other side of the road.

Commr. Parks indicated that the cap for development would be 2.5 units per acre per the City’s guidelines, although he realized this would make the lots appear smaller.

Mr. Cole suggested the following language for the Board’s approval, “approval of the recommended build alternative of the Round Lake Road PD&E study with the amenities, barriers, and elements described in the presentation, and an enhanced buffer along the Hills of Mount Dora.”

Commr. Parks mentioned maybe it should say an “enhanced 100 foot buffer.”

Commr. Breeden commented that they were approving the minimum and would negotiate specifics.

Mr. Cole added that he used the word “enhanced” since staff would still need to negotiate and did not know the specifics yet; however, he said they could set a minimum if the Board preferred.

Commr. Parks reiterated that it should state 100 feet since the County would need to either purchase that or negotiate for it.

Commr. Campione opined that a 100 foot buffer, a wall, keeping the existing tree line and area natural, and getting the road as far from the rear property lines as possible would be a tremendous help for the residents.

Commr. Breeden said that she would support this but reiterated her concerns for how the extra buffer could impact the future development.

Commr. Parks still thought that it would not change the density but understood that it could change the lot size.  He relayed that the 2.5 units per acre was the upper limit for the City of Mount Dora but might not always be buildable. 

Commr. Campione opined that it would be preferable to have a bigger buffer between the Hills of Mount Dora and the road then the concern of the developer receiving smaller lot sizes.  She added that this would allow some negotiation regarding what the area would look like and an attempt to create compatibility.  She asked for clarity that there would be public hearings regarding the actual road design in order to receive input and Mr. Cole confirmed this was correct.

On a motion by Commr. Parks, seconded by Commr. Breeden and carried unanimously by a vote of 4-0, the Board approved the recommended build alternative of the Round Lake Road Project Development and Environment study with the amenities, barriers, and elements described in the presentation and a minimum of a 100 foot wide buffer along the Hills of Mount Dora.

resolution 2019-61 – wellness way transportation network

Commr. Parks mentioned that this proposed resolution would assist with making a funding strategy for the Wellness Way Boulevard.  He said that as part of the City of Clermont’s development process, they needed some certainty from the BCC in order to move forward with the actual approval of the Olympus Sports and Entertainment development.  He recapped that approval of this resolution would authorize staff to finalize the terms for funding through donation of land and impact fees.

On a motion by Commr. Parks, seconded by Commr. Breeden and carried unanimously by a vote of 4-0, the Board approved Resolution 2019-61 supporting the Wellness Way Transportation Network.

recess and reassembly

The Chairman called a recess at 1:18 p.m. for 40 minutes.

regular agenda

letter to governor desantis regarding fema funding

Mr. Cole recalled that at the April 23, 2019 BCC meeting, he had reported that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) had released nearly $7.8 million to the State of Florida for FEMA’s share of Lake County’s expenses related to Hurricane Irma in 2017.  He said that funding was to be distributed to Lake County; however, the Florida Division of Emergency Management decided to perform a final analysis which appeared to mirror what the County had already provided with FEMA and was for claims that FEMA had already approved and funded.  He reported that following that April 23, 2019 BCC meeting, staff had success in reaching the Florida Division of Emergency Management, and he relayed that they would be releasing $3.3 million to the County with work being finalized on the remaining $4.5 million.  He stated that due to these actions, he was asking for the Board to delay taking action on this tab; however, he indicated that should the FEMA funding not be released to the County in a timely manner, then he would bring the item back for the Board’s consideration.

Commr. Blake asked when the County could expect to receive the $3.3 million.

Mr. Cole replied that it would possibly be released over the next few weeks.

Commr. Campione asked if the Board could approve the letter today so that it would be ready if needed.

Mr. Cole responded that since the letter to Governor DeSantis was implying that the funding was not moving toward the County but that now it appeared that it was coming to the County, he desired to wait; additionally, he felt he could quickly get the item on the Board’s agenda if needed.

work sessions – fy 2020 proposed budget presentations

office of parks and trails

Mr. Bobby Bonilla, Director of the Office of Parks and Trails, shared that the mission of his office was to develop and maintain a clean, safe and attractive parks and trails system for the health and enjoyment of all county residents and visitors while promoting recreation, sports and tourism, and to preserve and restore lands to protect water resources, habitat and wildlife corridors while promoting eco-tourism through educational passive recreation opportunities.  He relayed that their office was broken into the five areas of capital projects/contractual services, administration, active recreation, passive recreation, and linear recreation.  He then displayed a comprehensive map outlining the majority of parks maintained by their office, noting that there were 17 active parks, 37 passive parks, 56 miles of trails, 9 blueway or waterway trails, and 2 community centers.  He shared that the South Lake Trail system, which consisted of the South Lake and Hancock trails, was the most popular and had over 19 miles of paved trail with the Office of Parks and Trails being responsible for the maintenance and operations of 15 miles of this trail.  He reported that the county had over 162 miles of blueway trails, which were mostly water trails throughout major lakes in the county, noting that most of the nature events were held in conjunction with the Lake County Water Authority (LCWA).  He remarked that there were three sports complexes open to the public and included the North Lake Regional Park, the Minneola Athletic Complex, and the East Lake Sports and Community Complex with the South Lake Regional Park currently under construction.  He then showed maps of the locations for the 13 active parks and the 13 passive parks, noting that the Pine Meadows Recreation Area was undergoing improvements and not currently open to the public.  He mentioned that the County had over 3,200 acres of public land with over 81 percent open to the public.  He continued to display several maps listing the locations of boat ramps, canoe/kayak launch areas, and the seven cemeteries throughout the county.  He relayed that the multi-use paved trail system included South Lake Trail, Hancock Trail, Grassy Lake Trail, Blackstill Lake Trail, Wilson Lake Trail, Sleepy Hollow Trail, and the inter-parks trail system; additionally, he said that the County maintained 31 miles of nature and hiking trails.  He commented that a majority of the parks were open seven days a week with staff available the same, with extended hours of operation at gated facilities.  He reported that in September 2018, the Board adopted the updated 10-year Parks and Trails Master Plan which allowed the level of service to increase from four to ten acres per 1,000 Lake County residents; additionally, this helped the County to meet the nationwide standard of 10.1 acres per thousand residents.  He mentioned that the Office of Parks and Trails had hosted or partnered 112 nature based events in 2018, noting that between the years of 2007-2018, they had conducted more than 1,200 nature based events while promoting Lake County’s diverse eco-system and wildlife.  He then showed several pictures of the public participating in these events.  He explained that the Palatlakaha Environmental and Agricultural Reserve (P.E.A.R.) Park was 318 acres with the back 268 acres being state owned but leased to the County on a fifty year lease; furthermore, he elaborated that his office worked with the Florida Wildflower Foundation and the P.E.A.R. Association to restore the site in perpetuity for conservation while at the same time improving the infrastructure on the wildlife conservation area.  He shared these accomplishments for 2018: a private-public partnership with Chick-fil-A and Cherrylake Tree Farm to plant 160 long leaf pines at the Ferndale Preserve; Pine Meadows Conservation Area was opened to the public in April; phase two was completed for Lake Gertrude at Sylvan Shores Park to improve water quality; the Marsh Park and boat ramp improvements; over 5,100 sports related events were conducted, with over 39,350 being hosted since 2009; hosting of the annual PFX Athletics College Softball Spring Games in partnership with the Agency of Economic Prosperity; Green Mountain Scenic Overlook and Trailhead cycling and running events; ballfield improvements and additional pickleball courts at P.E.A.R. Park; approval of the East Lake Sports and Community Complex Master Plan in March, which made it a regional park; sports field lighting at the North Lake Regional Park; groundbreaking for the South Lake Regional Park; improvements to the Miracle League field at Lake Idamere Park; improvements to the Pearl Street and Butler Street Boat Ramps in Astor; phase one of resurfacing of the South Lake Trail; and construction of a soccer field at the Northwest Lake Community Park.  He showed a list of efficiencies for the office which included items such as recycling materials, volunteers and partnerships, maintaining a staff level at 32 full time employees (FTEs) or below, and the reclassification of some positions to meet growing community needs.  He then displayed several benchmark graphs comparing Lake County to surrounding counties in the areas of park operating expenditures per capita, total park acreage, total athletic fields, total mileage of maintained stand-along multi-use trails, and total mileage of maintained nature and hiking trails, noting that the County had four athletic fields, 19 miles of stand-alone multi-use trails, and that additional hiking trails would be added in the future.  He also shared the average quarterly usage for several parks and trails, which included the number of cyclists, pedestrians, and vehicles.  He reported that according to the 2017 Outdoor Industry Association Report, outdoor recreation generated $887 billion in annual consumer spending; additionally, he relayed that according to the 2018 National Recreation and Parks Association, which drew data from over 1,000 parks and recreation agencies, Lake County was putting most of their funding directly into operating expenses.  He then shared these unfunded challenges for the Office of Parks and Trails FY 2020 budget: the City of Fruitland Park’s $605,000 request for improvements to the Northwest Lake Community Park; the City of Tavares’ request for the County to take over ownership and operations of the Woodlea Sports Complex; the Neighborhood Lakes Trail Segment 4A; and the Wellness Way potential trail.  He added that there were about 16 additional facilities or amenities which had come under the office’s umbrella this year and had a direct increase to their operating expenses.  He concluded with the Office of Parks and Trails proposed FY 2020 budget at $7,658,535 in total expenditures, noting that there was a minus 0.4 percent change to the personal services and a slight increase in operating expenses.  He explained that this increase in operating expenses had to do with their beginning fund balance as they had carried over some savings from this current fiscal year as well as the Lake May Reserve grant funding.  He relayed that the approximate $1.3 million in capital outlay was the balance remaining for the Lake May Reserve and that they were currently in the design phase for that project.  He ended his presentation with a list of proposed capital projects which he said would be done in phases and included the following: restroom/concession building at the East Lake Sports and Community Complex; a third multi-use field at the Minneola Athletic Complex; paved parking for the Little League fields at the North Lake Regional Park; continued site preparation at the South Lake Regional Park; completion of the restroom facility at the Lake Idamere Park; improvements to the Lake May Reserve with grant funding; internal roadwork for the P.E.A.R. Park; construction of the boat ramp, canoe launch, restroom and parking at the Pine Meadows Conservation Area; phased construction of the observation tower, fishing pier, boardwalk and canoe/kayak launch per the Florida Communities Trust (FCT) grant at Ferndale Preserve; segment improvements to the South Lake and Hancock Trails; and permanent repairs to the Pearl Street boat ramp.  He thanked his staff for all they do to serve and provide residents and visitors with a quality parks and trails system.

Mr. Cole commented that the primary funding sources for the Office of Parks and Trails was the General Fund and the Municipal Service Taxing Unit (MSTU).  He stated that there were many additional needs as parks continued to come under the responsibility of this office but that staff was attempting to address all the needs within the General Fund.  He remarked that with the projected five percent increase in the tax rolls relating to the MSTU, there would also be an increase in the MSTU funding relating to parks and trails.  He explained that what he was proposing to do for this five percent was to reduce the General Fund transfer into this office by that amount so that it would essentially have a status quo budget; furthermore, he said that if there was an increase greater than the five percent, he would propose that the office retain that for its needs.

Commr. Breeden asked if the construction for the Neighborhood Lakes Trails was funded and if the amount needed was for operational expenses.

Mr. Bonilla replied that FDOT was in the design phase and that he thought some of the construction funding was in place, and that hopefully early in the next year the contract for construction would go out to bid.  He said that his office would request the funding necessary to maintain the park during the FY 2021 budget process.

Commr. Campione explained that Orange County was working on their part of the trail so that it would provide connectivity to the West Orange Trail.

Commr. Breeden inquired if funding for the trailhead would still need to be identified.

Mr. Bonilla responded that as the trail system was completed, they would need to consider the master planning of that trailhead as it would be the county’s largest and would have a large number of required amenities.  He said these needs would be considered in the next round of the five year sales tax and could be phased in slowly.  He added that when the East Lake Sports and Community Complex got connected to this trail system, it could become a trailhead for the residents and visitors; furthermore, he indicated that as funding became available, they could assess which connection was completed first and where the funds for operations would need to be placed.  He reiterated that as the trail system continued to grow, there would be impacts.

Commr. Parks commended the Office of Parks and Trails for their efficiency and said that he appreciated how hard the team worked especially with the growing demand for facilities.  He also complimented them for the wonderful job they did on the Commissioner’s Cup charity softball game between the Lake County Sheriff’s Office and the Clermont Police Department, noting the great condition of the softball fields.   He asked if the Hull Road boat ramp could be closed at night because of unsafe activities that could possibly happen at night.

Mr. Bonilla responded that it was accessible twenty-four hours a day and that he would need to get with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) since it was their boat ramp.  He added that if they tried to restrict the timeframe it could mean additional costs to the County. 

Commr. Blake thanked Mr. Bonilla and his staff for all the work they had performed, specifically the two projects in Astor.  He shared that residents in that area were excited about the improvements.  He also thanked Sheriff Peyton Grinnell for allowing the fence line on his facility to be moved over slightly so that a small park could be created at that location.  He inquired if there was a cost estimate yet for the parking area near the Little League fields at the North Lake Regional Park.

Mr. Bonilla replied that there was currently a lime rock base parking area adjacent to that field which was slated for paving, noting that it was one of the improvement phases consistent with the sales tax plan which had been in place for the past five years, and would make it more Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) accessible by connecting a paved surface to a concrete walkway.  He reported that it was estimated to be less than $200,000 as it was a smaller parking lot than the main parking lot there; however, he stated they would perform it in phases if needed.  He relayed that there were two main parking lots at the North Lake Regional Park with each having about 250 parking spaces on each side for a total of 500 parking spaces, and that they were looking to do about half of the 250 spaces with the rest going into an overflow grass parking area. 

Commr. Blake reported that he had met with the Fruitland Park City Manager who indicated that they were expecting the request to come over five to six years and not all at once.

Commr. Breeden asked if the City of Fruitland Park offered to provide part of the funding and Commissioner Blake replied they had not, although he had made that suggestion to them.

Commr. Parks remarked that he had good preliminary discussions with the City of Groveland regarding sharing operational costs at the South Lake Park.

Commr. Breeden noted that there had been discussions for several years with the City of Tavares regarding a partnership for the Woodlea Sports Complex but it was uncertain when that might happen.

Commr. Campione thanked Mr. Bonilla and his team for assisting her with a presentation at the Eustis Area Chamber of Commerce regarding the various facilities and activities available in that area.  She suggested it might be a good presentation for the other Commissioners to consider doing in their districts.

office of animal services

Ms. Whitney Boylston, Director for the Office of Animal Services, commented that each of the Public Safety and Development Services office presentations would include an overview, an organizational chart, accomplishments, efficiencies, benchmarks to surrounding counties, and their proposed office budgets.  She said that the Lake County Animal Shelter was the central countywide housing facility for lost, stray, abandoned and quarantined domestic animals.  She explained that her office served the public in various ways such as adoption, helping those who had lost their pet, and assisting those who could no longer care for their pets.  She remarked that their goal was to provide the best passionate care to all of the animals they sheltered, noting that their medical team provided veterinary care in order to prepare animals for a positive outcome in the future.  She then displayed the Office of Animal Services organizational chart which included the following: a medical team consisting of two veterinarian technicians and a veterinarian; the kennel staff consisting of ten animal care technicians, two lead animal care technicians, and one shelter supervisor; the live release team consisting of a coordinator and assistant who oversaw the volunteer program, rescue coordination, foster program and event coordination; and office staff.  She relayed that in their first year overseeing animal services they achieved a no-kill status by having a 90 percent live release rate, noting that this last fiscal year the live release rate was raised to 95 percent which she said was a testament to how hard her staff worked to find positive outcomes.  She reported that 2018 was a very busy year with over 6,000 pets sheltered, 4,237 adoptions, 626 pets transferred to rescue partners, an almost 20 percent increase in pets returned to owner, and 3,358 surgeries performed.  She remarked that also in 2018, they fostered and developed multiple partnerships such as hosting their first shelter to shelter symposium which included shelter leadership from all over the state, as well as partnering with local fire rescue for the “Rescue Me” adoption event and calendar.  She shared that her office continued to rally community support which was important for their success, and she reported that they had welcomed over 30,000 visitors to the shelter in FY 2018, foster families had taken in over 1,500 animals, and volunteers contributed well over 6,000 hours of animal enrichment time.  She relayed that they engaged the community in 2018 in their cat programs and were able to accomplish the following: community cat initiatives that provided positive placement for 216 cats; launched Operation Community Caturday with over 500 free roaming cats being sterilized to date; and started the Wait-til-8 Delayed Surrender Program where residents care for kittens until they are old enough for the adoption program.  She then listed these efficiencies for 2018: enhanced the volunteer program resulting in increased participation and tracking of their hours; instituted a system where every adopted pet leaves with a personalized tag to expedite pets returned to families; revised the pet reunification program; implemented software to improve communication amongst shelter partners which saves time; and enhanced the foster program through an online application which increased over 100 percent from the last fiscal year.  She then displayed several benchmark graphs comparing Lake County to surrounding counties.  She stated that total animal intake remained about the same at approximately 6,000 animals, that live outcome had increased, and that euthanasia had decreased.  She indicated that the percentages for live release rates were calculated by taking the total live outcomes divided by the total of all outcomes for animals, noting that some counties took wild animals and euthanized them which Lake County did not accept.  She reiterated that the shelter was at 95 percent live release and was on track to maintain that percentage.  She concluded with the Office of Animal Services proposed budget for FY 2020 of $8,855,175 in total expenditures; additionally, she remarked that there were some changes in the budget due to additional expenses they would incur once they moved into the new facility, such as utility and personnel, and that the reduction of 0.2 percent in capital outlay was based on money already spent.

Commr. Breeden asked if there was a drop in transfers.

Ms. Boylston responded that this was an unfortunate consequence of becoming a no-kill shelter.  She explained that their local rescue partners were pulling animals from out of county because they felt those animals were more at risk; therefore, while Lake County had an import of animals from other counties, the rescue partners who used to be more helpful were using their resources to save animals that were in danger of being euthanized immediately.  She indicated that this was a standard observance when communities become no-kill as they are seen as a safer place and then lose more rescue support as a result.

Commr. Breeden asked if that ultimately impacted the shelter’s ability to adopt out.

Ms. Boylston replied that it did since there were only a certain number of adoptive homes in the county.  She reiterated that a large amount of their rescue partnerships were out of the county so for as many animals as they send out of county to rescue partners, the local rescue groups were probably importing the same if not more.  She said it might be an equal wash of the two numbers, but she did indicate that there was not a shortage of homeless pets in Lake County and they did not actually need to bring anymore in. 

Office of building services

Mr. Tony Lopresto, Director for the Office of Building Services and Lake County’s Building Official, commented that his office provided the following services: issuance of contractor licenses to local residents; the board of examiners to mediate between consumers and contractors and ensure license compliance; construction plan review by State Certified Plans Examiners; permitting; and building inspections performed by multi-licensed inspectors.  He displayed an organizational chart and noted that the Office of Building Services consisted of 43 FTEs including a Chief Fire Inspector, a Chief Inspector, a Chief Plans Examiner, Licensing Investigators, a public hearing associate, and a permitting supervisor.  He remarked that his office had successfully assisted approximately 14,000 walk-in customers in their lobby, processed over 53,000 phone calls, and issued 470 new contractor licenses.  He mentioned that the office had established an internship program for the building inspection and plan review section, noting that this program would be presented to the State of Florida for their approval and would help to attract and retain local talent.  He shared that the Deputy Building Official was recently appointed by the Central Florida Chapter of the Building Officials Association (BOAF) as a representative for the State Board of Directors.  He then noted these efficiencies achieved: converted from paper to electronic for the Board of Examiners, noting that this board was comprised of residents, contractors and business people who hear unresolved complaints to determine if there was a violation as well as evaluating appeals regarding building code interpretation; received State certification to accomplish in-house training; reorganized inspectors’ assignments based on location patterns of commercial construction; assisted the Office of Code Enforcement by resolving 465 building type code complaints; continued to progress towards a “one stop shop” by absorbing routine work from other departments such as public works; and software implementation.  He then displayed several benchmark graphs comparing Lake County to several surrounding counties in the areas of plans reviewed, plans examiners, inspections, building inspectors, permits issued, and permit technicians, noting that the office reviewed almost 10,000 plans, performed 51,621 inspections, and issued over 24,000 permits.  He reiterated that by utilizing multi-licensed inspectors, it reduced the number of staff, vehicles and gas used for a more efficient system.  He concluded with the Office of Building Services proposed FY 2020 budget of $7,417,522 in total expenditures which reflected a slight increase due to additional positions, software upgrades, Information Technology (IT) support, training to keep insurance service organization (ISO) ratings low and vehicle replacement needs. 

Commr. Breeden asked what additional positions were being requested.

Mr. Lopresto responded that the office currently had vacancies and that they were desiring the ability to request additional staff if needed.  He added that once these vacancies were filled and the new staff trained, they would evaluate their level of service.

Mr. Cole remarked that since this office was a self-sufficient fund with reserves, the Board had given him authority to add positions.

Commr. Breeden inquired if Mr. Lopresto was utilizing outsourcing since this office was extremely busy and was experiencing challenges filling positions with adequate staff.

Mr. Lopresto replied that he was outsourcing and that there was one company he was using for residential; however, even though this company was able to quickly review plans, there were still other steps in the overall process.  He added that as his staff becomes more proficient and passes their certification exams, they would be able to perform broader parts of the plan reviews.   

Office of code enforcement

Mr. Glen Guzman, Director for the Office of Code Enforcement, related that the services his office provided were as follows: respond to complaints related to County codes and Land Development Regulations (LDRs); provide standard housing inspections; conduct inspections of Conditional Use Permits (CUP); perform environmental inspections and investigations on complaints; conduct mining, average setback and commercial landscape inspections; conduct monthly public hearings for code enforcement and animal services’ cases; and review and coordinate with planning and zoning on County code amendments.  He displayed a department organizational chart, noting that there were eleven FTEs which included an office associate, a public hearing associate, a code enforcement supervisor with five code enforcement officers, an environmental specialist, and a compliance and monitoring associate.  He said that this office demolished eleven properties this year with the revenues collected from code enforcement fines, noting that the community had expressed their appreciation for the cleanup and removal of these structures.  He added that they also completed over 4,000 inspections with over 1,900 cases brought into compliance which he said was up eleven percent from the previous year.  He mentioned these efficiencies for the year: continued utilization of four zones which balanced the workload and population, with each officer responsible for about 164 square miles; centralized the issuance of violation notices to provide consistency and reduce officer data entry in the field; and established and coordinated a training location for utilization by multiple offices.  He then showed several graphs showcasing department benchmarks compared to surrounding counties, noting that the population per officer for Lake County was about 25,731 with 164 square miles per officer, total complaints were nearly 2,600, and that 87 percent of cases were brought into voluntary compliance without having to take them to a special master.  He ended with the Office of Code Enforcement proposed FY 2020 budget of $796,659, which he stated was funded 100 percent by the General Fund and had a cost savings of about $15,000 in personal services due to an employee retirement.

Commr. Parks complimented Mr. Guzman for his team’s work and thanked him for his recent assistance to him.  He then asked if the office tracked where the complaints came from as it seemed like his district was receiving a high number. 

Mr. Guzman replied that it was consistent throughout the county.

Mr. Cole commented that two years prior, the County started taking the collected fine money from code enforcements and reinvested it into the home demolitions rather than taking it from the General Fund.

Commr. Campione remarked that process was working well.

Office of planning & Zoning

Mr. Tim McClendon, Director for the Office of Planning and Zoning, said that his office processes and reviews zoning permit applications, including single family homes, commercial site plan review, and mining operational plans.  He added that they review rezoning, Conditional Use Permits (CUP), Comprehensive Plan (Comp Plan) amendments, and ensure all applications and permits are consistent with the Comp Plan and LDRs as well as prepare those cases for a public hearing.  He stated they also update the Comp Plan and LDRs as requested or as needed; additionally, he relayed that they now oversee the Mt. Plymouth Sorrento Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA).  He said that the organizational chart was the same as the previous year with the addition of the CRA coordinator.  He showed a list of their accomplishments for the year and shared that one of their biggest accomplishments was the establishment of the Planned Unit Development (PUD) future land use category.  He explained that the PUD land use immediately locks in the development program during the Comp Plan stage versus the rezoning stage which helps to remove any uncertainty that might be voiced by surrounding communities during the Comp Plan process.  He also shared that two members of the staff became certified planners by the American Planning Association, which he noted was a high accomplishment.  He displayed several efficiencies for the year such as the phone system upgrade which improved their customer service and enhanced employee morale.  He reported that prior to the upgrade, they received over 100 phone calls per day which rang to every phone in the office and then had to be answered and directed to the correct staff employee.  He said that this upgrade added an auto-attendant, provided customers with options to efficiently direct their calls to the correct staff member, and rotated the call so that only one phone rang at a time.  He thanked the IT department for their assistance with this new phone system.  He then displayed several benchmark graphs which compared the number of total cases as well as cases per employee in the areas of rezonings, Comp Plan amendments, and site plan reviews; furthermore, he reported that rezoning cases per employee were 5.4, that the number of Comp Plan amendment cases was about average when compared to surrounding counties with the number of cases per employee higher than most counties, and that site plan reviews were averaging about 11 per staff member.  He opined that the County’s zoning map and code were consistent with what people were trying to accomplish and therefore resulted in less rezoning cases.  He concluded with the Office of Planning and Zoning proposed FY 2020 budget of $2,239,635 in total expenditures. 

Commr. Breeden asked if the office was having challenges filling open positions and Mr. McClendon responded that they were not, noting that the only open position currently was the CRA coordinator since that position was just vacated a week prior.

Commr. Parks inquired if this office was receiving calls from out-of-state citizens who were looking to invest in land within the county and Mr. McClendon confirmed that was correct.  Commissioner Parks added that possibly placing some of that information on the Lake County Property Appraiser’s website might help with the volume of calls.

other business

appointments to the children’s services council

Commr. Breeden explained that there were vacancies for each of the districts as well as the member-at-large and that there were no applicants for District 1; additionally, she requested that the District 3 position not be appointed at this time.

On a motion by Commr. Breeden, seconded by Commr. Parks and carried unanimously by a vote of 4-0, the Board approved the reappointments of Ms. Deborah Haring as the District 2 representative, Ms. Trella Mott as the District 4 representative, Dr. Dorothy Hooks as the District 5 representative, and Colonel Herbert Scott Smith as the member-at-large to the Children’s Services Council, and approval of a potential ethical conflict waiver for Ms. Trella Mott.

appointments to the parks, recreation & trails advisory board

The Board decided to postpone appointing District 1 until Commissioner Sullivan was present to provide input.

On a motion by Commr. Breeden, seconded by Commr. Parks and carried unanimously by a vote of 4-0, the Board approved the reappointments of Ms. Kelly Price as the District 2 representative, Mr. David Clutts as the District 3 representative, and Mr. Michael Matulia as the District 4 representative to the Parks, Recreation and Trails Advisory Board, and approval of potential ethical conflict waivers for Mr. David Clutts and Ms. Kelly Price.


county manager

workshop on homelessness and affordable housing

Mr. Cole recalled that the Board had previously requested a workshop to discuss issues concerning homelessness, affordable housing and tiny homes.  He relayed that County staff had recently met with Mr. Jonathan Cherry, President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of LifeStream Behavioral Center, and Mr. Jeff Feller, CEO of WellFlorida Council Inc., to discuss the facts and issues related to these critical topics.  He said that they agreed it was necessary to obtain additional background information and greater detail prior to holding a workshop in order to ensure productive deliberations.  He shared that Mr. Cherry volunteered to complete a review of existing homelessness studies and reports, to help identify potential options, and to then make recommendations.  He stated that the workshop was tentatively scheduled for August 27, 2019, with the intent to provide a variety of issues to focus on and to include stakeholders in the workshop.

Commr. Breeden inquired about the potential partnership with The Salvation Army.

Commr. Parks remarked that The Salvation Army was ready to assist with something now.

Mr. Cole responded that was discussed with Mr. Cherry and Mr. Feller the previous day and that they wanted more information regarding that potential partnership.  He stated that if the Board wanted to discuss these two items together then staff would need more time to gather information; however, he said they could be bifurcated if the Board desired.

Commr. Campione commented that The Salvation Army was considering being a partner in operating an emergency type shelter with the County helping to facilitate.  She expressed her desire to move forward with this option while there was interest.

Mr. Cole indicated that Marion County had done a study regarding these topics and he shared that they obtained helpful information through it.  He suggested that staff reach out to The Salvation Army to discuss their desires and when they would want to start a shelter; furthermore, he opined that the issues he had discussed with Mr. Cherry and Mr. Feller related to what The Salvation Army was wanting to do.  He said that if he sensed that The Salvation Army was wanting to act sooner rather than later, then he would bifurcate the two options.

Commr. Breeden thought that was a good idea.

Commr. Parks suggested for someone to attend The Salvation Army Board meeting.  He shared that they seemed ready to move forward but just needed a site for the shelter.  He also recommended including the Cities of Clermont and Leesburg.

Commr. Campione felt that The Salvation Army was passionate about the topic but she did not know how much research they had actually done yet.

Mr. Cole said that he had ongoing conversations with the City of Leesburg but had not yet talked with the City of Clermont.  He relayed that one important item that emerged from the Marion County study of the homeless population was that they identified those who were essentially Marion County residents as opposed to those who were temporarily homeless from other areas.  He suggested gathering that information for Lake County.

Commr. Campione related that there was data from the Lake County Coalition for the Homeless that could be utilized as a starting point.

Mr. Cole indicated that Mr. Cherry was looking at all the available data for Lake County.

Commr. Parks relayed that the City of Clermont had information on the numbers and locations of their homeless residents that could be shared.

commissioners reports

commissioner parks – district 2

design guidelines

Commr. Parks asked for an agenda item regarding design guidelines for the U.S. 27 and SR 50 area to be added to an upcoming BCC meeting, noting that the City of Clermont had some guidelines that he would consider using.

clermont caribbean jerk festival

Commr. Parks shared that he had attended the City of Clermont’s Caribbean Jerk Festival, and that while he was there, he received many compliments on the South Lake Regional Park.

commissioner’s cup charity softball game

Commr. Parks thanked everyone who attended the Commissioner’s Cup charity softball game between the Lake County Sheriff’s Office and the Clermont Police Department.  He added that the event raised money for the family of Officer Herbert Cole who was killed in December 2018.  He thanked the Office of Parks and Trails for their assistance on the event.

commissioner breeden – vice chairman and district 3

national day of prayer ceremony

Commr. Breeden mentioned that she had attended the National Day of Prayer ceremony the previous week, noting that the event was held inside the Lake County Historic Courthouse which made it feel very intimate, special and powerful.

commissioner campione – CHAIRMAN AND district 4

adventhealth waterman ribbon cutting ceremony

Commr. Campione stated that she was at the ribbon cutting ceremony for AdventHealth Waterman’s new addition in the previous week.  She shared that this was the largest single investment in a medical facility in Lake County since their original campus was built in 2003.

seminole woods

Commr. Campione indicated that she took a tour of Seminole Woods located at the corner of SR 46A and SR 44.  She remarked that it was privately owned, was approximately 3,500 acres, was used in several movies, and was quite beautiful. 

lake joanna

Commr. Campione informed the Board that Lake Joanna in the City of Eustis was experiencing recent degradation in its water quality, possibly due to runoff during large rain storms.  She indicated that residents around the lake were asking the County for assistance, and that she and Mr. Schneider had walked the area.  She relayed that FDOT had purchased property to develop a stormwater treatment pond for the road expansion of CR 44; however, she said that they would be diverting the runoff that might be causing the Lake Joanna issues away from their treatment pond and would only be treating what was coming off the new road construction.  She indicated that they needed to find a way to treat the water before it flowed into Lake Joanna. 

Commr. Parks suggested a possible project with the LCWA.


There being no further business to be brought to the attention of the Board, the meeting was adjourned at 4:00 p.m.









leslie campione, chairman