A regular MEETING OF THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
June 25, 2019
The Lake County Board of County Commissioners met in regular session on Tuesday, June 25, 2019 at 9:00 a.m., in the Board of County Commissioners’ Meeting Room, Lake County Administration Building, Tavares, Florida. Commissioners present at the meeting were: Leslie Campione, Chairman; Wendy Breeden, Vice Chairman; Timothy I. Sullivan; Sean Parks; and Josh Blake. Others present were: Jeff Cole, County Manager; Melanie Marsh, County Attorney; Niki Booth, Executive Office Manager, County Manager’s Office; Kristy Mullane, Chief Financial Officer; and Josh Pearson, Deputy Clerk.
INVOCATION and pledge
Reverend Tom Biery from First Presbyterian Church of Mount Dora gave the Invocation and led the Pledge of Allegiance.
Mr. Jeff Cole, County Manager, said that since the agenda was first published, there was a minor revision to Tab 12 to clarify the item. He also asked for the Board to remove Tab 10 from the agenda and noted that it would be rescheduled.
On a motion by Commr. Blake, seconded by Commr. Sullivan, and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved the minutes for the BCC meeting of April 23, 2019 (Regular Meeting) as presented.
citizen question and comment period
Mr. Bob Grenier, Curator for the Lake County Historical Museum, reported that the museum was having great attendance. He said that one mission of the Lake County Historical Society was research, such as family genealogy, which was seeing increased participation. He expressed an interest in obtaining a state historical marker for the Lake County Historic Courthouse. He also stated that he had worked with the Daughters of the American Revolution to obtain a World War II marker for the Leesburg Airport. He mentioned that the original Fort Mason marker from the City of Umatilla had been found and could be displayed at the museum. He remarked that new exhibits were coming to the museum and that they had expanded their military veterans and heroes mural by adding Mr. Daniel Keel, who was one of the five original Tuskegee Airmen to be a triple rated pilot. He related that their muralist had also added Major General Polly Peyer from the City of Leesburg, who was the first Lake County woman to achieve the rank of General. He said that he was lining up a group of individuals to speak at the museum including authors and artists. He elaborated that he had been working with the Titanic exhibition owners to display a traveling exhibit in the museum and for one of their directors to speak. He concluded by expressing interest in bringing people to the museum as a tourist destination.
CLERK OF the Circuit COURT and comptroller’s CONSENT AGENDA
On a motion by Commr. Parks, seconded by Commr. Breeden and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved the Clerk of the Circuit Court and Comptroller’s Consent Agenda, Items 1 through 7, as follows:
List of Warrants
Request to acknowledge receipt of the list of warrants paid prior to this meeting, pursuant to Chapter 136.06 (1) of the Florida Statutes, which shall be incorporated into the Minutes as attached Exhibit A and filed in the Board Support Division of the Clerk's Office.
City of Groveland Ordinance Transmittal Packages
Request to acknowledge receipt from the City of Groveland for transmittal packages for the following ordinances to the City of Groveland’s Comprehensive Plan, pursuant to 163.3184, Florida Statutes: Ordinance 2019-22, Large Scale Comprehensive Plan Amendment (Marion C. Manning Trust Property); Ordinance 2019-26, Large Scale Comprehensive Plan Amendment (Meixsell Property I); and Ordinance 2019-28, Large Scale Comprehensive Plan Amendment (Meixsell Property III).
Town of Lady Lake Ordinances and Resolutions
Request to acknowledge receipt of the following from the Town of Lady Lake:
Ordinance No. 2018-49 – Annexation; Ordinance 2018-50 – Comprehensive Plan Amendment; Ordinance 2018-51 – Rezoning; Ordinance 2019-01 – Comprehensive Plan Amendment; Ordinance 2019-02 – Rezoning; Resolution 2019-101 – Variance; Resolution 2019-102 – Granting a special permit use; and Resolution 2019-104 – Vacating and relocating the entire length of the five foot east elevation side-yard utility/drainage easement.
City of Umatilla Comprehensive Annual Financial Report
Request to acknowledge receipt of the City of Umatilla’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report for the year ended September 30, 2018.
City of Groveland Notification of Proposal to Annex Properties
Request to acknowledge receipt from the City of Groveland notification of a proposal to annex the following contiguous parcels into the City’s incorporated limits: Groveland Property Investments, LLC., (Alt Key 1801834, Parcel 22-21-25-003-000-01900, 7.04+/-acres and Alt Key 1781345, Parcel 22-21-25-003-000-01101, 3.14+/-acres) with the first reading of the annexation ordinance tentatively scheduled for the June 17, 2019 City Council meeting.
Greater Lakes/Sawgrass Bay Community Development District Proposed Budget
Request to acknowledge receipt of the Greater Lakes/Sawgrass Bay Community Development District proposed budget for fiscal year 2019/2020 in accordance with Section 190.008(2)(b), Florida Statutes for purposes of disclosure and information only. The District’s public hearing is scheduled for August 21, 2019, at 11:00 a.m. at the Cagan Crossings County Library located at 16729 Cagan Oaks, Clermont, Florida 34714.
Estates at Cherry Lake Community Development District Proposed Budget
Request to acknowledge receipt of the Estates at Cherry Lake Community Development District proposed budget for fiscal year 2019/2020 in accordance with Section 190.008(2)(b), Florida Statutes for purposes of disclosure and information only. The District’s public hearing is scheduled for August 6, 2019, at 1:00 p.m. at the office of Booth, Ern, Straughan & Hiott, Inc., located at 902 North Sinclair Avenue, Tavares, Florida 32778.
COUNTY MANAGER’S CONSENT AGENDA
On a motion by Commr. Parks, seconded by Commr. Blake and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the Consent Agenda, Tabs 3 through 19, pulling Tab 10, as follows:
Request approval to award Contract 19-0508 to Nabors, Giblin & Nickerson Attorneys at Law for bond counsel services. The estimated annual fiscal impact is $30,000.00 (expenditure).
Request approval and execution of an agreement with the State of Florida and Office of the State Attorney for the Fifth Judicial Circuit of Florida to reimburse the State when the State Attorney prosecutes certain criminal violations of the Lake County Code of Ordinance on behalf of the County. The fiscal impact cannot be determined at this time.
Request approval of voter precinct changes at the request of the Supervisor of Elections. There is no fiscal impact.
AGENCY FOR ECONOMIC PROSPERITY
Request approval of changes to Policy LCC-65 (Tourism Promotion Expenditures) to authorize the County Manager to delegate the authority to execute agreements up to $19,000.00 to fund tourism activities within Lake County. There is no fiscal impact from this action.
1. Of an agreement with the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity for a Florida Job Growth Grant Fund award for Wolf Branch Innovation District infrastructure improvements.
2. Of an interlocal agreement with the City of Mount Dora for the reimbursement of grant funding associated with the construction of a City-owned master lift station.
3. For the Chairman to execute the agreements upon review by the County Attorney, and Resolution 2019-74 authorizing the chairman to make, execute and deliver the agreement with the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity..
4. Of Unanticipated Revenue Resolution 2019-75 to amend the County's budget.
The fiscal impact is $2,500,000.00 (revenue/expenditure). Commission District 4.
PUBLIC SAFETY AND DEVELOPMENT SERVICES
Request approval to award Contract 19-0716 to Jackson Creek Manufacturing, Inc. (Denton, NC) for an enclosed pet adoption trailer, approval of a budget transfer moving available operating funds to capital, and authorization for the Office of Procurement Services to execute all supporting documentation. The fiscal impact is $35,184.75 (expenditure - 100% donation funded).
Public Safety Support
Request approval to award Contract 19-0505 to Voiance Language Services (Tucson, AZ) for language interpretation services for the 9-1-1 call center. The estimated annual fiscal impact is $5,000.00 (expenditure).
PUBLIC SERVICES AND INFRASTRUCTURE
Request approval of a Remediation Agreement with Prime Construction for the Lake County Storage Facility, located at 313 Bloxham Avenue in Tavares, whereby Prime Construction will perform the needed repairs as outlined in the Agreement and Prime Construction will reimburse Lake County for related expenses incurred by the County. The fiscal impact is $24,493.78 (revenue). Commission District 3.
Request approval to award Contract 19-0915 to Emmett Sapp Builders, Inc. (Wildwood, FL) for Construction Manager Services and renovations at the Lake County Courthouse. The fiscal impact is a not-to-exceed price of $2,650,000.00 (expenditure). Commission District 3.
Housing and Human Services
1. Approval of the Sheriff's request to enter into an agreement between the Lake County Sheriff's Office, Wellpath LLC (Nashville, TN), and the Lake County Board of County Commissioners for the management and administration of inmate medical care.
2. Authorization for the Chairman to execute the agreement and any subsequent related documents.
3. Approval of a budget transfer in the amount of $76,000.00 to provide funding from the General Fund Reserves to the Sheriff's Office for the additional costs associated with this contract for the remainder of Fiscal Year (FY) 2019.
The total fiscal impact is:
FY 2019 - $991,046.50 (expenditure of $840,758.00 from the Sheriff's Office budget and $150,288.50 from the County budget).
FY 2020 - $3,964,186.00 (expenditure of $3,363,032.00 from the Sheriff's Office budget and $601,154.00 from the County budget).
Parks and Trails
Request approval of two Off System Project Agreements between the Lake County Board of County Commissioners, the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), the St. Johns River Water Management District and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection for construction of the Lake Wekiva Trail project from County Road 435 to State Road 46 (Segment 4A), which is included in the FDOT Work Program, and approval of the supporting Resolution 2019-76. There is no fiscal impact to Lake County from this action. Commission District 4.
Request approval for the Chairman to execute the Fiscal Year 2019/2020 Detailed Work Plan Budget - Arthropod Control for the Lake County Mosquito Management Program pursuant to Section 388.201, Florida Statutes, and Rule 5E-13.022, Florida Administrative Code. The fiscal impact is $32,468.00 (revenue - 100% grant funded).
Request approval to:
1. Release a performance bond of $2,715,031.22 posted for the completion of infrastructure improvements for the Serenoa Village 1 Phase 1B1 final plat, located near Clermont.
2. Execute a Developer’s Agreement for Maintenance of Improvements with VK Avalon Groves LLC (West Palm Beach, FL).
3. Accept a maintenance bond of $188,816.14 for maintenance of improvements.
4. Execute Resolution 2019-77 accepting Butterfly Pea Lane (County Road No. 0264A), Basswood Lane (County Road No. 0264B), and Goldcrest Loop “Part” (County Road No. 0269) into the County Road Maintenance System.
5. Execute a Developer’s Agreement for Construction and Maintenance of Sidewalk Improvements with VK Avalon Groves LLC.
6. Accept a performance bond of $119,598.16 for performance of sidewalk construction.
7. Accept a maintenance bond of $10,872.56 for maintenance of sidewalk improvements.
There is no fiscal impact. Commission District 1.
Request approval of an Interlocal Agreement with Sumter County, Florida, regarding property located in Lake County that is owned and used by the Little Sumter Stormwater Facilities Property Owners Association, Inc., and is utilized for stormwater purposes that benefit uses and development located within Sumter County. There is no fiscal impact. Commission District 5.
Request approval of Resolution 2019-78 to advertise a Public Hearing to vacate a portion of an unimproved right of way on the unrecorded plat of Astor Forest Campsites, which is located on West Otter Road, south of Blue Creek, in the Astor area. The fiscal impact is $2,295.00 (revenue - application fee). Commissioner District 5.
Request approval of a Development Agreement with South Lake Connector, LLC (Lakeland, FL) for improvements to the intersection of Citrus Tower Boulevard and U.S. Highway 27, in Clermont. The fiscal impact $283,615.00 (Transportation Impact Fee Credits - South District Revenue). Commission District 2.
presentation – new city of groveland branding
Mr. Michael Hein, Groveland City Manager, thanked the County for their support and said that it had been about one year since the City changed their branding and slogan. He indicated the following information about the City of Groveland: was founded in 1922; was located in Lake County; was approximately 16.03 square miles in size; and had a population of about 17,500 residents. He explained that the city was founded after the Civil War as a turpentine plant and was the center of commerce in Lake County at that time. He remarked that Mr. Lacy D. Edge, the youngest ever Florida Speaker of the House, was from the City of Groveland, had served in the Senate, and could be considered as the father of the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT). He stated that the Arnold Sawmill came after the turpentine factory and was the largest sawmill in the southeastern United States. He indicated that the 1920s were a roaring boom in the city and that it was later known as an essential community for oil and perfumes. He said that citrus was also important to the city for many years, though there were freezes in the 1980s. He stated that there had been discussions about what the city should look like and he displayed the old and new city logos. He elaborated that the new logo was developed by talking to citizens and that their responses included open space, a sense of decompression, rolling hills, the lakes, and waterways. He felt that the new logo symbolized natural beauty and respect for the environment along with natural charm. He opined that there was a responsibility to maintain the city’s small town charm through respecting the environment and maintaining assets. He felt that the city had good topography and natural elements and he expressed an interest in maintaining open space by creating conservation easements and connecting the open space. He mentioned opportunities for partnership and said that the City had recently contracted with the County for traffic signal maintenance. He indicated that the city was named as the location of one of Duke Energy’s site readiness programs and that in cooperation with Lake County, a site near U.S. 27 would be used as property that Duke Energy would devote a team to for the purpose of recruiting and identifying the appropriate type of industry to be located there. He relayed his understanding that in the following month, there would be a groundbreaking for a Kroger/Ocado distribution facility. He elaborated that this facility could significantly add to the tax base, the strength of the housing market, and residual economies around it. He added that these companies had purchased a total of three lots and that under the terms of the agreement, there was an incentive for them to develop them within the next five years. He remarked that the city would be hosting the Quest Air 2020 World Championships and events for the World Wakeboard Center & Swiss Ski School. He mentioned the Coast to Coast Trail and the future of economic development activities around bicycling and connectivity, and he relayed his understanding that more individuals were becoming interested in recreation opportunities and connectivity; furthermore, the City would be working with the County on this item. He thanked the County for supporting the realignment of State Road (SR) 50 and relayed its importance for commerce, economic prosperity and emergency evacuation. He said that the City was partnering with the Marion Baysinger Memorial Library and felt that it was underutilized, though he thought it was an example of how the City and County could work together to use physical space to maximize benefits for residents through programming, partnerships and educational opportunities. He displayed an image of the city’s service boundary area and noted the incorporated areas. He said that the City had been working with members of its business community to engage them with constructively moving into the city through clear service delivery, which could enhance the tax base. He also felt that the lines of jurisdiction could cause confusion for code enforcement, and he noted that there had been a pocket of unincorporated area in the middle of the city which the Lake County Office of Code Enforcement had to address. He said that the City was working together with Lake County to identify ways to incorporate these areas into the city limits so that the City could relieve the County of its responsibility there. He then stated that he anticipated discussions with the County about the South Lake Regional Park and noted that finances were a concern. He said that the City was discussing the possibility of an agreement where they could take over the park’s operational and maintenance burden from the County at an estimated $1 million per year. He elaborated that the City could fund this due to a sense of pride and connectivity with their master parks planning. He mentioned that one year ago, the City only had one individual working in parks and recreation and that they also lacked any programs for this; however, they now had summer youth programs and were expanding services. He added that they recently broke ground on improvements for Lake David Park for a cost of $2.3 million, along with breaking ground on a park on Wilson Lake Parkway. He invited the Board to the groundbreaking for a new public safety facility on SR 50 and explained that it would house the police departments and main fire station, along with having space to accommodate the Lake County Office of Emergency Medical Services. He also indicated that the city would be having a Fourth of July event in conjunction with Lake Catherine Blueberries and he felt that it would be a great family friendly event. He thanked the Board and said that he appreciated the assistance of County staff.
Commr. Campione expressed excitement about the City’s projects and mentioned that she recently learned about two hotels on U.S. 27 which would be redeveloped into apartment complexes. She praised the City’s planning and proactivity and expressed a desire for the SR 50 realignment to move faster, though she mentioned that many people were working on it.
Commr. Sullivan commended Mr. Hein and his council for their working relationship with the County. He noted their participation with the Kroger/Ocado facility and felt that it would have a significant economic impact on the community. He opined that the County would need to get their local legislative delegation involved with the SR 50 realignment.
Commr. Breeden thought that it was great to see the City of Groveland flourishing and she said that she appreciated their cooperation with the County.
Commr. Parks praised the City’s leadership and openness to coordinating with the County for greater efficiency. He also complimented the City’s vision and progress in the past few years. He expressed that he was looking forward to working with them on the South Lake Regional Park and on issues concerning the Green Swamp.
Mr. Hein commented that Friday, June 21, 2019 was the deadline for City Council candidates, and he relayed that there would be no election due to the candidates running unopposed.
Mr. Cole opined that Mr. Hein had been a good partner and was receptive to items the County brought to him.
Commr. Campione said that she recently had discussions with the Agency for Economic Prosperity and learned that there had been recent inquiries because of the Kroger/Ocado distribution center concerning spinoffs and other businesses that were suppliers for Kroger. She felt that this facility could bring high wage job opportunities to the City of Groveland and Lake County.
presentation – florida department of health in lake county
Mr. Aaron Kissler, Administrator and Health Officer for the Florida Department of Health (DOH) in Lake County, shared that prevention was their biggest goal. He displayed the client services provided from April 2018 to March 2019 and noted that the bulk was in clinical, dental and public health services. He elaborated that these services were provided at several locations around the county with there being seven locations total. He also mentioned that they provided services for school health such as immunizations and screenings. He noted that environmental health inspections included sanitary nuisances, the County’s septic program, and other environmental health items, and that the number of these services that had been administered had risen slightly due to growth. He commented that the remaining categories were epidemiological cases of reportable diseases, which had been prevalent in the current year, and vital statistics such as birth and death certificates which were provided in two locations; furthermore, he felt that this year had been defined by immunizations and partnerships with individuals across the county. He displayed a financial overview for the year and pointed out that the County provided four percent of his organization’s revenue for operations, though this was an important part of their budget. He elaborated that the County’s funding was used for many items that they did not have funds dedicated for, such as epidemiology. He then detailed these other funding sources: local fees came from the DOH environmental health fees; Medicaid funding was generated from clients using that service; 27 percent of their funding came from the federal government including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC); and 29 percent came from the state. He said this was a diverse set of funding and that it was not reduced in the current year by the state or the Governor’s budget. He stated that Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) breastfeeding initiation rates increased from about 76 percent to approximately 82.5 percent over the past five years, which exceeded the Healthy People 2020 goal, and he relayed that health outcomes for a breastfed baby were positive and assisted with addressing obesity, nutrition, and the infant and the mother bonding. He commented that they had close to 8,000 families enrolled for WIC food benefits and roughly $5.9 million was generated by this program in the form of federal dollars being given to grocery stores. He felt that Environmental Health (EH) did a great job in the current year and said that they achieved 96 percent on their evaluation of water and facility programs. He also stated that they were able to provide immunizations to sixth grade students at middle schools in a collaboration with the Lake County Schools Student Services Department. He stated that they conducted many outreach events for public health and mentioned the Annual Day in the Park event with the Early Learning Coalition, handwashing education for school summer camps, and the Reach Out and Read program to promote early literacy. He relayed that they performed 396 community outreach events from April 2018 to March 2019 and that they had spoken to individuals at the events to help them determine the information gaps. He related that over 28,000 items were handed out at the events and that they had given away 923 Quit Your Way rack cards. He stated that they would be partnering with the Lake County Tax Collector’s Office to offer birth certificates at Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) locations such as in the City of Leesburg, and he felt that this would benefit customer service. He stated that the DOH had sent their staff to assist with the aftermath of Hurricane Michael and they also helped operate a shelter in the State of North Carolina following another hurricane. He noted that there were mutual agreements in place for agencies to assist each other with disasters and that this helped staff become trained in these experiences. He indicated that they opened the fifth special needs shelter during Hurricane Irma and that this would remain in their plan for opening five special needs shelters in the event of a hurricane in the current year. He stated that their Medical Reserve Corps staffing needs increases during emergencies and that they had 20 new volunteers. He commented that they were also implementing point of distribution sites so that if an emergency required a mass vaccination or antibiotic distribution, closed points of distribution could be provided through participating businesses or government entities. He thanked the Board for their support and felt that there was great comradery with the County.
public hearings: REZONING
rezoning consent agenda
Mr. Tim McClendon, Director for the Office of Planning and Zoning, displayed the advertisements for that day’s rezoning cases on the overhead monitor in accordance with the Florida Statutes. He said that on June 5, 2019, the Planning and Zoning Board unanimously approved all tabs on the current rezoning agenda. He relayed that staff requested that the Board accept the consent agenda, Tabs 1 through 4, and said that staff would then present Tabs 5 and 6 as part of the regular agenda.
The Chairman opened the public hearing.
There being no one who wished to address the Board regarding any cases on the Rezoning Consent Agenda, the Chairman closed the public hearing.
On a motion by Commr. Breeden, seconded by Commr. Blake and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the Rezoning Consent Agenda, Tabs 1 through 4, as follows:
Tab 1. Ordinance No. 2019-35
Rezoning Case # RZ-19-07-4
Crown Castle-Grand Island Powers Road Tower
Amend CFD Ord. #2000-39 to enlarge the zoning district to accommodate needed communication tower improvements for communication cabinets and apparatus by approving a new CFD ordinance.
Tab 2. Ordinance No. 2019-36
Rezoning Case # CUP-19-04-5
Galloway Dog Training Facility CUP
Conditional use permit on approximately 30.0 +/- acres within the Agriculture (A) zoning district for a kennel and dog training facility.
Rezoning Case # CP-19-03
Text Amendment Update
Amend multiple policies in the Comprehensive Plan.
Rezoning Case # FLU-19-04-2
Lake Susan Lodge Comprehensive Plan Amendment - Transmittal
Amend the Future Land Use Map (FLUM) to change the Future Land Use Category on approximately 5.1 acres from Green Swamp Rural to Yacht Club at Lake Susan Future Land Use Category, a newly proposed land use designation, and amend comprehensive plan policies to incorporate the proposed future land use category.
rezoning regular agenda
Rezoning Case # FLU-19-01-1
Hansen House Lot FLU Amendment – Small Scale Adoption
Amend the Future Land Use Map on 0.613 +/- acres from Rural Transition to a site specific Future Land Use Category to facilitate the development of a single family residence.
Tab 6. Ordinance No. 2019-39
Rezoning Case # CUP-19-05-3
Goodmans’ Classics CUP
Conditional use permit approval on approximately .80 +/- acres to allow indoor vehicle storage within the Light Industrial zoning district.
hansen house lot flu amendment – small scale adoption
Mr. McClendon presented Tab 5, Rezoning Case #FLU-19-01-1, Hansen House Lot FLU Amendment – Small Scale Adoption. He explained that the subject property was located on the north side of Lake Emma, along Lake Emma Road in the City of Groveland area, in Commission District 1. He elaborated that the tract size was slightly over 0.5 acres and that the request was to amend the Future Land Use (FLU) Map from Rural Transition to a site specific FLU category. He displayed the current FLU Map designation of Rural Transition and the new proposed category of Hansen FLU. He then relayed the following information: the subject property was originally platted as a tract for future development in 1991; the Hansen family purchased the property in 2000 and were denied a lot of record request; the Lake County Comprehensive Plan (Comp Plan) required parcels with adjacent common ownership to aggregate together for consistency with the Comp Plan; and the historic tax rolls indicated that the subject property was previously owned by the same owner to the east and was required to aggregate at the time, but was never combined which led to the current situation. He commented that the proposed small scale map amendment would allow the subject property to become a lot of record, at which point the Hansen family could develop a single family residence. He noted that there were concerns from residents at the Planning and Zoning Board meeting and he clarified that if this amendment was approved and adopted, it would only allow for a single family residence; furthermore, any uses outside of a home would require another Comp Plan amendment. He said that staff requested for the Board to find the request consistent with the Comp Plan and approve the FLU Map amendment from Rural Transition to the Hansen FLU category.
Commr. Campione asked to clarify that the FLU Map amendment would address residential use only and that no businesses could be operated on the property, and Mr. McClendon said this was correct.
Mr. Andrew Hansen, the applicant, thanked the Board for the process and said that it had been 19 years since he had purchased the lot. He also expressed that he appreciated the work of Ms. Melanie Marsh, County Attorney, and the Lake County Office of Planning and Zoning.
The Chairman opened the public hearing.
Ms. Myra Hoffman, a neighbor of the subject property, presented a 2012 document from Mr. Lawrence King, a state-certified General Appraiser, and she quoted Mr. King as stating “I suggested several possible alternatives to facilitate the buildability of the said Tract A, which was 0.54 acres, a variance to the current zoning classification rezoning of Tract A grandfathering in the site. It was Lake County’s stance that none of the suggested alternatives were viable, in conflict with the current zoning ordinance and that Tract A should remain unbuildable.” She alleged that she had been involved with this item for nearly 20 years with Lake County, the City of Groveland, and the master hearing with Mr. King; furthermore, she relayed her understanding that Mr. Hansen had been denied each time. She said that the neighbors had a meeting with Mr. Hansen to request the blueprints for the subject property, though she claimed that they were subject to change. She questioned whether he would construct a boat ramp or bathhouse there, and she asked if the final blueprints had been submitted to the Lake County Office of Building Services and if a building permit had been issued. She asked if this case could be postponed until final blueprints were submitted and that if there were changes after the blueprint was submitted, would they have to resubmit it and obtain another permit. She also questioned the legal repercussions if a commercial business was run on a residential zoning, which she alleged that Mr. Hansen had done in the past.
Commr. Campione clarified that blueprints and building permits could not be processed until the lot was established as a buildable lot through a Comp Plan amendment. She also said that the plans would have to comply with the zoning regulations for any home in a residential zoning classification for items such as size, design, roof pitch, etc. She commented that the improper operation of a business would be a code enforcement issue.
Ms. Mariana Azavedo, a resident near the subject property, expressed that she had no opposition to the applicant building a home on their property and felt that they were trustworthy.
Mr. Martin Proctor, a resident on Lake Emma, stated that he was representing several members of the Villa City Community Association and that he and several residents had expressed concerns about the Hansen family operating a commercial waterskiing or wakeboarding business from the subject property. He expressed that he was satisfied with the specific language within the request to state that the property could only be used for a single family residence. He indicated his understanding that Lake Emma was designated as an Outstanding Florida Waterway and that there were challenging regulations to operate a business, perform refueling, or to install a ramp on those waterways.
There being no one else who wished to address the Board regarding this matter, the Chairman closed the public hearing.
Mr. Hansen claimed that he had been cooperative with Mr. Proctor and visited Ms. Hoffman to give her the desired information.
Commr. Campione asked about his intended use of the property.
Mr. Hansen stated that they would not be operating a ski school and that they had purchased the property with the intent to build their retirement home there. He said that he had once intended for the lot to be part of a conditional use permit (CUP) that they had for a different location nearby, though the County did not approve it. He indicated that they had since rescinded this request due to the residents’ concerns, and they shifted their business plan to operate on a lake on Orange Avenue.
Commr. Campione thought that the size of the lot was consistent with the area’s development pattern and that the lack of a ski school would not create a conflict with the existing residential uses.
Commr. Sullivan agreed with this and thanked the citizens for sharing their concerns. He felt that a residence was appropriate for the property and opined that Lake Emma was a special area.
On a motion by Commr. Sullivan, seconded by Commr. Parks and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved Tab 5, Rezoning Case # FLU-19-01-1, Hansen House Lot FLU Amendment – Small Scale Adoption.
goodmans’ classics cup
Mr. McClendon presented Tab 6, Rezoning Case #CUP-19-05-3, Goodmans’ Classics CUP. He said that the subject property was located on the west side of Orange Avenue, north of the intersection of Orange Avenue and County Road (CR) 48, and was located in Commission District 3 with a tract size of approximately 0.8 acres. He indicated that the request was for a CUP to allow indoor vehicle storage within the existing Light Industrial zoning district. He showed that the subject property had an FLU designation of Urban Low and a zoning designation of Light Industrial. He noted that the west corner of Orange Avenue and CR 48 was a quasi-industrial park and that the requested use of indoor vehicle storage was consistent with the Urban Low FLU category and the Land Development Regulations (LDRs). He remarked that the proposed concept plan depicted a centrally located approximately 5,000 square foot building to store up to 20 classic cars. He said that the ordinance approved by the Planning and Zoning Board would limit the applicant to a maximum of 20 cars and would require them to have a 15 foot wide landscape buffer containing at least two rows of shrubs, four canopy trees and three ornamental trees. He added that dark sky lighting was required and that the ordinance would not allow for any car maintenance or repair onsite. He showed the concept plan and noted the approximately 5,000 square foot building, along with the ingress and egress which would have to be improved to County standards and approved by the Lake County Public Works Department during the site plan approval. He read the requested action to find the request consistent with the Comp Plan and accept the Planning and Zoning Board’s recommendation to approve the CUP. He indicated that staff had received a letter of opposition after the staff report had been given to the Board, though most of the items in the letter had been addressed through the ordinance, such as dark sky lighting and the landscape buffer; furthermore, other items which could be addressed during the site plan review included stormwater retention and the ingress and egress. He clarified that this CUP would only address the physical use of vehicular storage.
Commr. Breeden inquired if there would be any architectural standards required.
Mr. McClendon confirmed this and said that they would be required through the LDRs.
Mr. William Goodman, one of the three owners of the parcel, said that this was a proposed family development that would not be a commercial-oriented entity. He expressed that the inspiration for this facility was for personal use to honor their classic cars. He felt that the proposal was for a low intensity use and would be aesthetically pleasing. He noted that the property was behind an antiquated but active gas station and that Yalaha also had a distillery and a bakery. He opined that the proposed facility could add charm to the area and that a Quonset hut would allow for a decorative front to enhance the building’s character.
The Chairman opened the public hearing.
Ms. Toni Brandt, a neighbor of the subject property, expressed concerns about some neighbors not being contacted about the case. She questioned how the subject property was zoned Light Industrial and said that there was only one entrance and exit into the nearby residential development. She expressed concerns for safety and for the water in both Lake Harris and the area’s springs. She opined that the area was growing and that it should be protected. She also indicated concerns for the appearance of a Quonset hut and how it would affect the area in the future. She questioned where another exit for the development could be placed and expressed her understanding that store owners were displeased with the request. She felt that a traffic light was needed there and that traffic fatalities were an issue.
Mr. John Vasti, a neighbor of the subject property, asked when the property was zoned Light Industrial. He indicated concerns for water and relayed that the Sun Eden neighborhood had issues with flooding. He displayed several images of flooding in the area and opined that this issue needed to be addressed due to the increased impermeable surface from the request. He thought that it would be appropriate to require the facility to be aesthetically pleasing due to being near an entrance to a residential district, along with disallowing outdoor parking and having a limit of 20 parked cars. He also indicated an interest in requiring excess water from impermeable surfaces on the property to be retained there.
Commr. Blake asked when his pictures were taken.
Mr. Vasti replied that it was during June or July of 2018 and said that flooding was typical for the rainy season.
Commr. Campione clarified that the CUP stated that the building would be limited to 5,000 square feet and no more than 20 vehicles, that they would have to comply with the LDRs for construction criteria, that there would have to be a 15 foot wide buffer with landscaping, and that it would have to comply with the St. Johns River Water Management District (SJRWMD) permitting requirements for runoff. She elaborated that there must be sufficient storage for runoff on their property and must be addressed with a stormwater pond, swales, or a similar measure. She added that dark sky lighting would be required. She said that they could ask Mr. McClendon about the history of the property. She felt that it was a hydrologically unique area with many springs, a high water table and canals.
Commr. Parks inquired if there were other areas there that experienced flooding.
Mr. Vasti opined that his pictures were of the worst areas for flooding. He also pointed out several areas on a map near the subject property where he claimed that flooding occurred.
Commr. Sullivan relayed his understanding that in 2018, the groundwater in Lake County was at the highest level in 50 years. He indicated an interest in requesting a basin study of the area by the Army Corps of Engineers to determine if the correct structures were in place.
Ms. Susan Connell, a resident of the Sun Eden subdivision, claimed that stormwater runoff occurred near the entrance to her subdivision at a railroad easement. She opposed the request for the following reasons: a fire at the proposed facility could potentially trap 75 to 100 homeowners from evacuation; a power outage could shut off a well pump; a lack of fire hydrants near the property; firetrucks carry a limited amount of water; hazardous waste not properly disposed of could poison well water; delivery parking, turnaround or extended stays of transport trucks with open or closed trailers at the property; and transport truckers could potentially use the Sun Eden subdivision as a turnaround and obstruct police or emergency medical services (EMS). She thought that the Lake County Health Department should address some of these issues and monitor the site to prevent adverse impacts to environmental quality from mishandling any petroleum hydrocarbons, heavy metals or suspended solids. She questioned the nature of the light repairs previously mentioned by Mr. Goodman at the Planning and Zoning Board meeting and recalled that he had an interest in a club mentality and for the tenants to drive their cars together. She expressed a concern for daily or weekly car shows and for the impact to the residential area from the tenants collecting their cars.
There being no one else who wished to address the Board regarding this matter, the Chairman closed the public hearing.
Mr. Goodman indicated an awareness of the water quality issues in the area and opined that the environmental impacts of the proposed facility would be significantly less than the nearby gas station. He also relayed an understanding that environmental impacts from the gas station would affect the proposed facility before any residences.
Commr. Breeden asked if there was an intention to perform maintenance onsite.
Mr. Goodman clarified that their intention was not to operate a service station but rather to allow individuals to store vehicles there. He said that maintenance would be allowed if an individual was unable to start their vehicle, though there was no intention for the bulk storage of oil or for oil changes.
Commr. Campione inquired about when this property was zoned Light Industrial.
Mr. McClendon remarked that according to the original approved zoning maps, the area had never been rezoned and was always Light Industrial.
Commr. Breeden asked if this zoning predated the nearby subdivision.
Ms. Marsh said that the subdivision was platted in 1953.
Commr. Campione thought that the county zoning maps were approved in the 1960s. She then asked Mr. Jim Dickerson, Fire Chief for the Office of Fire Rescue, if he had any concerns about the warehousing of vehicles there, what would happen if there was a fire and the sprinklers were inoperative, and if this could create a situation where the subdivision could not be accessed.
Mr. Dickerson stated that there was a water supply issue throughout the county but that they had a tanker task force. He opined that there could be some minor disruption due to the size of the firetrucks, though he did not anticipate any long term issues. He related that it would be a typical commercial building and would have to undergo a fire inspection during construction.
Commr. Campione inquired about the road to the subdivision.
Mr. Dickerson felt that it was a narrow road and that there could be an access problem even without the proposed building.
Commr. Parks noted that Fire Station 76 was less than a mile away from the subject property, and Mr. Dickerson confirmed this and added that their large tanker was less than 10 miles away.
Commr. Breeden asked Ms. Mary Hamilton, Environmental Services Manager, to confirm that the applicant would have to retain stormwater onsite.
Ms. Hamilton responded that they would have to hold their stormwater onsite and that it should not create additional issues. She indicated that the subdivision had been platted before stormwater regulations were enacted and that there were no easements there. She said that there had been recent water quality improvements in the area and that attempts were made to improve drainage. She stated that the Central Florida region had three to seven foot higher groundwater elevation and that residents were seeing longer ponding as a result of the wet seasons.
Commr. Breeden inquired if the County had installed a baffle structure in the Sun Eden subdivision and if the County could confirm that it was flowing properly.
Ms. Hamilton confirmed that they had installed a water quality baffle there and that they were able to check if it was flowing properly. She related that staff could present past research on the area to the Board.
Commr. Parks asked if the County had an individual who could be brought in to review the area and make suggestions to improve drainage.
Ms. Hamilton replied that the County had some on-call individuals who could be brought in and that as part of the Harris Basin Study, there were some recommendations and existing conditions which could be reviewed.
Commr. Campione observed that there were many other allowed uses which could be more intense than the requested use. She relayed her understanding that owners of collector cars would take care of them and would be particular about the facility’s security. She suggested that this was possibly the least intense use for the property.
Commr. Breeden thought that most concerns had been addressed and said that the facility would be storage only and not for maintenance. She commented that there was a required vegetative buffer and an additional easement for a buffer. She added that there was a requirement for dark sky lighting, and she did not think that traffic would be a significant issue due to the storage facility use. She said that the applicant would have to address stormwater retention and that there would be architectural standards. She felt that it would be a low impact use, said that the property had been zoned Light Industrial for many years, and expressed support for the request.
Commr. Blake thought that on a weekly basis, there would be less traffic with this facility than there would be with single family residence on the property. He opined that this was likely a best case scenario for the land use.
Commr. Campione explained that the Board could not remove the zoning and that the CUP included additional conditions. She thought that this use would be less intense than warehousing goods.
On a motion by Commr. Breeden, seconded by Commr. Blake and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved Tab 6, Rezoning Case # CUP-19-05-3, Goodmans’ Classics CUP.
public hearing – resolutions for non-ad valorem assessment rolls and rate schedules
Ms. Jennifer Barker, Executive Director of Administrative Services, said that there would be one public hearing to address all seven municipal service benefit units (MSBUs). She stated that this would be a presentation to hold a public hearing on the non-ad valorem rate schedules and assessment rolls for the seven MSBUs. She explained that the County currently administered four street lighting MSBUs for the Picciola Island, Valencia Terrace, Village Green and Sylvan Shores subdivisions, along with three homeowner association (HOA) MSBUs for Greater Groves, Greater Hills and Greater Pines. She added that the MSBUs funded the cost of municipal services for these seven subdivisions, that the program had been in place since 1994, and that the assessments were collected on the property tax bill for each of the parcels within the subdivisions. She also said that first class notices acted as a truth in millage (TRIM) notice every five years when they had the public hearing. She commented that a public hearing was required to adopt the rate schedules and was held every five years. She related that the street lighting assessments were collected on the tax bill, that the County then paid the utility bills directly, and that the budgets were based on the previous year’s utility costs. She said that for the HOA assessments, they were also collected on the tax bills, the HOAs were reimbursed by the County in quarterly payments, and the budgets were determined by the HOAs based on their current service needs. She displayed the proposed assessment rates for each parcel within the seven subdivisions and said that the top three assessments were the HOA assessments. She noted that the County had included a five percent inflation factor for each year after fiscal year (FY) 2020 through FY 2024.
The Chairman opened the public hearing.
Mr. Vincent Avery, a resident of the Picciola Island subdivision, expressed concerns for continued payments for utilities. He opined that negotiations for streetlights in his area were unsatisfactory and he questioned how remaining funding would be used if it was not all expended for utilities.
Ms. Barker clarified that the street lighting MSBU was established at the subdivision’s request to pay the utility bills for street lighting. She said that staff used the prior year’s utility bills to determine the rate and then added an inflation factor.
Mr. Cole explained that they were discussing the use of electricity that powers the street lights and that the County did not make a profit from this funding.
Commr. Campione related that it was an ongoing cost and that the electric bill would have to be paid as long as the streetlights were on; furthermore, the bill was spread out amongst residents who lived in the area where the lights were located. She also stated that the funding was not allowed to contribute to the General Fund and that it would stay in a specific fund which was only for the benefit of residents who used the Picciola Island streetlights.
Ms. Barker confirmed this and added that if they did not pay the projected amount, they would lower it in the subsequent year and keep the excess money in the fund.
Commr. Breeden explained that this was not an additional charge and the request would be approving to continue the MSBU.
Mr. Avery expressed concerns for having to pay the assessment again and for the money that was already being assessed.
Mr. Cole relayed that the current request was for the same collection that Mr. Avery was referring to and that the County would only be setting the upcoming rates. He remarked that there would be an ongoing payment for the streetlight electricity and that only one payment was being discussed. He commented that by law, the County could only use this money to pay the electricity bill for the subdivision.
Commr. Campione asked if the City of Leesburg was providing electricity, and Ms. Barker confirmed this. Commissioner Campione thought that this issue could be about the rate that the City was charging which the County then had to pass on through the non-ad valorem assessment.
Commr. Breeden said that the City of Leesburg’s rates had been reduced and that the current request was for proposed rates that could change.
Mr. Cole suggested having staff meet with Mr. Avery to discuss the issue.
There being no one else who wished to address the Board regarding this matter, the Chairman closed the public hearing.
On a motion by Commr. Sullivan, seconded by Commr. Breeden and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the following items: Resolution 2019-79 adopting the Picciola Island Subdivision non-ad valorem assessment roll and rate schedule; Resolution 2019-80 adopting the Sylvan Shores Subdivision non-ad valorem assessment roll and rate schedule; Resolution 2019-81 adopting the Village Green Subdivision non-ad valorem assessment roll and rate schedule; Resolution 2019-82 adopting the Valencia Terrace Subdivision non-ad valorem assessment roll and rate schedule; Resolution 2019-83 adopting the Greater Hills Municipal Service Benefit Unit non-ad valorem assessment roll and rate schedule; Resolution 2019-84 adopting the Greater Groves Municipal Service Benefit Unit non-ad valorem assessment roll and rate schedule; and Resolution 2019-85 adopting the Greater Pines Subdivision municipal services non-ad valorem assessment roll and rate schedule.
national prescription opiate multidistrict litigation
Ms. Marsh recalled that at the previous meeting, she had requested approval from the Board to have attorneys file on the County’s behalf to avoid missing an informal deadline to be a first tier party to this case. She stated that this agenda item was to approve their contingent fee retainer agreement.
Mr. Michael Kahn, an attorney from the City of Melbourne, explained that he was part of the team representing Lake County in a lawsuit against the manufacturer and distributors of opioids who he opined created the worst manmade crisis in the country’s history. He stated that since 1996, about 350,000 Americans had died from opioid overdoses which included 17 Floridians each day. He remarked that his group represented over two million Floridians, and he praised Ms. Marsh for having the attorneys file before June 14, 2019; additionally, he said that Ms. Marsh took information presented by Mr. Jim Vikaryous, another member of his group, and put before the Board of County Commissioners (BCC) an opportunity to be entitled to an extraordinary expense fund in a proposed settlement. He explained that this meant that Lake County now had access to up to 15 percent more money by having this complaint filed on or before June 14, 2019 and thereby being designated as a litigating entity. He indicated that his group had provided a booklet that described information about the opioid crisis, the biographies of the lawyers, and the fees that would be charged for any recovery. He stated that nationwide, there had been three lawyers chosen by Judge Dan Poster to be co-liaison council and that one of them was Mr. Peter Weinberger, an attorney with Spangenberg, Shibley & Liber, who was a member of the County’s lawyer group. He elaborated that each day of the litigation, Mr. Weinberger would speak in person with the judge and that this was uncommon in litigation but was allowed due to being a multidistrict litigation. He said this allowed his group to obtain information before others, and he commented that the legal fees were based on a classic personal injury format where a failure to recover would not pose a cost to the County. He stated that Lake County would be a plaintiff in a large personal injury case and relayed that the County had requested that Cardinal Health be removed as a defendant due to contractual obligations; however, this would not harm the County. He remarked that there was a negotiating plan which he hoped would be approved by Judge Polster by the end of June 2019, and they would then enter into wholesale negotiations with these three categories of defendants: manufacturers; distributors; and some individuals. He thought it was likely that by October 21, 2019, there would be a global settlement on the case. He distinguished this case from previous tobacco litigation and said that in the tobacco case, the states were the only plaintiffs and received all of the money. He indicated that Judge Polster ensured for the current case that money would be granted to the counties and cities. He relayed that there had been a thought from another county that they had not been affected by this issue, to which he replied that they would file a twelve count complaint on their behalf with one cause of action being for public nuisance. He elaborated that the remedy for this was abatement to require the opioid manufacturers and distributers to fix the crisis through measures such as programs for education and rehabilitation that Lake County would be eligible to receive, in addition to other benefits. He added that the County would also have voting power as a litigating entity that they would not have had as a non-litigating entity.
Commr. Blake asked why Cardinal Health would be removed as a defendant.
Ms. Marsh replied that the County had a contract with Cardinal Health to provide antivenom.
Commr. Parks mentioned the costs for damages and inquired if there was anything that Mr. Kahn could add to this.
Mr. Kahn stated that there was a number of categories he could add and that the provided booklet was not comprehensive. He said that he focused on programs such as education and rehabilitation, and he relayed that equipment could be included for the County if they had a need for emergency medical technician (EMT) equipment or other equipment used to address the opioid issue. He relayed that coming next would be a plaintiff fact sheet in coordination with Ms. Marsh to uncover other types of damages than what was in the provided booklet. He also encouraged the Board to convey any questions through Ms. Marsh.
On a motion by Commr. Parks, seconded by Commr. Breeden and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved for Lake County to participate in the National Prescription Opiate Multidistrict Litigation, and authorization for the Chairman to execute any necessary documents, including the Contingent Fee Retainer Agreement.
recess and reassembly
The Chairman called a recess at 11:10 a.m. for 10 minutes.
Ms. Marsh reported that she had asked for the closed session as authorized by Florida Statutes 286.011 to discuss pending litigation against the County. She noted that the closed session would be confined to settlement negotiations or strategy sessions relating to litigation and its expenditures. She added that a court reporter would record the entire session, from when they began to when they ended, and would include all discussions in the proceedings, including the names of all persons present at any time and whoever spoke. She elaborated that none of the session could be off the record. She commented that the court reporter’s notes would be transcribed when the litigation was concluded and would be made public. She explained that at the beginning of the session the entity was required to give notice of who would be there, staff was required to advertise the closed session, and she had a copy of that advertisement in her possession. She reported that the advertisement ran on June 14, 2019 in the Daily Commercial. She stated that the persons at the meeting would include the Lake County Board of County Commissioners, the County Manager, Ms. Diana Johnson, Senior Assistant County Attorney, Mr. Greg Stewart, an attorney with Nabors, Giblin and Nickerson, and herself. She anticipated that they would not spend more than an hour in this closed session. She indicated that they were ready to begin and asked for the recording to be turned off.
recess and reassembly
At 12:12 p.m. the Chairman announced that the Closed Session had ended and that the Board Meeting was reconvened. She then called a recess for 48 minutes.
Ms. Allison Thall, Director for the Office of Housing and Human Services, relayed that the country was experiencing a pervasive affordable housing crisis which impacted rural, suburban and urban communities. She said that while this crisis had many dimensions, the fundamental issue was a mismatch between what people earned or otherwise had available to spend for homes and housing costs; furthermore, there were record breaking numbers of households of people who could not afford a decent dwelling. She indicated that homelessness has deep and costly repercussions and affects not only the individual experiencing a crisis, but also increases community costs and negatively impacts the quality of life for residents, businesses and visitors. She remarked that it was widely known that to successfully address homelessness in any community, there was a requirement for leadership, a plan, and funding. She commented that the goal today was to bring community members together to create a conversation about homelessness and to draw on the individual knowledge of each participant. She said that the Board would hear from local leaders, community advocates, social service providers and data experts who would share local efforts currently being undertaken to address homelessness in Lake County. She hoped that this would help create a broad base of community involvement while establishing a dialogue on community wide issues that would ultimately conclude with recommendations and the implementation of timely solutions that could positively impact Lake County’s homeless individuals and their families.
Mr. Jon Cherry, President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of LifeStream Behavioral Center, said that his organization had visited the Kearny Center in the City of Tallahassee and opined that they had done a great job in creating a homeless system of care for Leon County with an approximately 300 bed shelter, separate independent living, apartments and group homes, and a new tiny home community. He stated that there had been a meeting with County staff and Well Florida discussing the studies conducted on behalf of Marion and Sarasota Counties and they agreed that a workshop with the Lake County BCC would be helpful to present an overview and recommendations for creating an effective homeless response system. He indicated that an effective homeless response system had many key components which included outreach and coordinated entry, prevention and diversion, emergency shelter, rehousing, and permanent supportive housing (PSH). He remarked that the Mid Florida Homeless Coalition coordinated homeless services in Lake, Sumter, Hernando and Citrus Counties. He felt that there were limited prevention and diversion services and explained that diversion services were to assist displaced families with securing emergency housing outside of a shelter while receiving supportive services. He related that there were limited emergency shelter beds in the community, though some existed for children in the child welfare system. He explained that rehousing provided short term rental assistance and services and was part of the housing first movement to help individuals be rehoused quickly and be moved into PSH. He said that there was limited PSH in the community, though the eight bed Hope House was recently created with the County’s assistance; additionally, there was shelter care for about 12 individuals at a given time through the Lake County Office of Housing and Human Services. He opined that the county currently had a minimally funded system of care and relayed that homelessness was increasing; however, some homelessness was unseen such as with homeless schoolchildren and families living in their cars. He also said that there were issues with the placement of individuals who were in a short term psychiatric hospital and who did not have a place to go once they were ready for discharge. He felt that this was caused by a lack of affordable housing, unemployment, poverty and low wages. He relayed that these factors contributed to homelessness in Lake County: a lack of emergency shelters and beds; a shortage of affordable housing; and limited access to healthcare. He presented these recommendations for creating an effective homeless response system: adopt the key components for building an effective homeless response system; establish a Lake County homeless advisory council; apply urgency for transformation through the advisory council; and help facilitate a coordinated response with other funders including governmental, nonprofit and private entities to create a system of care for the homeless in Lake County and implement the proposed solutions. He mentioned LifeStream’s Anthony House in Orange County and said that it was a 41 bed residential shelter for homeless individuals which had previously shut down, but was rejuvenated by LifeStream with funding from Orange County and the Edith Bush Foundation. He elaborated that it provided transitional housing for homeless pregnant and postpartum women and their children, and it would be expanding to 50 beds. He specified that current funding allowed about 24 opioid addicted pregnant women and their children to live at the facility and that a goal was to prevent the children from being drug addicted after being born. He said that Anthony House was a one stop facility for services needed by this population and was working well with the goal of reintegrating them back into the community. He mentioned the services provided at the Kearny Center and said that they used the same model of bringing the needed services to the individual.
Ms. Thall said that in 1987, Congress passed the first federal law specifically addressing homelessness and that from this law, the continuum of care (CoC) homeless assistance system was created. She indicated that the Mid Florida Homeless Coalition was Lake County’s CoC and that their primary purpose was to develop a comprehensive system to address homelessness by providing communities with a framework for organizing and delivering housing and services to make homelessness rare, brief and one time. She mentioned that the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) required all CoCs to conduct an annual count of all sheltered and unsheltered people during the last 10 days of January each year. Several members of the Mid Florida Homeless Coalition then spoke about their organization and services.
Ms. Barbara Wheeler, Executive Director for the Mid Florida Homeless Coalition, displayed HUD’s definition of a CoC and said that her organization, as the CoC lead agency, was the engine of the CoC. She explained that the CoC was every organization and person who wanted to cooperate to end homelessness. She stated that the CoC program began with her organization being responsible for submitting the HUD CoC application each year for funding, though their role had since been expanded. She noted that her organization was nonprofit and had its own nonprofit board to ensure their continued existence, and they also had a governing board composed of individuals who made decisions on behalf of the CoC. She suggested that instead of creating its own council, Lake County should be a part of this governing board. She noted that building the capacity of the governing board was in their plan to end homelessness and that they needed leaders to provide assistance. She noted some members of their CoC and said that building the capacity of the CoC was a continued goal to obtain funding. She mentioned a need to increase the number of hospitals, correctional facilities, public housing, and participation in the CoC due to these organizations seeing homeless individuals cycle in and out. She added that she did not include mental health organizations because LifeStream was already involved and had been working with her organization as an active partner.
Ms. Tomi Steinruck, Director of Operations for the Mid Florida Homeless Coalition, stated that the CoC’s goal was to take individuals from homelessness to housing and that several of their goals were HUD goals, including the following: prevent and end veterans’ homelessness as the top priority; end chronic homelessness; prevent and end homelessness for families, children and youth; and set a path to end all homelessness. She said that they were bringing in partners who would also provide funding such as the Society of St. Vincent De Paul who was bringing Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) funding and conducting diversion training throughout the CoC. She remarked that before individuals reached homelessness, the CoC was attempting to divert them through prevention. She explained that diversion involved reaching individuals before funding was required by working with their support systems such as social clubs, churches and family. She noted that they would sometimes have to use prevention dollars but felt that it was cheaper to pay one month of rent and offer one year of case management, such as through budgeting and education, for those individuals to prevent ongoing assistance. She indicated that her organization also conducted rapid rehousing and that a key to this was housing case management, which differed from traditional case management by involving in-home visits with the individual each month for budgeting and evaluation of skills, along with connecting them with LifeStream for mental health services.
Ms. Wheeler said that HUD would continue funding the CoCs based on certain performance measures and that better performance could increase the chance for greater funding.
Ms. Paula Holtsclaw, an individual with the Mid Florida Homeless Coalition that maintained data for all four counties, reiterated that on one day in the last 10 days of January, the CoCs went into the community to count the number of homeless individuals. She elaborated that her organization reported to HUD a total number of people for their four counties, and she presented data from Lake County. She said that in 2018, Lake County had 55 extra sheltered beds due to Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Marie for an inflated 310 persons. She commented that the individuals were also reported according to the types of households they were in such as adults only, households with children, and children only which included children under the age of 18 who were living on their own, though there were no children in this category found in January 2019. She remarked that her organization also reported on subpopulations including veterans, with fifteen being encountered during the most recent count and nine veterans currently on the by-name list. She explained that the by-name list included information on every identified homeless person in the county, including veteran status, and they used the by-name list to conduct biweekly conference calls with agencies such as the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), the County’s veteran service office, and agencies providing services specifically for veterans. She said that the goal was to work together to end veteran homelessness as quickly as possible by finding housing solutions. She also commented that the CoC was also creating a veterans committee to address the federal benchmarks needed to be met to end veteran homelessness. She indicated that youth was the second subpopulation reported by her organization and included individuals under the age of 25 who were not accompanied by an individual 25 years of age or older.
Ms. Steinruck showed a slide with the components of an effective housing crisis response system and said that for outreach, her organization funded LifeStream’s team in addition to having their own outreach team. She explained that their outreach included leaving the offices and meeting homeless individuals in their camps to bring them supplies and perform intake; furthermore, after making contact with an individual, they managed a coordinated entry system so that each contacted person was maintained on the by-name list for all four counties after assessing and placing them with a service based on vulnerability and need. She added that when an agency was ready for another referral, her organization would hold coordinated access calls with community providers to discuss individuals’ vulnerabilities and to refer them based on need. She said that her organization was involved with emergency shelters and rapid rehousing. She commented that rapid rehousing was key in a crisis situation and used a housing first approach where individuals would be housed before being given services. She felt that this could be costly but gave individuals stability and a full assessment with housing case management; additionally, this approach had significant success rates and could lead to permanent housing without assistance.
Ms. Wheeler said that in addition to the point in time count for people, they also had to report their housing inventory count to HUD on an annual basis.
Ms. Holtsclaw explained that an emergency shelter is temporary housing while a person or family finds permanent housing and that one of HUD’s performance measures was to decrease the number of persons in an emergency shelter and to reduce their lengths of stay. She added that increasing the number of beds in a community would negatively impact this measure and that the success rate for those moving from an emergency shelter in Lake County to permanent housing was 51 percent. She remarked that 37 percent of those who exited shelter then moved into temporary housing and 12 percent disappeared after leaving. She said that the current average length of stay for those who were enrolled was 103 days, with a 102 day average stay for those who left. She noted that agencies operating shelters and other housing facilities participated in her organization’s data system, and that non-participating facilities negatively impacted their scoring for HUD funding opportunities and created difficulty in knowing who was being housed. She then stated that transitional housing consisted of a long term stay of up to 24 months, and she shared that individuals were still considered homeless while in either transitional housing or an emergency shelter and would remain in her organization’s point in time count during that time. She said that there were several different options for transitional housing in Lake County and that the success rate for those moving from transitional to permanent housing was 77 percent. She added that eighteen percent moved into other temporary types of housing and only five percent left without communication. She indicated that the primary goal of PSH was to end chronic homelessness, which was defined as a person who had a disabling condition and had been homeless for one year or more, or four times in the past three years totaling twelve months.
Ms. Wheeler remarked that her organization needed assistance in attempting to identify how many chronically homeless individuals were in the community and had attempted to find people to enter data and to report information. She elaborated when making a referral, they have to determine whether the person meets the requirement to be chronically homeless before they can make a referral. She relayed that Hope House and the County’s housing were both partially funded by CoC funding and said that PSH was a HUD best practice under the housing first model.
Ms. Holtsclaw indicated that there were different PSH options and that New Beginnings of Central Florida offered beds dedicated to those who had been homeless, which included case management. She reported that there was not a requirement for disabling conditions or chronic homelessness, and the lengths of stays were indefinite as long as individuals abided by the terms of their leases.
Ms. Wheeler stated that her organization currently received $15,000 from the County for rapid rehousing and that the balance of other rapid rehousing programs in the county was funded by the Mid Florida Homeless Coalition through state funding. She said that her organization’s partner was LifeStream and that there had been a 100 percent success rate for individuals who had undergone rapid rehousing one year prior. She felt that her organization needed assistance in building its governing board and for leaders to join them. She also expressed a desire for the County to support the CoC’s effort to implement diversion practices and relayed her understanding that this would save money. She recommended forming an outreach team for Lake County and indicated that they had been funding a 1.5 person team from LifeStream who had been performing outreach in four counties, though this was not as effective as desired; furthermore, her organization only had two people serving five counties. She suggested supporting the coordinated access system, which she felt was effective due to following best practices and utilizing individuals from the community who were committed to assisting vulnerable individuals with housing. She then provided these additional recommendations: support low barriers for entry into emergency shelters; provide additional funding for rehousing to move people from homelessness to housing; fund case management from the County’s Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) to provide housing case management for Lake County’s PSH program to stabilize these individuals and move them into other housing; apply for Veteran Affairs Supportive Housing (VASH) vouchers to move Lake County homeless veterans into housing quickly; support deeply subsidized affordable housing due to a lack of this housing; and consider the successful Santa Rosa County tenant-based rental assistance (TBRA) project for Lake County which used TBRA funding and case management to move individuals into stable housing.
Ms. Thall said that The Salvation Army was a national leader for sheltering individuals and families and that each night, they sheltered almost 30,000 homeless Americans through emergency shelters, group homes, transitional living centers and family service programs. She then introduced Mr. Sandy Lichterman, Advisory Board Chairman of The Salvation Army serving Lake and Sumter Counties.
Mr. Lichterman reported on the progress to construct a homeless shelter and low income senior housing to serve Lake County. He explained that The Salvation Army began operating in Lake County in the City of Leesburg in the year 2000 in an approximately 2,000 square foot building until about three years prior when they moved into a new building of about 27,000 square feet. He stated that they had since paid off this building and had continued to receive additional funds to expand their programs. He remarked that in 2.5 years, they had outgrown this building and were currently working with an architect to design a two story addition to increase their programs and better serve the community. He mentioned that Sheriff Peyton Grinnell had joined their board and informed him about the homelessness issue in Lake County. He felt that his organization would be able to attract the funds to build and equip a shelter, though they would need funds to operate it. He related that their current budget of $2.2 million for existing programs in Lake and Sumter Counties did not have capacity for additional ongoing expenses, and that they formed a task force with their board and other individuals and visited three other Salvation Army facilities in the Cities of Orlando, Ocala and Clearwater. He elaborated that they then requested permission to further pursue the homelessness issue and to establish a full plan to develop a homeless shelter in Lake County. He indicated that they were authorized to hire the Bridge Consulting Group to establish and identify needs in the community that could be provided. He noted that this study was completed in February 2019 and identified several programs to consider or expand. He said that they identified areas of need in Lake County as low income senior housing and services along with a homeless shelter and program. He also relayed that they recently formed a senior housing and homeless shelter committee with two subcommittees. He said that they had a new position in their budget for public relations and social media to inform individuals about The Salvation Army and raise funds, and he asked the Board to inform them of potential candidates. He stated that they asked their finance and fundraising committees to begin planning a major fundraising capital campaign to assist with developing the budget for capital and operational needs. He remarked that their property committee was currently working with a contractor, an architect and a land planner to move forward with the addition to their building and the senior living low income apartment units. He related that they had already purchased the land for this project and would be closing on the property on July 15, 2019; additionally, the senior program already existed at their facility and would be expanded and staffed with additional personnel. He commented that their homeless shelter subcommittee was now developing programs to serve the homeless and that during September and October 2019, they would be meeting with The Salvation Army homeless professionals who had been providing these services in the State of Florida and the City of Atlanta, Georgia. He indicated that his organization was having the Bridge Consulting Group come back to help them complete the goals and timelines, along with developing a strategic plan to complete the project. He said that his organization’s recent Pathway of Hope program was growing and that they were continuing to train volunteers. He explained that this program was designed to remove people from poverty and to enhance their education, teach ways to save money, and help find them jobs. He said that their goal for the shelter was to have a food court approach where the service providers would visit the facility on a regular basis so that clients would not have to travel to them. He stated that recently, they had 75 representatives of organizations that provided service to homeless individuals in Central Florida visit The Salvation Army and that as a result, his organization was now preparing a resource directory for services and was actively searching for a location for the shelter. He concluded by encouraging individuals to join their committees and provide input.
Ms. Thall next introduced Dr. Alan Holden, President and CEO of United Way of Lake and Sumter Counties, and said that United Way helped people build better lives. She elaborated that under Dr. Holden’s leadership, this organization was instrumental in strengthening the community by supporting dozens of programs and many local nonprofit agencies.
Dr. Holden mentioned that United Way was the sole funder and provider of the 2-1-1 service which was a hotline available at all hours of the day year-round where someone can receive information if they are unsure about service providers. He elaborated that currently, they had 116 agencies in Lake County in 329 locations, and operators assisted callers by finding options using the callers’ zip codes. He gave these examples of provided needs: rent and utility assistance; food pantries; youth and childcare services; senior and elder care services; mental health and substance abuse services; domestic abuse services; Medicare and Medicaid information; free tax preparation services; and disaster preparedness and recovery. He explained that anyone could access 2-1-1 by dialing 2-1-1 on their phone, by text, or through the website. He displayed information from the 2-1-1 Counts website which indicated that in the past year in Lake County, they had received 16,485 calls and that the most requested information was for housing and shelter services, followed by utility assistance. He added that in the previous year, there were 1,488 requests for emergency shelters, about 1,400 requests for low cost housing, and 3,095 requests for rent and utility assistance. He noted that the County could use this website to search for additional information. He showed the top Lake County zip codes that called 2-1-1 for assistance and pointed out that the City of Leesburg was first, followed by the Cities of Eustis, Clermont, Mount Dora, Tavares, Groveland and Mascotte, respectively. He commented that his organization partnered with many agencies for funding or to connect them with funding, such as Find, Feed & Restore who took recreational vehicles (RVs) and other types of housing which was then restored and utilized to house homeless families for four to six months rent free until they could begin paying rent and secure their own housing. He also mentioned the Forward Paths Foundation which provided housing for teens who were aging out of the foster care system, along with Habitat for Humanity who were considering tiny houses and working with the Lake County Office of Building Services to find solutions. He also reviewed the following housing programs: Haven of Lake & Sumter Counties, which provided housing for victims of domestic abuse and their children; LifeStream Behavioral Center, which provided substance abuse counseling and transitional housing; New Beginnings of Central Florida, which provided housing rehabilitation services and affordable housing; St. Vincent de Paul, which provided housing assistance for veterans in Lake County and other nearby counties; The Salvation Army, which was working to provide homeless and transitional housing; Samaritan Inn, which provided transitional housing and substance abuse rehabilitation; and Victoria’s Haven, which provided transitional housing and substance abuse counseling for women. He commented that his organization had partnered with The Mustard Seed of Central Florida, who helped provide sterilized and rebuilt furniture for families without home furnishings. He then explained that United Way focused on homelessness prevention and that they worked with various agencies to provide rent and utility assistance, though nearly all of these agencies were currently low on funds. He noted that United Way was this year’s provider of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) funds and that they received about $9,500 to be available for Lake County in the next year; additionally, United Way provided matching funds for a total of approximately $19,000 for residents in Lake County. He then stated that United Way assisted 1,029 families in transition in 2018 and that for utility assistance, United Way was Duke Energy’s recipient for their customers only. He added that United Way was also the recipient of the SECO Energy Angel Fund for those customers only, and United Way did not provide any funding for residents who used city utilities such as in the City of Leesburg or the City of Mount Dora. He said that when money was provided through the Emergency Food & Shelter Program, United Way ensured that this funding was only provided to residents with city utilities.
The Chairman opened the floor for public comment.
Reverend Chuck Padgett, a resident of Lake County, said that his church had conducted a number of recent homeless outreaches but expressed concerns that the individuals from the panel had not attended them. He said that his church helped homeless individuals with food and medical supplies and that it also opened as a warming shelter. He said that he had invited individuals to interview the homeless and assess their needs, though no one came to conduct the interviews except for County officials. He opined that more support was needed and expressed interest in conducting another outreach and interviewing individuals to find out how to help them obtain housing. He asked that when building shelters, would there be individuals to help the homeless leave that environment and reenter society. He relayed his understanding that homeless individuals wanted to leave that situation but lacked the funds or resources to do so. He expressed interest in an around the clock shelter and for providing medical assistance to these individuals. He indicated that his church was willing to be on a panel to help the County but had not been contacted, and he relayed a concern for examining how the Cities of Tallahassee and Orlando were addressing the issue; rather, he expressed a desire to instead contact homeless individuals and learn who they are.
Ms. Linda Galat, a resident involved with a ministry for the homeless in the City of Leesburg area, thought that the homeless point in time counts were inaccurate. She expressed that her organization had serviced over 175 people in the last 18 months between the Leesburg High School and the Leesburg Wal-Mart, and she expressed her understanding that many Lake County prisoners were listed as homeless or with the address for Come as You Are, which was a day ministry for the homeless. She then questioned why Lake County was constructing an animal shelter instead of a homeless shelter.
Commr. Campione felt that building a homeless shelter was not necessarily the answer and that the County was looking for solutions to move homeless individuals into their own permanent housing. She noted that some homeless individuals were not looking for a solution and that the County had to consider a variety of needs in the community.
Ms. Galat opined that homeless individuals needed to be taught to be self-sufficient. She felt that some homeless individuals would not use a shelter, though she thought there were many people who did not fit in certain facilities such as those for domestic abuse or substance abuse.
Ms. Patti Winston, a City of Leesburg resident, expressed concerns about services for homeless gay and lesbian youth, and she expressed her understanding that about 40 percent of these individuals were homeless. She also indicated concerns about services being contingent on attending church, and she asked about the issues that the County was considering with funding.
Dr. Holden expressed his understanding that the Mid Florida Homeless Coalition welcomed any volunteers to assist with the point in time count, particularly if they had knowledge of and relationships with homeless individuals. He also indicated that if invited, the Mid Florida Homeless Coalition would be happy to provide assistance.
Commr. Campione asked how long in advance they knew when the point in time count would occur.
Ms. Wheeler replied that they normally made that decision around November and that according to HUD, it had to be in a single 24 hour period during the last 10 days of January. She indicated that they normally conducted the count on a Tuesday, that they knew about this well ahead of time, and that they made those announcements at their Lake County provider meeting.
Ms. Stephanie Harris, Executive Director for New Beginnings of Central Florida, expressed that the majority of homeless individuals that her organization saw were working but did not have a place to live. She felt that this need had grown recently and she expressed a concern for housing capacity. She urged the BCC to hold discussions with housing developers to determine if the constituents in the area would be able to afford those homes. She opined that the employment needs of the county were not satisfied due to individuals being unable to live where they worked, and she thought that the County could offer tax benefits or other incentives to build affordable housing units. She clarified that she was not referring to Section 8 housing or undesirable apartments, and she expressed a desire to help working individuals.
Mr. Lichterman said that the working poor was targeted by The Salvation Army’s Pathway of Hope program to bring those individuals out of poverty and address the housing issue. He relayed that the program had been effective in Sumter County and that it had not been used as effectively in Lake County due to a lack of capacity; however, the new owner of a mall in Lake County would be giving them space for this program.
Commr. Campione felt that agencies had been providing services within their own parameters and that the County was attempting to bring them together and take a comprehensive approach. She expressed an interest in continuing existing services while identifying gaps and possible collaborations.
Commr. Parks read a letter into the record from Mr. Steve Smith, Founder of New Beginnings of Central Florida, which indicated that for over two years, a homeless task force in South Lake had been meeting monthly with Commissioner Parks, representatives from the Lake County Office of Housing and Human Services, the Lake County Sheriff’s Office (LCSO), the Clermont Police Department, the Mayor of Clermont, city officials from other cities including Groveland, Orlando Health, the South Lake Chamber of Commerce, United Way, the Community Foundation of South Lake, and other business and community leaders. He continued reading the letter which indicated that the purpose of this task force was to discuss the current homeless situation and how to advocate for ways to reduce homelessness and bring community awareness; additionally, this group recognized that without housing for all, homelessness would continue and grow, thus this task force had evolved into a housing for all commission to focus on awareness of the housing shortage in the county. He relayed that the letter encouraged the BCC to support an emergency shelter, to allow the construction of tiny homes, and to remove other barriers to increase the availability of affordable housing such as increased density, paying for impact fees, etc., according to the recommendations by the Mid Florida Housing Coalition.
There being no one else who wished to address the Board regarding this matter, the Chairman brought it back to the Board for discussion.
Ms. Wheeler expressed concerns about the point in time count and did not think that all homeless individuals could be identified in a day, though the count was required by HUD. She reiterated that her organization maintained a by-name list which included each homeless individual they learned about through each of their associations; furthermore, she thought that this was a more accurate representation of the community and should be focused on. She stated that many individuals wanted to obtain housing and that those people were on the by-name list due to a lack of funds to house them.
Commr. Campione asked how the other counties involved with the Mid Florida Homeless Coalition were addressing homelessness, and she noted that each county involved with the organization affected the others.
Ms. Wheeler responded that it varied but that while her organization managed a large number of homeless individuals, other areas had much greater numbers. She said that their numbers were lower in Citrus County partly due to rapid rehousing and because United Way of Citrus County had partnered with her organization there. She relayed that there were not many homeless individuals in Sumter County and that the homeless there were generally transient or unable to be found. She explained that Hernando County experienced similar challenges as Lake County, and she indicated that according to the Florida Chamber of Commerce, the three counties that would continue to grow in the state were Miami-Dade, Orange and Hillsborough Counties; furthermore, this growth would affect Lake and Hernando Counties. She commented that her organization had not conducted rapid rehousing in the City of Clermont due to there being a lack of sufficient income for individuals to move into that area, while other areas in South Lake with affordable housing did not meet her organization’s housing inspections. She elaborated that the Mid Florida Homeless Coalition was more commonly rehousing individuals in the City of Leesburg and northern Lake County due to affordable housing that met the requirements for federal and state funding.
Commr. Campione inquired if there was sufficient inventory for housing if the funding was available.
Ms. Wheeler thought that they would eventually struggle to find housing for those with lower incomes. She remarked that they had a housing locator for all four counties and worked with individual landlords to develop relationships, and they had been successful in helping individuals find PSH and rapid rehousing.
Commr. Breeden asked if she had an estimate of the by-name list count in Lake County.
Ms. Holtsclaw indicated that there were 442 people on the list as of the previous week.
Ms. Wheeler noted that they needed volunteers to help with the list and said that some individuals were able to self-house; however, her organization lacked the staff to follow up monthly with listed individuals.
Mr. Lichterman opined that homelessness was a symptom and that homeless individuals had other issues such as with education or health. He indicated an interest in addressing these issues along with homelessness as part of The Salvation Army’s program through measures such as a General Education Development (GED) program. He felt that jobs were available but that individuals were not qualified to take them; additionally, he opined that merely placing homeless individuals into housing would not solve the issue.
Ms. Wheeler clarified that in addition to placing individuals into housing, there was a year of case management which helped to address those items.
Commr. Campione inquired if there were requirements to enter The Salvation Army’s shelters in other areas.
Mr. Lichterman replied that they had certain rules such as disallowing drugs and smoking in the shelter. He elaborated that to obtain the VA’s support of the shelter, veterans could not be housed with individuals who had been using drugs or alcohol. He relayed his understanding that a high percentage of homeless individuals were veterans, and he said that they had planned to house veterans in a separate section of their shelter. He elaborated that in the same campus they had planned to have a male shelter with a separate section for veterans, a women’s shelter, and a shelter for families.
Commr. Parks inquired if this shelter would have the food court approach that he mentioned previously, and Mr. Lichterman confirmed that all of the services would be provided there.
Reverend Padgett relayed that when his church had provided warming shelters, they did not have to call a police officer. He elaborated that the individuals coming to the church for this service did not bring drugs or alcohol, and he said that the church separated the men and women. He thought that until funding was obtained to construct new buildings, there were vacant buildings and that individuals would help operate them to assist homeless individuals with reintegrating into society.
Ms. Thall felt that the goal of bringing community stakeholders together had been met. She relayed that she did not have a structured plan due to the complexity of the issue, and she felt that addressing it would require the help of many of the individuals in attendance along with the BCC. She relayed that her preferred next step would be to continue this dialogue outside of a BCC workshop. She expressed interest in developing a communitywide taskforce and she indicated a desire to address these issues in a broad and conclusive way.
Commr. Campione asked how the County could conduct rapid rehousing and if it was just an issue of providing a match to obtain federal funding.
Ms. Wheeler responded that funding was a current limitation and reiterated that LifeStream was conducting case management in the county. She indicated that the HUD CoC notice of funding availability (NOFA) would be available soon and that someone from Lake County could apply for rapid rehousing funding from that program. She remarked that her organization now had rapid rehousing from HUD CoC funding starting in Citrus County and noted that there were funding opportunities available as long as an organization was willing to take advantage of them. She commented that LifeStream continued to be her organization’s partner for rapid rehousing and that they could only expand the program if they had additional funding.
Commr. Campione asked if money for rapid rehousing which came from Lake County would stay in Lake County, and Ms. Wheeler confirmed this. Commissioner Campione also felt that an emergency shelter that could connect individuals with services to help them obtain permanent housing would be for naught if the housing was unavailable.
Ms. Wheeler opined that emergency shelters were needed but noted that Lake County had the least amount of shelters, with the exception of Sumter County, throughout her organization’s CoC. She noted that a concern of HUD was that they wanted individuals to be moved in and out of shelters within 30 days; otherwise, those individuals could prevent others from moving in.
Commr. Campione asked Mr. Lichterman about the timeline for formulating their budget.
Mr. Lichterman explained that after creating the program and identifying a location, they would have their budget and be aware of their operating costs. He thought that The Salvation Army should be able to raise funds to purchase, renovate, or build a facility. He commented that they would be looking for a contract to provide the funds to run the program while The Salvation Army would manage the program. He expressed a desire to have 24 hour per day staff, and he said that they wanted to move these individuals from the shelter into the Pathway of Hope program. He explained that they were not considering a 30 day program but rather were looking to have a program to provide individuals with skills, which may require a longer period of time. He elaborated that the program would teach homeless individuals money management, how to raise a family, education, and other skills, and then move them into temporary subsidized housing before allowing them to support themselves. He relayed that the program was working successfully in Sumter County and was starting to work in the City of Leesburg. He commented that they were beginning to train volunteers with different skills and that Salvation Army volunteers were dedicated and believed in their mission. He also stated that they did not require clients to attend church.
Commr. Blake inquired about the current percentage of homeless individuals experiencing mental illness or drug use based on the point in time count from January 2019.
Ms. Wheeler was unsure of the percentage but indicated that her organization’s Projects for Assistance in Transition from Homelessness (PATH) outreach team focused on working with these individuals in the Mid Florida Homeless Coalition’s four counties and Marion County. She indicated that Lutheran Services Florida (LSF) identified a high utilizer list of individuals moving through LifeStream and that those people were worked with for identification and to move them into housing. She explained that her organization asked a variety of questions when performing a housing assessment, including those regarding mental health.
Reverend Padgett opined that a significant number of homeless individuals were addicted to methamphetamine.
Commr. Blake expressed a concern for this percentage reducing the number of individuals that The Salvation Army could intake.
Commr. Campione relayed her understanding that The Salvation Army facility would have subfacilities so that individuals with substance abuse issues could still be provided services, though they would not be in the same population as veterans.
Mr. Lichterman commented that they could currently transport an individual with a substance abuse issue to a facility that was already operational in the Cities of Ocala or Orlando. He indicated a desire to not mix the populations in their facility.
Commr. Parks asked if the facility would be scalable and if they would start with immediate needs.
Mr. Lichterman responded that they would have a master plan and construct the urgent portion first while working to treat other needs.
Commr. Campione encouraged him to consider the facility’s location and felt that it could be challenging to find a location that would be embraced by the community.
Commr. Breeden thought that this issue must be treated as a whole and that they should not wait until there was sufficient housing to construct an emergency shelter. She expressed an interest in bringing programs in the county together and thought that municipalities could possibly also help The Salvation Army due to the service being provided to them. She also indicated an interest in making sure that it was easier to obtain tiny homes and more affordable housing.
Mr. Lichterman said that Sheriff Bill Farmer from Sumter County had indicated that Sumter County could assist with funding The Salvation Army.
Commr. Sullivan opined that an emergency shelter was likely the more important priority, though there would then have to be transitional housing. He relayed that the Lake County Office of Planning and Zoning had been considering tiny homes and other items to address this, and he expressed interest in funding an outreach team for Lake County. He thanked everyone in attendance and felt that this was a community issue that would require everyone to cooperate. He indicated a concern for ensuring that services were not overlapping and expressed interest in creating an action plan.
Commr. Parks opined that action was required and that the BCC had the ability to implement a vision for how this issue would be addressed over the next year. He felt that there was a disconnect in activities in South Lake when compared to North Lake, and he thought that a possible advisory council including many of the people in attendance could be assembled quickly and have a role. He opined that a crisis center was important and expressed support for entering into a partnership with The Salvation Army. He expressed interest in cities being involved and relayed his understanding that the Cities of Clermont and Leesburg were interested. He mentioned that the Affordable Housing Advisory Committee was working on attainable housing and he felt that the County should finish vetting recommendations for tiny homes. He also indicated an interest in a registry which could be a potential funding mechanism for offsetting costs for housing projects. He felt that the BCC should set a timeframe to address this issue.
Commr. Campione opined that the BCC should collaborate on an action plan based on the information received at the current meeting and for the County to do more regarding rapid rehousing and permanent housing solutions in order to receive more matching funds. She noted that creating policies for tiny homes could be part of the master plan and she expressed an interest in involving the cities with The Salvation Army shelter. She thought that the County starting small on this issue could lead to better buy in from municipalities. She stated an interest in The Salvation Army coming back before the BCC with specific information, and she expressed a concern about forming a committee due to Sunshine Law issues that could affect communication between groups.
Ms. Wheeler relayed that the County was part of a CoC and that the Mid Florida Homeless Coalition could assist them. She said that in Lake County, her organization held a providers meeting each month and that they could change the location, date or time of the meetings. She indicated that there were a few governing board members from Lake County who attended these meetings and she asked the Board to help bring those people together.
Ms. Thall indicated that County staff could coordinate with Ms. Wheeler’s staff to identify interested individuals in the community and raise awareness of a meeting through the Mid Florida Homeless Coalition.
Commr. Campione expressed an interest in The Salvation Army having a representative to keep everyone up to date on their progress, and Mr. Lichterman said that they would participate. Commissioner Campione then inquired if The Salvation Army’s committee searching for a shelter location had been connected with the Director for the Lake County Office of Planning and Zoning.
Mr. Lichterman confirmed this and added that their low income senior apartments were located on the property adjacent to their current facility. He stated that they were currently assigning a committee to search for a new property.
Ms. Winston thanked the Board and felt that to have a home, an individual would need to earn a living wage of at least $15 per hour. She opined that this was challenging in the City of Leesburg and she encouraged the Board to consider this information.
Commr. Campione relayed that the Agency for Economic Prosperity and the Office of Elevate Lake were working to bring high wage jobs to Lake County.
Reverend Padgett felt that the discussion had been good and that the issue should be considered quickly due to the hurricane season and winter approaching. He relayed that homeless individuals would need a place to go and that his church would be sheltering individuals this year.
Commr. Campione noted that churches which sheltered individuals in the previous year had been successful. She then stated that information would be given for the next meeting of the Mid Florida Homeless Coalition.
recess and reassembly
The Chairman called a recess at 3:30 p.m. for 10 minutes.
presentation – summary of fy 2020 proposed budget
Ms. Barker presented an overview of the FY 2020 proposed budget. She explained that the Lake County Property Appraiser had provided the best estimate of property values on May 28, 2019 for these countywide millages: the Lake County General Fund Countywide Millage; the Lake County Ambulance Municipal Service Taxing Unit (MSTU) and the Lake County Public Lands-Voted Debt, which reflected an increase of 7.33 percent each; the Lake County Stormwater, Roads, and Parks MSTU which had an increase of 5.67 percent; and the Lake County Fire Rescue MSTU which had an increase of 5.83 percent. She commented that the Property Appraiser’s Office had indicated that there would likely be some increase from the 7.33 percent number and the County would have the certified values on July 1, 2019. She said that the County had 14 budget workshops in 2019 beginning with the economic outlook presentation and the strategies workshop on February 12. She also noted these budget presentations which had occurred in 2019: the Offices of Communications, Facilities Management, and Human Resources and Risk Management on April 9; the Information Technology (IT) Department, the Office of Extension Services, and the Office of Library Services, along with the Agency for Economic Prosperity, on April 23; the Offices of Parks and Trails, Animal Services, Building Services, Code Enforcement, and Planning and Zoning on May 7; and the Offices of Emergency Management, Emergency Medical Services (EMS), Fire Rescue, Public Safety Support, Housing and Human Services, Transit Services, and County Probation, along with the Public Works Department, on June 11. She then mentioned these highlights from each budget presentation: the Office of Communications’ proposed budget included an increase of about $45,000 or 4.8 percent, with an 11.5 percent increase in operating expenses due to new printer leases from the Office of EMS transition; the Office of Facilities Management was proposing a status quo budget for FY 2020; the General Fund budget for the Office of Human Resources and Risk Management was also status quo, with a 50 percent increase in the Property and Casualty Fund due to an increase in premiums and the reserves, along with a five percent increase in the Employee Group Benefits Fund due to an increase in the reserves; the IT Department had an overall increase of about $216,000 or approximately seven percent related to additional Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) security, offsite backups, telephone replacements and network monitoring; and the Office of Extension Services had an overall decrease of about $3,600 due to internal reorganization. She indicated that the Office of Library Services had an overall increase of approximately $15,000 due to the addition of the Eustis Memorial Library to the County Library system and that this funding was the library’s appropriation for the first year. She relayed that this office also had about $131,000 in savings identified this year from efficiencies to address the increased cost of providing services, which included the termination of a cataloging and metadata service contract along with a staff reorganization. She explained that the Agency for Economic Prosperity had an overall General Fund decrease of roughly $2,800 and that included in their proposed budget was $85,000 for Wellness Way technical consulting and $50,000 for Wolf Branch Innovation District consulting; furthermore, there was a 92 percent decrease in Tourist Development Tax (TDT) capital funding due to the completion of the Hickory Point Beach volleyball fieldhouse. She also mentioned that the Office of Fairgrounds and Events continued to operate at no net cost to the County. She said that the Office of Parks and Trails had a General Fund decrease of $212,000 or 21 percent that was decreasing the transfer from the General Fund to the Parks and Trails fund. She elaborated that this office had a roughly $95,000 increase related to the MSTU due to an increase in general maintenance contracts and administrative costs that were transferred to the Lake County Property Appraiser and Tax Collector for collecting the MSTU. She commented that also included in the Office of Parks and Trails budget was $1.3 million remaining in capital outlay for the Lake May Reserve, and this project was 100 percent grant funded. She related that the Office of Animal Services had an increase of approximately $42,000 for the increased operating expenses of the new animal shelter; additionally, there was $7.1 million of remaining bank loan proceeds that staff was budgeting for the construction of the new animal shelter. She reported that the Office of Building Services had an increase of slightly over $1 million or approximately 17 percent, and additional funding was included for the renovations related to the One Stop Shop, insurance service organization (ISO) training, and a software upgrade; additionally, the office’s reserves increased by about 12 percent to $2.9 million. She said that the Office of Code Enforcement had an overall decrease of roughly $15,000 due to a savings from staffing changes, and the Office of Planning and Zoning’s FY 2020 proposed budget was status quo. She explained that the Public Works Department identified over $600,000 in annual cost savings through operational efficiencies, and this was across all of their funding sources which included the landfill enterprise fund, the gas tax, the General Fund, the stormwater MSTU, and the landfill long-term care fund. She elaborated that the following amounts were also included: $60,000 for traffic studies; $20,000 for city traffic signal repairs which would be reimbursed by the cities; and $15,500 for speed radar feedback signs. She then noted that the reserves increased 88.6 percent to over $1.8 million, and the reserves allow for the department to respond to unplanned maintenance projects or equipment purchases. She remarked that the Office of Emergency Management had an overall decrease of about $12,000 or three percent due to a reduction in capital expenses in FY 2020. She then commented that the Office of EMS identified approximately $487,000 in efficiencies and those savings were reinvested into the fund for new vehicle and equipment purchases, and she mentioned that operational reserves increased to roughly $987,000. She also explained that there was a realignment of budgeted expenses between the Offices of EMS and Public Safety Support resulting in an increase of about $2.3 million for the Office of EMS. She said that for the Office of Fire Rescue, based on a status quo assessment rate, there was a 7.6 percent increase in personal services for six new firefighter positions and a reclassification of three firefighters to lieutenants. She recalled that at the May 21, 2019 BCC meeting, Tindale Oliver recommended an assessment increase which would fund additional capital items in the amount of approximately $1.5 million including lifepaks, self-contained breathing apparatus, wildland firefighting gear replacement, and replacement brush trucks. She stated that the Office of Public Safety Support had a decrease of $1.2 million due to the realignment between the Offices of EMS and Public Safety Support. She related that the Office of Housing and Human Services had a decrease in grants and aids of nearly 22 percent due to expending the prior year Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and State Housing Initiatives Partnership (SHIP) funds on projects and home ownership initiatives in the current year. She added that eliminating the Community Services Department and consolidating functions resulted in a savings of about $170,000 to the General Fund, and there was a state mandated increase for Medicaid expenses of approximately $176,000. She said that the Office of Transit Services had an increase of 10.4 percent in operating expenses primarily due to increased costs for paratransit services, with an overall 30 percent decrease due to spending down some capital grant funds in the current year; additionally, an operational analysis was still being conducted to ensure an efficient transit system that meets the needs of residents. She relayed that the Office of County Probation had an overall increase of about $13,000 and that a probation supervisor who was partially funded by teen court revenue was now fully funded by the General Fund due to a decrease in teen court revenue; additionally, one limited term probation officer would be added resulting from Board discussion at the June 11, 2019 BCC meeting. She elaborated that the cost of that position was approximately $48,000, and this would reduce the number of cases per probation officer from the current 228 cases per officer. She concluded that the Office of Fleet Management had an overall decrease of nearly $183,000 or 4.7 percent resulting from a reduction in vehicle parts and fuel parts based on current expenditures.
Ms. Barker then presented the constitutional budgets and said that the Lake County Constitutional Officers had submitted their FY 2020 proposed budgets, with the exception of the Tax Collector whose budget was due by August 1, 2019. She then outlined the following Constitutional Officer budgets: the Clerk of the Circuit Court and Comptroller submitted a budget of around $4.8 million which was an increase of approximately $248,000 over the previous year which included an approximate $137,000 for employee raises should the Board approve merit based raises for BCC employees; the Property Appraiser submitted a budget of about $2.9 million for the General Fund portion only, which was an increase of about $116,000 and included one additional position and a three percent wage increase pending Board approval; the Supervisor of Elections submitted a budget of $4.2 million which was an increase of slightly over $1 million, with the largest part of the increase being for the 2020 presidential preference primary, and they were also purchasing two new vehicles; and the Lake County Sheriff submitted a budget of roughly $76.8 million which was an increase of about $9.2 million over the FY 2019 adopted budget, though this increase would be partially offset by nearly $2.4 million in additional revenue that the Sheriff would be bringing in from contracts. She then provided this information about the General Fund: the ad valorem revenues were based on the best estimate of property values which were provided on June 1, 2019 and indicated a 7.33% growth in property values; a status quo millage rate of 5.118 was used; an additional $1.1 million had been included for County operations over 2019 with $950,000 being for merit based raises and wage adjustments, with an additional $176,000 for mandated Medicaid costs; an additional $278,644 had been included for judicial support; $469,749 had been included for the community redevelopment agencies, with this number being based on current property values; and $7.8 million in expected Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) reimbursements related to Hurricane Irma had not yet been received or contemplated in this budget. She also relayed the following information about the General Fund: the total additional proposed or mandated expenses for the General Fund currently exceeded the additional projected revenue by $4.8 million; the reserves without the FEMA reimbursements were currently at 4.2 percent of the operating budget at roughly $5.5 million; two funding options had been included in the agenda packet with option one being in the absence of FEMA funding and option two being a scenario that anticipated FEMA funding; and at the July 16, 2019 meeting, staff would present one funding recommendation based on information from FEMA. She then relayed these next steps in 2019: on July 1, the Property Appraiser would certify the property values; on July 16, the Board would approve a recommended budget and set the maximum millages that would be included on the TRIM notices, along with adopting assessment resolutions for solid waste and fire rescue; the Tax Collector’s budget was due on August 1; an infrastructure sales tax workshop would be held on August 13 with the public hearing to approval the 2020 project list being held on August 27; the first budget public hearing would be held on September 10 with the final hearing on September 24; and FY 2020 would begin on October 1.
Commr. Breeden thanked staff for providing information over the past few months and expressed that she was thankful for the property values. She also thought that staff provided good alternatives for the Board.
Commr. Campione relayed her understanding that with the presented Constitutional Officer budgets, the County would be $4.8 million short if they kept the millage the same and their reserves at a relatively low rate.
Ms. Barker confirmed this and added that it would be reducing the reserves below seven percent of the operating budget.
Mr. Cole said that the $4.8 million mentioned by Ms. Barker would not reach the Board’s goal of having a minimum of seven percent of the operating budget in reserves. He indicated that they had discussed the need to increase the reserves to nine or ten percent and ultimately to fifteen or sixteen percent as recommended by state organizations. He relayed that if the Board wanted to consider fully funding reserves, then that $4.8 million would increase. He related that before the July 16, 2019 BCC meeting, staff would provide a strategy that may be to adopt reserves at less than desired if the Board were to keep the status quo millage, while targeting FEMA funding to replenish reserves.
Commr. Breeden did not think that the Board should go below the seven percent for reserves.
Commr. Campione stated that she and Mr. Cole were planning to go to Washington, D.C. on July 11, 2019 and that they had been in conversations with the County’s lobbyists who had been attempting to gather information about Congress and the possibility of the FEMA funding being obtained. She expressed a hope that other counties in the State of Florida were also making this trip and attempting to address this issue. She added that they would also discuss HUD funding and the possibility of funding to assist with a homeless shelter and affordable housing. She relayed her understanding that the County met all of the requirements for the FEMA funding and that it was only a matter of the bill being passed by Congress.
Commr. Breeden asked which other counties were awaiting FEMA funding.
Mr. Cole replied that staff was unsure but noted that there were other counties that were also awaiting funding. He relayed his understanding that in the previous week, FEMA was undergoing more review of items which had already been approved for the County. He added that meetings were being set up for the Chairman and himself with their congressional delegation, their senate offices, and FEMA.
Commr. Parks mentioned the possibility of reaching out to the Florida Association of Counties (FAC) and indicated his understanding that other counties were having the same issue.
Commr. Breeden expressed that she had given Mr. Cole the contact information for the National Association of Counties (NACo) because they thought everyone was funded, though she let their representative know that this was inaccurate.
Commr. Sullivan opined that the Board should try to keep the same tax level and that the $7.8 million in FEMA funding would be key to this. He thought that the Board should put a lobbying effort on their elected officials and he was unsure why the funding was being withheld after meeting the requirements. He felt that the County should continue to negotiate with the Constitutional Officers to ensure that their budgets were realistic, and he thought that there could possibly be some room to determine if the budgets were all necessary this year.
Mr. Cole explained that if there was an absence of FEMA funding before the July 16, 2019 BCC meeting, then keeping the millage rate status quo would not allow the Board to fully fund all of the Constitutional Officer requests and bring the Board’s reserves to the minimum of their policy. He said that staff would offer strategies but that these items would not be fully fundable.
Commr. Breeden noted that the Board should have the adjusted rate for property values by July 1, 2019 and asked that if the Board placed all of the additional revenue they expected into reserves, would that bring reserves to seven percent of the operating budget.
Mr. Cole replied that he expected the seven percent to be met if the best estimate increased another percent for the certified value; however, that would not mean that all of the Constitutional Officer requests would be funded.
Commr. Campione suggested having discussion with the Lake County Sheriff about possibly making an adjustment after receiving the FEMA funding.
Mr. Cole mentioned that the Board had expressed to staff its priorities in identifying General Fund funding for road projects, and staff would have a recommendation for this if the FEMA funding was received. He added that there had been previous Board interest in considering a potential millage decrease, which would also be feasible with the FEMA funding. He elaborated that the Board would still be unable to fully fund all Constitutional Officer requests, though they would be able to increase some of that funding and also be able to accomplish some other priorities while increasing the reserves.
Commr. Blake expressed interest in having a goal to reduce the county millage and increase the county’s competitiveness with other counties.
Commr. Breeden indicated a desire for at least a $1 million or $1.5 million reduction in ad valorem taxes if the FEMA funding was received.
Commr. Parks thought that from a county millage standpoint, the millage was low when compared to other counties in the state. He also relayed his understanding that one hurricane could cause the County to have to borrow funding to be operational.
Commr. Campione opined that the county was growing at a significant rate and that there were roads which needed to be addressed. She mentioned that demands could increase with a higher population and that the Sheriff was requesting more manpower. She elaborated that the Sheriff had implemented his salary study from the previous year and that the obligation would begin in this budget cycle to make his agency more competitive in Lake County.
Commr. Breeden supported giving the Sheriff additional increases when the FEMA funding was received, along with funding road projects.
Commr. Blake said that this demand on the General Fund could be reduced if the Board voted to commit a greater level of sales tax funding for two years to address roads rated a four.
Commr. Campione said that the Board could commit that any revenue above projections in the infrastructure sales tax fund would be used to fund road resurfacing. She also felt that roads represented quality of life, economic development and public safety.
Commr. Breeden agreed with this in concept but wanted to wait until the August 13, 2019 presentation on the sales tax to see which pressures were on that fund.
Commr. Parks thought that those options would either be for public safety, such as the fire departments, or quality of life such as libraries and parks.
Commr. Sullivan said that if the Board did not address road reconstruction, then it could cost them money in the future.
Commr. Blake thought that most recipients expecting these funds would understand if the Board made it a one year delay.
Commr. Parks asked if the special election would cost $900,000.
Ms. Barker clarified that the Supervisor of Elections’ total budget increase was just over $1 million and included funding for the presidential preference primary as well as two new vehicles and employee raises.
Commr. Parks inquired how much the primary election would cost.
Mr. Cole said that it was roughly $1 million of the increase.
Ms. Barker recalled that the budget also increased by about $1 million during the last primary election in 2016.
Mr. Cole stated that the other potential opportunity for funding was the Tax Collector who may provide some additional fees to the County, though they would not know this until August 2019.
Commr. Campione relayed that July 16, 2019 would be the BCC meeting for the Board to set the maximum millage.
presentation – solid waste collection and disposal contracts
Ms. Hamilton updated the Board on the solid waste collection and disposal contracts. She recalled that on April 9, 2019, the County’s consultant S2L Inc. presented a comprehensive master plan that would take the County through a 20 year period for solid waste. She elaborated that the Board direction received at that time was to advance discussions with the County’s collection and disposal contractors and to perform a compatibility test of phase III liner, which was a 19 acre cell, to see if it would be compatible with ash. She also said this would determine whether the County would have diversification options. She provided background on the collection contracts and said that the current contracts were rolled out in October 2014 and would expire in September 2021, though the three year renewal option was being discussed; furthermore, the County had 180 days to notify them so that by March 2021 the County would let them know if this would occur. She indicated that in April 2019, the legislature was considering recycling legislation that would have required the County to make decisions by the end of September 2019 or else they would have to renegotiate their recycling contracts; however, this legislation was vetoed by the Governor, and the County was not under this time constraint. She displayed a map of the collection areas in Lake County and noted that area one to the north was serviced by WCA, area two in the center to the west was serviced by Waste Connections, and area three to the south had service from Waste Pro. She commented that since the contracts were awarded they had an annual consumer price index (CPI) adjustment, and she showed a chart with this information. She pointed out that there was a reduction in FY 2015-2016 but that it had been trending upward since that time and the FY 2019-2020 rates were competitive and relatively low. She clarified that this was for single unit collection and that there was a slightly higher rate for individuals who request twice per week collection services. She said that as part of the April 9, 2019 presentation there were some questions that the Board wanted staff to ask as part of their follow up with the haulers. She elaborated that staff asked each of the haulers about the following items: their percentage breakdown of recycling versus incineration; if going to bi-weekly recycling would translate to cost savings; how should residential awareness of recycling be increased; the possibility of waste collection outside of using carts; how to reduce roadway litter from trucks; and additional costs for communities not using carts. She relayed that WCA provided the following answers: they primarily incinerated, though they went through Covanta who had a few shutdowns throughout the year for maintenance; there was not a cost savings for bi-weekly recycling due to the recycling markets and the current prices; for residential awareness, the language on the cart could be changed and an educational tag program could be used in high contamination areas to inform citizens of the proper items to be put in carts; they could perform waste collection outside of carts for additional charges due to requiring an additional route and manpower, with this answer being shared by all of the County’s contractors; for reducing litter, it was relative to the trucks on the road and the wind conditions, and they proposed the possibility of dispatching crews to retrieve litter during cleanup events; and they only had one community that was not using carts and there would not be a significant cost for them. She relayed that WCA had also requested the following items if the renewal option was considered: bulk collection as a zone approach the same day as yard waste collection; a yard waste limit of four yards per week; elimination of the annual resident mailer which was a small postcard that could be accidentally discarded; revising the contract language regarding age of fleet which currently required equipment of seven years of age or newer; and flexibility to purchase carts from other vendors as long as the product and specifications are the same. She then relayed that Waste Connections had addressed the County’s questions with the following information: all of their recycling went to their transfer station in the City of Groveland and then on to their material recovery facility (MRF) in the City of Miami; there would be no cost savings with bi-weekly recycling at the current time due to the cost of the commodities; they also had the thought to tag carts in high contamination areas to help with education; suggested that people could purchase a second cart if they had continuous excess garbage; thought that loose litter was relative to the neighborhoods where carts were not being used or where recycling bins were open; and they did not have communities without carts to increase the labor costs.
Commr. Breeden inquired why they had their answer for litter.
Ms. Hamilton clarified that it had been their experience in general communities without carts. She said that many people could use a cart of their choosing and that some people may not have a lid on the container or may use small bins where light material could be blown around. She relayed that when asked about their interests if renewal was a possibility, Waste Connections agreed with WCA about the contract language for the age of the fleet; additionally, they proposed a solution that the County could perform an annual inspection of their service vehicles and could require repairs or pulling vehicles from the fleet. She then relayed that Waste Pro’s responses to the questions included the following information: all of their recycling was going to the incinerator; they did not see cost savings for bi-weekly recycling; they expressed interest in a web or media campaign for awareness of recycling; there would be an additional cost for waste collection outside of carts; they indicated that better driver awareness could reduce roadway litter from trucks; and there would be a minimal cost for communities not utilizing carts, though they had the most communities that lacked carts. She commented that Waste Pro’s considerations for a three year renewal included the following: meeting with staff to discuss changes; recycling and other factors had increased since the start of the contract; and additional revenue or reduced expenses. She showed a summary of the current contracts and these proposed contract amendments: bulk waste by zone on yard waste day with 24 hour notification; yard waste limit of four yards per week; elimination of the annual postcard mailer; fleet based on performance rather than age; and flexibility to purchase additional brands of carts. She displayed an image of a four yard dumpster and said that one cubic yard of dumpster space was approximately 200 gallons or two of the county’s largest carts, and eight 96 gallon carts would total approximately four cubic yards of yard waste. She then relayed that the County began collecting fines in January 2018 and that they were assessed monthly and were being deducted from the hauler payments. She said that since January 2018, WCA had over $8,000 in fines with two months at no fines, Waste Connections had just over $7,000 in fines with six months at no fines; and Waste Pro had slightly over $400,000 in fines with no months at zero fines.
Commr. Campione inquired how the $400,000 number was reached by Waste Pro.
Ms. Hamilton replied that there were two months with over $100,000 in fines and that there were some staffing and management issues, along with new drivers and missed routes.
Mr. Cole stated that he and Ms. Hamilton had met with the manager at Waste Pro and tried to develop solutions, but had not made any progress.
Commr. Breeden asked if the Royal Highlands community was in Waste Pro’s area, and Ms. Hamilton confirmed this.
Commr. Parks inquired if the fines for Waste Pro included the leaking of oil.
Ms. Hamilton said that it included the leaking of oil and that they could be fined for a missed route, leaving an item that should have been picked up, not picking up bulk waste in three days, truck failures, and more. She then discussed disposal contracts and displayed a matrix showing the starting and current bids with the CPI increases. She explained that Heart of Florida was the original bid and Waste Connections assumed operations at that landfill in FY 2018/2019. She commented that this timeline was similar to the collection contracts and would expire in September 2021 with a three year renewal window. She remarked that after receiving a notification from the company, the County would have to notify them by March 2021 if a renewal was desired. She noted that the company had not provided any considerations for a renewal and that the County had seen many improvements in the site. She relayed that the next steps would include meeting with the haulers and providing a draft amendment for final comment; additionally, staff would discuss the option to renew with two haulers, rather than three, with area three being reallocated. She mentioned that staff would understand if the Board did not want to renew with Waste Pro, and she stated that Waste Connections initially provided a bid for this service area. She specified that Waste Connections and WCA had expressed previous interest in serving portions of this area and she did not think that it would be an issue. She commented that she had preliminary discussions with the Lake County Office of Procurement Services which indicated that there were some options there. She said that for disposal, staff expressed interest in meeting with Waste Connections to provide a draft amendment and obtain final comment. She indicated that staff would come back on September 24, 2019 to bring considerations for those amendments, and staff also received recent information from S2L Inc. that the liner test was favorable for ash. She elaborated that staff could consider a diversification opportunity with Covanta and bring the Board more information on this. She explained that this would likely be a parallel track and that Heart of Florida was still a good disposal option, though there would be an opportunity to take ash from Covanta.
Commr. Blake asked if the Covanta shutdowns were related to the increase in recyclables. He expressed a concern for all of the recyclable goods in South Lake going to the incinerator.
Ms. Hamilton said that the shutdowns were due to the volume of recyclables. She added that the City of Groveland and City of Sanford transfer stations were initially used, though recycling decreased and they chose to do this.
Commr. Breeden expressed a concern about roadway litter and WCA and Waste Connections’ answers to this question separating themselves from it being a collection problem.
Commr. Campione commented that recycling material lacked a bag, was lightweight, was not weighted down, and material could fly around. She related that she had observed litter that appeared to come out of a recycling bin.
Commr. Parks noted that there was coverage at the top of the trucks and asked if some drivers were not doing this.
Ms. Hamilton clarified that it depended on the equipment and stated that there were many companies’ trucks with this issue. She mentioned the Keep Lake Beautiful litter application that was currently online and could receive complaints. She elaborated that the County could ask the haulers to go back and collect trash and that individuals were using the application.
Commr. Campione expressed support for the idea of combining bulk pickup with yard waste with 24 hours’ notice and for being able to provide that notice online.
Commr. Breeden asked if staff should ask communities which were not using carts if they were willing to change this.
Ms. Hamilton said that staff had been trying to work with them through the hauler and build relationships with them. She relayed that more than half of them were now using carts, though there were some specific requirements in The Villages. She related that communities which were using their own carts were receiving recycling bins from the County, but the County was no longer ordering them and did not have any stockpiled; furthermore, if someone new entered those communities, they would receive a recycling cart even if they were using garbage bags.
Commr. Parks said that there had been discussions at FAC about the recycling issue and moving to different performance based methods based on energy and water saved. He shared that the County could participate and that staff could also attend the meetings.
Mr. Cole observed that it was the consensus of the Board to keep moving forward, and he noted that staff’s goal was to come back in September 2019 with consideration of the collection and disposal contracts and amendments.
Commr. Blake asked that if all of the recyclable material in part of the county was not being traditionally recycled, should this continue to be in the contract.
Commr. Campione inquired if there would be a cost savings for this.
Ms. Hamilton responded that there would not be a significant cost savings at the current time and that the vendor that was taking 100 percent incineration was the same vendor that staff was proposing not to renew with.
Commr. Parks related that the vendors were different and that Waste Connections was controlling recycling due to having their own facility. He felt that this could take waste out of the landfill.
Ms. Hamilton opined that an issue could be if the County removed recycling out of the contract and everything went to Heart of Florida, the County would be paying for that disposal separately. She explained that an average tonnage was assumed when putting the contract out for bid and she thought that it was about 1.6 tons per household. She noted that paying this separately would create an increased cost.
Mr. Cole felt that creating an opportunity for recycling to go to Covanta would be positive. He added that Covanta was working on ways to use the ash that was a byproduct of incineration.
Commr. Parks mentioned discussing the nature of leachate from ash and the cost of this.
Ms. Hamilton responded that there could be several items to discuss including the cell phase III which had not been maintained over the years, the cost of bringing the cell online, and getting the leachate system functioning. She questioned how much Covanta needed the area to make a tipping fee work or if they would be willing to front those costs for the repair and maintenance to use the facility. She also questioned the cost to the County for leachate disposal over time. She noted that the County was not having landfills permitted and that it was currently challenging to do this and that if there was a business opportunity, staff would want to explore it and bring the Board some options.
Commr. Campione expressed an interest in examining the costs for this issue. She also expressed uncertainty about the recycling going to Covanta and felt that if the recycling came back in the marketplace, it would be positive for the County to reserve the capacity used for the recycling at Covanta. She also relayed her understanding that Covanta was nearly maxed out for regular disposal.
Commr. Breeden noted that if some recycling was being incinerated, then it was not going into the oceans.
Commr. Parks indicated his understanding that mercury was still going into the oceans.
Commr. Campione thought that the mercury levels were very low.
commissioner parks – district 2
florida association of counties annual meeting
Commr. Parks felt that the FAC annual meeting in the previous week was positive and relayed that some of the Commissioners were in attendance. He said that the Water Policy Committee was present at the meeting and he felt that there was a good report; however, the predictions for algae were concerning. He expressed an interest in attempting to obtain resources to address this issue and he asked staff to keep the Board updated.
commissioner breeden – vice chairman and district 3
fourth of july
Commr. Breeden wished everyone a happy Fourth of July.
FAC water policy board map
Commr. Breeden mentioned that a concerned citizen had brought to her attention that a map showing which counties had an individual on the FAC Water Policy Board was not updated and was showing that Lake County lacked a member on this board. She said that she had communicated to the citizen that Commissioner Parks was the County’s representative on this board.
commissioner campione – CHAIRMAN AND district 4
pd&e study public hearing for lake/orange county connector
Commr. Campione said that on Thursday, June 27, 2019, there would be a project development and environment (PD&E) study public hearing at the Clermont Arts and Recreation Center for the Lake/Orange County Connector. She expressed that she would be unable to attend but that there would be representation at the hearing from Lake County.
doing business in lake county event
Commr. Campione mentioned a recent Doing Business in Lake County event in the Town of Montverde. She felt that it was very positive, that there was a lot happening in the county, and that the event had good attendance. She indicated that the County had representation at the event with three Commissioners attending. She also relayed that Mr. Darren Gray, Clermont City Manager, was a panelist and had discussed the redevelopment of the City of Clermont waterfront and the County working with the City with regards to a boat ramp.
pints & politics event
Commr. Campione said that on the following night, she would be participating in the Pints & Politics event at the Tavares Chamber of Commerce.
meeting with careersource florida consortium
Commr. Campione indicated that she recently attended a meeting with the CareerSource Florida Consortium at the Clermont Arts and Recreation Center. She opined that it was an excellent venue and could provide a good setup for possible Lake-Sumter Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) meetings. She felt that CareerSource was doing good things and related that they would be performing a ribbon cutting for their office at Lake-Sumter State College.
Commr. Parks also complimented staff for their appearance at the recent CR 455 PD&E study.
There being no further business to be brought to the attention of the Board, the meeting was adjourned at 5:03 p.m.
leslie campione, chairman
GARY J COONEY, CLERK