A regular MEETING OF THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
september 24, 2019
The Lake County Board of County Commissioners met in regular session on Tuesday, September 24, 2019 at 9:00 a.m., in the County Commission Chambers, 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 Linda Jaberg from Community Church of Howey in the Hills gave the Invocation and led the Pledge of Allegiance.
Commr. Campione asked everyone to send positive thoughts to Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Chief Dan Miller, with the Lake County Office of Fire Rescue, as he was dealing with a medical issue. She also recognized the Lake County School Board members in attendance.
Mr. Jeff Cole, County Manager, relayed that since the agenda was first published, staff had added Tab 32 as an addendum proclamation for Domestic Violence Awareness Month at the request of Haven of Lake and Sumter Counties who had some upcoming events which required the proclamation. He asked that the Board consider this as part of their consent agenda.
Commr. Breeden asked if the Board could possibly move up Tab 28.
Commr. Campione indicated an intent to move Tab 28, which regarded education impact fees, to occur after the presentation of proclamations.
On a motion by Commr. Breeden, seconded by Commr. Blake, and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved the minutes for the BCC meeting of July 30, 2019 (Regular Meeting) as presented.
citizen question and comment period
Mr. David Colby, President of the South Lake Chamber of Commerce, thanked the Board of County Commissioners (BCC) for supporting quality of life projects which were helping to grow businesses. He said that his organization considered these projects to be economic priorities for the area by having a strong trail network and the South Lake Regional Park in development. He thought that this could help attract and retain employees in the area, and he expressed a concern that the Board was possibly considering defunding or delaying some of these projects. He expressed that the projects were extremely important to his organization and that while there were timing issues with the park, defunding or delaying funding could send a negative message to the South Lake community. He mentioned that there had been the addition of hundreds of businesses and thousands of residents since the park dedication and opined that the park was currently a higher priority than ever before. He also indicated a concern for potentially defunding or delaying funding for the South Lake Trail and the Hancock Trail, which he believed were heavily used and major attractors for the area. He encouraged the Board to not reduce these funds and relayed that his community had supported the penny sales tax to fund community amenities and to improve quality of life and economic development in South Lake.
Dr. Kasey Kesselring, a resident of Lake County, mentioned a proposed spreadsheet which contained projects for potential budget reductions and asked where it had originated. He asked the Board to not delay or defund the South Lake Regional Park project, and he advocated for the Board to pass a five cent gas tax to fund road resurfacing. He noted that this would be a user tax which everyone would pay whether they were traveling through the county or if they lived there; additionally, it could only be used to resurface and maintain roads. He urged the Board to consider this as a long term solution for roads and reiterated his request to not reduce the park funding.
Commr. Blake clarified that it was his proposal and said that the Board was trying to determine how to catch up on the maintenance of four and five rated roads in the county. He explained that rather than financing it and paying $2 million in interest, his proposal was a one-time temporary reduction of 30 percent across the board on the penny sales tax to provide maintenance on those roads. He explained that the proposed 30 percent reduction across the board was to avoid targeting any one project, and he added that it would only be a one year deferral of that 30 percent.
Commr. Campione asked if this issue could be raised during the budget hearing later that day.
Mr. Cole responded that the loan which the Board had asked staff to solicit proposals for would come before the Board on October 8, 2019. He clarified that tonight would be the budget hearing and that the Board had already voted on the sales tax projects for fiscal year (FY) 2020. He elaborated that the direction of the Board had been to share the project list with the Board members and that it would be up to the individual Board members if they wanted to pursue anything.
Commr. Parks inquired if Commissioner Blake could bring his spreadsheet forward as a proposal.
Mr. Cole said that any Board member could bring it up and that staff had not scheduled it for an agenda.
Commr. Breeden asked if the spreadsheet would be discussed tonight.
Mr. Cole denied this and reiterated that the funding for transportation had been scheduled for the Board’s October 8, 2019 meeting.
Commr. Blake clarified that staff had done their due diligence based on his suggestion and relayed his understanding that he was the only Board member who was interested in his proposal.
Commr. Campione stated that she was considering other options for addressing the road resurfacing issues and felt that the projects on the penny sales tax list were extremely important. She felt that each group who represented those projects had worked hard to ensure that funding was in place. She noted that the list included ambulances, fire trucks, items for the Lake County Sheriff, parks, roads, etc. She opined that the list was a good representation of the County’s priorities as they tried to address the needs of many people with different interests throughout the county. She thought that since ground was broken on the South Lake Regional Park, the County had known that it would take a considerable amount of time and that there would be obstacles to overcome including access and dirt removal. She gave a personal assurance that she would not want to see that funding moved from that particular project or any of the projects on the approved list.
Commr. Parks said that he appreciated Commissioner Blake’s proposal but expressed a concern that the South Lake Regional Park was the only quality of life project that was projected to be affected. He stated an understanding that if there was not a sufficient impetus from the Board to do that, then that proposal would not be under consideration.
Commr. Sullivan recalled that during the sales tax renewal, the Board laid out a specific path that they would follow using that funding. He felt that it would be inappropriate to deviate from that path unless there were extenuating circumstances to do so. He opined that there had been issues due to projects being delayed for many years, and he commented that the County had tried to start a process to plan five years out but was affected by the downturn in the economy and other factors. He agreed with Mr. Colby and Dr. Kesselring that the County should maintain the status quo but also consider alternatives to address growth. He mentioned that he had met with a municipality in South Lake about them possibly assisting with the operational costs of the South Lake Regional Park.
Commr. Breeden thought that Commissioner Sullivan was correct in that with the previous penny sales tax funding, many projects such as quality of life and maintaining county infrastructure had been delayed because the County was attempting to use the sales tax to pay the debt service on the courthouse. She opined that this had backed up many projects and that the County was still catching up. She supported leaving it the same.
Commr. Blake stated that he was attempting to come up with a way not to spend $2 million in interest for financing the catch up for roads.
Commr. Parks thought that the loan was being entertained because the cost to wait on many of the roads would be higher than the cost of the interest. He felt that a way to possibly get a gas tax passed would be a campaign by the Board to specifically list roads which could be resurfaced. He opined that showing the residents what their money would pay for, along with the tax having a sunset in five to seven years, could be more palatable for implementing a gas tax. He indicated that with this effort, he could support a gas tax and that counteracting the tax with a millage rate reduction could also make it more palatable. He relayed his understanding that if there was not a gas tax, then in the short term the County would still have to consider a loan or using the General Fund for resurfacing.
Commr. Campione noted that this discussion could resume at the October 8, 2019 BCC meeting.
Mr. Vance Jochim, a concerned citizen, supported the Lake County School Board retaining and increasing their impact fee. He also expressed concerns for negative online reviews of some local businesses and questioned if the Tourist Development Council (TDC) could utilize an allocation of their funding to develop a customer service training program and improve the facilities for tourist-facing operations in the county.
Mr. Steve Smith, Founder of New Beginnings of Central Florida, mentioned that two weeks prior, there was a housing for all summit and that there had been meetings over the past two years about the growing need for housing for the homeless, the working class, those with special needs, and seniors in Lake County. He felt that there was a housing crisis and relayed his understanding that the University of Florida (UF) had conducted a report on Lake County which showed that over 36 percent of households in Lake County were spending more than 30 percent of their income for housing costs. He opined that this number was excessive, and he added that 19 percent of Lake County households were spending more than 50 percent of their income on housing costs. He commented that different speakers from the state had discussed what they were doing to help address the housing crisis, and that one speaker had mentioned Florida Statute 163.3177 which indicated that every local government has the obligation to provide housing to the entire population in the county. He asked the BCC to evaluate this and to provide additional funds. He indicated his understanding that the State Housing Initiatives Partnership Program (SHIP) funding had been reduced and that the majority of this funding went to the Florida Panhandle this year. He said that full funding would have been $4.1 million for the County but that they only received about $500,000 this year. He then mentioned the possibility of a crisis center and questioned where evicted individuals were taken. He stated that a crisis center could be a triage center to evaluate an individual’s situation and help move them into housing. He related that he had visited the Greater Groves subdivision and he expressed his understanding that the state had funding for a development there. He also communicated an interest in meeting with the Greater Groves homeowners to hear their concerns, and he stated that homeowners there had been concerned about crime. He elaborated that the homeowners wanted more law enforcement officers in the Four Corners area and he supported using extra funds in the current year to address social concerns in the county.
Commr. Campione asked if the state representative was receptive to the Greater Groves proposal.
Mr. Smith responded that he had the representative tour apartments in the City of Clermont for low income families, some of which used to be homeless and came through his program at New Beginnings of Central Florida. He commented that other state representatives and a congressman had visited there and he felt that this need was growing. He thought that there had been some receptiveness from the state and he expressed that this development was not a long term solution. He noted that it was to help law enforcement and he relayed his understanding that law enforcement did not have a place to take homeless individuals, that law enforcement did not want to arrest them, and that hospitals were unable to take them.
Commr. Breeden relayed her understanding that the proposed budget would have extra funding for the Sheriff.
Commr. Campione clarified that the Sheriff had indicated that the amount he asked for and the amount that the County had proposed would assist him with an additional shift. She said that the County was waiting to hear from The Salvation Army about their proposal for a crisis center.
Mr. Smith commented that he had talked with The Salvation Army and relayed his understanding that they were willing to fund a capital investment but wanted to ensure that they had enough money to operate on. He added that they were looking for buy in from both the County and the cities; furthermore, they had met with the city managers several weeks prior and had a positive reception. He expressed a concern that The Salvation Army would charge a fee across the board when some cities had different populations. He noted that this could be adjusted by The Salvation Army, reiterated that there was positive feedback from the city managers, and relayed his understanding that The Salvation Army was looking for a similar response from the County.
Commr. Campione said that the County was interested in knowing the operating cost, the number of beds, if there would be a return on investment, and what benchmarks would be met.
Mr. Smith responded that The Salvation Army had laid out a full proposed budget for 50 beds. He noted that the facility would not act as a hotel and would instead provide counseling to evaluate and provide the correct treatment to individuals to move them into permanent housing. He mentioned that the most significant cost was labor.
Commr. Breeden thought that while there was not a specific line item for this in the proposed budget, there was a special reserve that the County could possibly use to fund these types of projects.
Commr. Parks shared that The Salvation Army was moving forward with a site in the City of Leesburg.
Commr. Campione relayed her understanding that it was adjacent to a property that they already had.
Commr. Parks confirmed this and stated that The Salvation Army could provide closer services there. He thought that the cities could still help contribute to this and that there would have to be a solution that everyone could buy into.
Mr. Smith noted that it was a long drive from the City of Clermont to the City of Leesburg and that many individuals had concerns about going to a shelter in another city; however, he felt that having a shelter in the county would be a good solution.
Commr. Parks noted that the idea of this facility was to be a customized way to address issues for local people. He added that it could leverage the County, the cities, The Salvation Army, and nonprofit organizations.
Mr. Smith confirmed this and noted that there had been models for this around the counties for a system for helping people get off the streets.
Mr. Cole shared that he had attended the meeting with the city managers and that there was a robust discussion about the opportunities and options that The Salvation Army had presented. He added that staff had scheduled The Salvation Army to come before the Board at the October 8, 2019 BCC meeting to present an update.
Commr. Parks complimented Mr. Smith for the recent housing for all summit.
proclamation 2019-114 – manufacturing day and month
On a motion by Commr. Sullivan, seconded by Commr. Parks and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved Proclamation 2019-114 declaring October 4, 2019, as Manufacturing Day in Lake County and recognizing October as Florida Manufacturing Month.
Commr. Campione read and presented Proclamation 2019-114 to Ms. Diane Culpepper, Executive Director for Lake Technical College (Lake Tech).
Ms. Culpepper thanked the Board and said that her organization was celebrating manufacturing in Lake County every day. She appreciated the support for promoting manufacturing in the county and thought that they were making a difference. She mentioned the Lake Tech students who were entering the industry and she looked forward to the activities for Florida Manufacturing Month.
Commr. Campione stated that this was a team effort and that the focus on manufacturing in Lake County had been positive for the economy. She mentioned that there had already been manufacturing in Lake County but once they started concentrating on it, they realized that there were many niche manufacturers around the county. She remarked that Ms. Culpepper and economic development staff at Lake County had been able to connect these individuals to facilitate collaboration. She recognized Lake Tech’s technical training in the school system and thought that it was impressive. She felt that it helped feed into the local economy and she thanked Ms. Culpepper for doing this.
public hearing – ordinance 2019-52 adjusting impact fee rates
Ms. Melanie Marsh, County Attorney, placed the proposed ordinance on the floor for reading by title only as follows:
AN ORDINANCE OF THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OF LAKE COUNTY, FLORIDA; AMENDING SECTION 22-21, LAKE COUNTY CODE, ENTITLED LEGISLATIVE FINDINGS; AMENDING SECTION 22-22, LAKE COUNTY CODE, ENTITLED IMPOSITION; ADJUSTING THE EDUCATIONAL IMPACT FEE RATES; PROVIDING FOR SEVERABILITY; PROVIDING FOR INCLUSION IN THE CODE; PROVIDING FOR FILING WITH THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE; AND PROVIDING FOR AN EFFECTIVE DATE.
Ms. Marsh added that if this ordinance was approved today, the new educational impact fee rates would go into effect on Monday, September 30, 2019.
The Chairman opened the public hearing.
Mr. Sandy Gamble, Lake County School Board Chairman, explained that in 2002, the state passed the Class Size Reduction Amendment to the State of Florida Constitution. He elaborated that not only did the amendment have a substantial impact on the school board’s operating costs, it also required a significant increase in the number of classrooms. He said that the state attempted to address the need by appropriating additional funding sources for adding classrooms; however, the state had not appropriated any funding for new school construction since 2010. He mentioned that the state had also reduced the cap on the school board’s local capital millage levy by 25 percent in 2010. He commented that since the millage reduction, the Lake County School District had lost over $110 million in funding for capital needs. He related that these much needed funds were used for debt service, repair and maintenance of schools, and to purchase new school buses. He added that with no state funding for capital needs, and a significant reduction in their local capital millage, that outside of impact fees they had no funding source to address student growth. He said that in 2007 as part of the interlocal agreement for school concurrency, the school board committed to the County and local governments to provide cost effective and educationally adequate school facilities concurrent with approved residential developments. He stated that currently, their planning staff was tracking over 10,000 residential units which were estimated to result in approximately 7,000 students. He commented that the collection of school impact fees at the recommended rate was essential in ensuring that they were doing their part to educate those students in the appropriate school buildings. He shared that the school board appreciated the BCC working together with them to provide the necessary funding source for the construction of new schools as needed for the education of Lake County students. He added that since Mr. Bill Mathias had been on the school board, it had been his conservative effort to lead the way with the other school board members to not bond further into debt but rather to pay as they go. He remarked that in the past year, they were able to build a new cafeteria at Cypress Ridge Elementary School in the City of Clermont and that the balance would be paid in full when the construction was fully completed. He also shared that in good faith with money generated from these impact fees, they were in the process of a project that would relieve overcrowding and would be paid in full when construction was completed. He thanked the BCC on behalf of the school board for the consideration to pass this impact fee.
Ms. Courtney Franklin, a Lake County teacher, complimented the Board and said that she had seen significant upgrades for the South Lake parks and trails over the past few years. She stated that she had worked at Pine Ridge Elementary School which had been overcrowded due to the impact fees being suspended; furthermore, this had negatively affected the students. She felt that the state had not been able to fully fund Lake County schools and that the residents had to look to the County for help. She opined that impact fees were essential for schools and she urged the Board to utilize them.
There being no one else who wished to address the Board regarding this matter, the Chairman closed the public hearing.
Commr. Campione thought that the construction industry and individuals wanting to obtain building permits would welcome this change because the impact fee would be a reduction of several hundred dollars if adopted at this rate. She felt that Lake County still had a very high school impact fee when compared to other counties and she expressed concerns for homelessness due to the affordability of housing. She noted that a high impact fee could affect whether a family could obtain a home and said that it could be a challenging balance to find. She recalled that the Board had been able to work with the Lake County School District to have an infill waiver which provided some relief to individuals willing to build homes on infill lots; additionally, this gave the Board the ability for affordable housing projects if they were on infill lots. She also said that funding from the SHIP program could help offset impact fees and that there was recent legislation that would allow for waivers to be put into effect, though they would have to be paid for. She suggested that the Board move ahead with the current item but also hold a workshop at a subsequent meeting for the possibility of creating some waiver categories for affordable housing and workforce housing. She proposed possibly setting caps to limit the number of waivers in a given year, but noted that there could be some available funding for particular affordable housing and workforce housing projects.
Commr. Parks supported Commissioner Campione’s comments and relayed that a follow up from a recent housing for all summit was to do this. He suggested considering expanding a housing for all or workforce housing program that could go beyond the infill waiver. He expressed support for considering this in a workshop setting and for advocating statewide for the state to stop taking funding from the Sadowski Fund. He expressed a concern for funding going from $4.5 million to $500,000 for two years in a row and commented that this directly affected the County’s ability to pay for waivers for affordable housing projects.
Commr. Campione remarked that she was going to ask the Board if they could write a letter in support of the Lake County School District and its efforts to address why Lake County’s funding was significantly lower than other counties in the state. She related that the state had addressed this periodically on a one year basis but that it could help locally if this was made permanent. She elaborated that this would allow schools to be able to do more in the classroom and to address the cost of students and teachers. She expressed interest in gaining support for keeping the SHIP program fully funded, along with collaborating with the school district on the homelessness issue.
Commr. Breeden stated that on the County’s legislative priorities, they already had it outlined to write a letter in support of changing the school funding formula in support of the Lake County School Board.
Commr. Campione added that the County could use the school board’s ask and emphasize this in their priorities. She also indicated that a workshop could include discussion about the possibility of using waivers to address workforce housing and affordability. She proposed possibly implementing an annual pilot program to determine how it worked and how many people would utilize it. She relayed that there were groups in Lake County that were attempting to build affordable housing but that the impact fee could make this challenging.
Commr. Parks expressed that the Board did not want to restrict the school board.
Commr. Sullivan thought that the Board had to consider how the State Legislature affected the majority of the school board’s budget. He expressed appreciation for the school board moving forward with a study even though it could have lowered their impact fees. He felt that this fee would be the correct number for Lake County and he supported the possibility of having a workshop. He thought that the Sadowski Fund had been cut drastically and expressed a concern for how this had affected other counties. He indicated an interest in following up on this item as a statewide need.
Commr. Campione mentioned that the Board had a discussion about individuals who already submitted permits and that they could address this if the issue arose. She expressed a concern about individuals having already paid a higher amount before the impact fee decreased.
Mr. Cole recalled that when the Board had changed the transportation impact fee, staff dealt with requests case by case.
On a motion by Commr. Breeden, seconded by Commr. Sullivan and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved to adopt and execute Ordinance 2019-52 amending Lake County Code, Section 22-21, entitled Legislative Findings, and Section 22-22, entitled Imposition, to adjust the educational impact fee rates.
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 3, as follows:
List of Warrants
Request to acknowledge receipt of the list of warrants paid prior to this meeting, pursuant to Chapter 136.06 (1) of the Florida Statutes, which shall be incorporated into the Minutes as attached Exhibit A and filed in the Board Support Division of the Clerk's Office.
City of Tavares Annexation Ordinance 2019-04
Request to acknowledge receipt of Annexation Ordinance 2019-04 from the City of Tavares.
Proof of Publication of Unclaimed Moneys and Payments to the Board
Request to acknowledge receipt of proof of publication of unclaimed moneys and payment to the Board for those non-court related moneys advertised less claims and publication costs.
COUNTY MANAGER’S CONSENT AGENDA
Commr. Blake asked to pull Tab 5 for a separate vote.
On a motion by Commr. Breeden, seconded by Commr. Blake and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the Consent Agenda, Tabs 4 through 26, with the addition of Tab 32, and pulling Tab 5 for a separate vote as follows below:
On a motion by Commr. Breeden, seconded by Commr. Sullivan and carried by a vote of 4-1, the Board approved Consent Agenda Tab 5.
Commr. Blake voted no.
Request approval of Proclamation 2019-124 declaring the month of October 2019 as Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
Request approval to accept Offers to Purchase on Alternate Keys 1336864 and 2812206, and authorization for the Chairman to execute any necessary closing documents. The fiscal impact is $9,600.00 (revenue). Commission Districts 4 and 5.
Management and Budget
Request approval of a resolution adopting the fee schedules for Fiscal Year 2020. The fiscal impact cannot be determined at this time.
HUMAN RESOURCES AND RISK MANAGEMENT
Request approval of Contract 19-0516 with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida (Jacksonville, FL) to provide excess stop loss insurance to the County effective October 1, 2019, and authorization for the Office of Procurement Services to execute all supporting documentation. The estimated annual fiscal impact is $527,254.00 (expenditure).
AGENCY FOR ECONOMIC PROSPERITY
Request approval of a Lake County Waiver of Transportation Impact Fees for The Kroger Co. pursuant to Section 22-10, Lake County Code. The fiscal impact is up to $491,050.00 (expenditure). Commission District 1.
PUBLIC SAFETY AND DEVELOPMENT SERVICES
Emergency Medical Services
Request approval to award Contract 19-0702 to ETR, LLC (Sanford, FL) for the purchase of ambulances used by the Offices of Emergency Medical Services and Fire Rescue. The estimated annual fiscal impact is $1,446,000.00 (expenditure).
Request approval of Contract 19-0707 with Ten-8 Fire Equipment Company (Bradenton, FL) for the purchase of specialty fire trucks. The estimated annual fiscal impact is $1,400,000.00 (expenditure).
PUBLIC SERVICES AND INFRASTRUCTURE
Request approval of Contract 19-0428 with Andrews Filter & Supply (Orlando, FL) for fabrication and delivery of HVAC filters, and authorization for the Office of Procurement Services to execute all supporting documentation. The estimated annual fiscal impact is $25,000.00 (expenditure).
Housing and Human Services
Request approval of the Lake County School Board's annual funding request of the Lake County Sheriff's Office for continued funding of the Lake County Shared Services Network for a one-year period. The fiscal impact is $25,000.00 (expenditure - Crime Prevention Fund).
Request approval of a contract with the State of Florida Department of Health for operation of the Lake County Department of Health. The contract is effective October 1, 2019, through September 30, 2020. The total fiscal impact to support the Department of Health is $496,367.00 (expenditure of $321,312.00 in funding and $175,055.00 in in-kind services).
Request approval of funding for the Lake County School Board's Choice, Charter and Community Education Driver's Education Program - Behind the Wheel Training for Fiscal Year 2020. The fiscal impact is $149,564.00 (expenditure from the Traffic Education Trust Fund).
Request approval of an agreement with We Care of Lake County, Inc. for operation of the Lake County We Care Program effective October 1, 2019, through September 30, 2020. The fiscal impact is $116,975.00 (expenditure).
Request approval of the addendum to Contract 14-0214 with ByWater Solutions (Santa Barbara, CA). The impact for Fiscal Year 2020 is $40,950.00, with subsequent fiscal years at $32,750.00 (expenditure).
Parks and Trails
Request approval to advertise an ordinance to amend Chapter 16, Lake County Code, entitled Parks and Recreation, creating Section 16-54, Lake County Code, governing the hunting of small game with restrictions at the Pine Meadows Conservation Area. There is no fiscal impact.
Request approval of the Fiscal Year 2020 Annual Certified Budget for 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).
Request approval of an Interlocal Agreement with the City of Clermont for the transfer of jurisdiction of a public right of way, as shown on the plat of Summit Subdivision, recorded in Plat Book 8, Page 7. There is no fiscal impact. Commission District 2.
Request approval to execute a Local Agency Program (LAP) agreement and supporting Resolution 2019-126 with the Florida Department of Transportation for construction and inspection services for the County Road 473 Safe Routes to School sidewalk project in the Leesburg area. The estimated fiscal impact is $925,441.00 (revenue/expenditure - $861,138.00 in grant funding and $64,303.00 funded by Sales Tax). Commission District 3.
Request approval to execute a Local Agency Program
(LAP) Agreement and supporting Resolution 2019-127 with the Florida Department
of Transportation for design services for traffic safety improvements on County
Road 452 from County Road 44 to the Lake/Marion County Line.
The estimated fiscal impact is $600,325.00 (expenditure/revenue - 100% grant funded). Commission Districts 4 and 5.
Request approval to execute a Local Agency Program (LAP) Agreement and supporting Resolution 2019-128 with the Florida Department of Transportation for the design of safety improvements on Lake Ella Road from NE 90th Street to State Road 25/State Road 500 (US 27/US 441) in the Fruitland Park area. The fiscal impact is $180,130.00 (expenditure/revenue – 100% grant funded). Commission District 5.
Request approval to accept a performance bond in the amount of $222,444.22 required for the construction of intersection improvements on East Orange Avenue for the Eleven Oaks subdivision in Eustis. The fiscal impact is $490.00 (revenue – permit application fees). Commission District 4.
Request approval to:
1. Accept the final plat for Sawgrass Bay Phase 3B, and all areas dedicated to the public as shown on the Sawgrass Bay Phase 3B final plat, located near Clermont.
2. Execute a Developer's Agreement for Construction of Improvements with Avatar Properties, Inc. (Maitland, FL).
3. Accept a performance bond of $180,450.56.
The fiscal impact is $1,551.00 (revenue - final plat application fee). Commission District 1.
Request approval to:
1. Accept the final plat for Greater Lakes Phase 4, and all areas dedicated to the public as shown on the Greater Lakes Phase 4 final plat, located near Clermont.
2. Execute a Developer's Agreement for Construction of Improvements with Lennar Homes, LLC (Maitland, FL).
3. Accept a performance bond of $1,704,966.41.
The fiscal impact is $1,551.00 (revenue - final plat application fee). Commission District 1.
Request approval to:
1. Accept the final plat for Meadow Ridge Phase 2, located in Grand Island.
2. Execute a Developer's Agreement for Maintenance of Improvements with LGI Homes - Florida, LLC (Tampa, FL).
3. Accept a $139,744.51 bond for maintenance of improvements.
4. Execute Resolution 2019-129 accepting Rose Moss Avenue "Part" (County Road No. 6141C), Callicarpa Lane (County Road No. 6141D), Pale Grass Way (County Road No. 6141E), and Indian Grass Way (County Road No. 6141F) into the Lake County Road Maintenance System.
5. Execute a Developer's Agreement for Construction and Maintenance of Sidewalk Improvements with LGI Homes - Florida, LLC.
6. Accept a $72,266.70 bond for performance of sidewalk construction.
7. Accept a $6,569.70 bond for maintenance of sidewalk improvements.
The fiscal impact is $1,551.00 (Revenue - final plat application fee). Commission District 4.
Request approval of Contract 19-0931 with Greer Enterprises, LLC (Mobile, AL) for hazardous waste disposal services. The estimated annual fiscal impact is $210,000.00 (expenditure).
public hearing – ordinance 2019-53 affordable housing advisory committee membership & quorum requirements
Ms. Marsh placed the proposed ordinance on the floor for reading by title only as follows:
AN ORDINANCE OF THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OF LAKE COUNTY, FLORIDA; AMENDING SECTION 2-89, LAKE COUNTY CODE, REGARDING THE AFFORDABLE HOUSING ADVISORY COMMITTEE; REDUCING THE QUORUM REQUIREMENTS FROM 6 MEMBERS TO 5 MEMBERS; PROVIDING FOR SEVERABILITY; PROVIDING FOR FILING WITH THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE; AND PROVIDING FOR AN EFFECTIVE DATE.
Commr. Parks felt that this could help the Affordable Housing Advisory Committee continue to have a quorum for their meetings.
The Chairman opened the public hearing.
There being no one who wished to address the Board regarding this matter, the Chairman closed the public hearing.
On a motion by Commr. Parks, seconded by Commr. Sullivan and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved to adopt and execute Ordinance 2019-53 amending the Affordable Housing Advisory Committee membership and quorum requirement.
lake county’s 2020 legislative priorities
Mr. Cole recalled that on September 10, 2019, staff had presented the draft legislative priorities for discussion and feedback; furthermore, this was currently back for final consideration. He added that based on the direction received at the September 10, 2019 BCC meeting, staff added advanced septic treatment systems as a top priority, along with other priorities including the Green Mountain Connector Trail, a letter of support for changes in the school funding formula, rowing lanes in the City of Clermont, and the YMCA of Central Florida’s before and after school programs. He said that since the meeting on September 10, 2019, other items had come up which he asked the Board to consider including a top priority for having Section 348.754(c) removed from the Florida Statutes. He specified that this section required that the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) secretary must authorize any extensions, additions or improvements made to the expressway system in Lake County. He related that staff was also asking that the Board include a letter of support for the Trout Lake Nature Center’s legislative funding request, along with other potential requests from the Board.
Commr. Breeden mentioned that Dr. Culpepper and the City of Tavares were forming a partnership on city property where the City was going to be building some bays for diesel vehicle maintenance. She relayed her understanding that the City wanted to partner with Lake Tech to co-locate on that property to teach people and help them get certifications for working on diesel engines. She thought that there was a shortage in the state for this and said that Lake Tech would be making a legislative request for $3.9 million from the state for the construction of this facility. She suggested that the Board write a letter of support for this program.
Commr. Campione asked if Lake Tech would be moving the rest of its body shop and mechanic work to the new facility to free up that space at the current campus.
Ms. Culpepper confirmed that this was the plan and that they would eventually move their transportation programs to the new property to develop a regional transportation training hub. She elaborated that this could free up all of the space in the back of their current building facing their manufacturing center which could allow them to expand manufacturing into that space. She said that the current diesel program was designed around 1970 for tractor repair and that current diesel truck and emergency vehicle training would be more beneficial in a modern facility.
Commr. Breeden felt that this could lead to an opportunity for the County to partner with students.
Ms. Culpepper commented that they were talking to other cities about working together to service vehicles and for specific certifications for fire trucks, garbage trucks, etc.
Commr. Campione asked where the property was located.
Ms. Culpepper replied that it was by the water treatment plant and Commissioner Breeden added that it was near the Lake County Office of Parks and Trails building. Ms. Culpepper said that there could be shared space between this facility and the new facility and that this could allow them to lower the cost.
Commr. Campione inquired if this was similar to when Ms. Culpepper had asked for an appropriation from the legislature for Lake Tech.
Ms. Culpepper confirmed this and added that Senator Dennis Baxley and Representative Anthony Sabatini were going to sponsor it.
Commr. Breeden inquired if the County was requesting for an increase in SHIP funding.
Mr. Cole said this was correct and that they were also asking to reinstitute the original school formula.
Commr. Campione thought that the Florida Association of Counties (FAC) made a request each year to keep funding in the Sadowski Fund, and she relayed her understanding that United Way of Lake and Sumter Counties was going to make a request to the legislature to keep that funding intact. She commented that she had a letter from Mr. Mathias with information that their lobbyists had compiled for their request; furthermore, this letter could be forwarded to Mr. Cole to inform him of how the school board laid out the compression allocation and how that affected them. She felt that the state keeping this intact could help Lake County schools significantly rather than addressing the issue of the entire formula. She commented that the letter indicated that the Lake County School District was funded $211.29 per student less than the state average and that even with the additional voted millage for safety, Lake County funding for students was still lower than the state average. She relayed that in 2020, legislators allocated an additional $52 per student to the school district in their total funds allocation compression, but this was only for one year. She then mentioned the Central Florida Expressway Authority (CFX) request and said that when that legislation was put into place, the County thought that FDOT at the time was possibly not ready to let go of Lake County from the standpoint of the county being part of CFX, though additional counties had come on board. She stated that Lake County was the only county with a requirement for FDOT to approve projects there and that the Lake-Orange Expressway was due to come before the CFX Board in October 2019. She relayed that the County would still have to go to FDOT to get them to sign off on this project but that this could be the year to make a request to fix this legislation so that Lake County would not be treated differently than other counties on the CFX Board.
Mr. Cole relayed that he had spoken to the County’s lobbyists about this item and they indicated that they would be reaching out directly to the FDOT secretary to start the discussions.
Commr. Campione suggested possibly having the Commissioners meet with the FDOT secretary individually.
Commr. Sullivan thought that the key was that CFX and the system had changed, and he thought that based on the direction that FDOT had been given, they had been more cooperative with CFX.
Commr. Breeden felt that Lake County was a more significant part of the region now.
Commr. Campione said that expanding CFX had been a first step and there was now a positive track record which could help the County’s position for having equal treatment under the statutes.
Mr. Cole explained that it was a conscious decision to not include the funding that the County had asked for in previous years for road projects. He clarified that the funding was a priority for the County but that staff was trying to work through the processes in place through the Lake-Sumter Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) and FDOT, and the County received feedback that this would be the state’s preference.
Commr. Campione mentioned that the County had included funding requests in the past and that there had been a hope that they would be funded; however, if this was approved, it would move priorities and MPO funding. She felt that there was also a risk that if a request was funded by the State Legislature and vetoed by the governor, it could not be placed back on the MPO list immediately. She said that she appreciated the letters of support from different groups and agencies that the County worked with.
Commr. Parks supported including priorities that were also high for the governor, and he relayed his understanding that the governor had emphasized water protection. He felt that it was positive that the County had included hydrilla and assistance with septic upgrades.
Commr. Campione thanked Mr. Cole and staff for their work on this item.
Mr. Cole requested a vote on the legislative priorities as presented and as discussed with the items added today.
On a motion by Commr. Breeden, seconded by Commr. Blake and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved Lake County's 2020 Legislative Priorities.
Four corners meeting of county managers
Mr. Cole said that there was a Four Corners Area Council and that there was coordination with Orange, Osceola, Lake and Polk Counties. He informed the Board that the council had convened a meeting of the county managers of those four counties to be held on Monday, September 30, 2019.
Commr. Sullivan said that what the council was trying to initiate was some joint policies that could apply in the four counties. He felt that while the most significant part of the Four Corners area in Lake County was the Green Swamp, the council was trying to coordinate positive efforts for marketing and signage which the County could be part of. He suggested that Mr. Brandon Matulka, Executive Director for the Agency for Economic Prosperity, or one of his representatives for economic development could attend these meetings regularly, along with a representative from the Lake County Office of Planning and Zoning.
commissioner parks – district 2
national association of counties board of directors
Commr. Parks explained that the FAC always had a few spots on the National Association of Counties (NACo) Board of Directors and that the Commissioner from Dade County was stepping down; furthermore, he was encouraged to apply for that spot. He clarified that this did not mean that he would obtain the position but he thought that having someone from Lake County on a national board could be positive. He indicated his support for NACo due to the sharing of information and bonding together in the state over issues. He indicated that he would have to obtain the Board’s support to apply for this position and that it had to be on the record that the BCC would be amicable with him applying.
Commr. Campione proposed possibly adopting a resolution in support of Commissioner Parks. She also said that the Board could draft a letter which she could sign.
Mr. Cole indicated that he could draft a resolution.
Commr. Parks commented that he could provide the Board with regular reports on the discussions.
On a motion by Commr. Sullivan, seconded by Commr. Breeden and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved to support Commissioner Parks’ ability to apply to the Florida Association of Counties to serve on the National Association of Counties Board of Directors.
housing for all summit
Commr. Parks said that Mr. Smith had done a great job at a recent housing for all summit. He expressed interest in a potential workshop for considering expanded affordable housing programs. He also expressed excitement for the potential for accessory dwelling units. He felt that Osceola County had a good accessory dwelling policy and relayed an interest in Lake County being known as a family friendly and affordable county, as well as an aging in place community. He explained that an accessory dwelling could be a mother-in-law suite or a separate building from the principal structure on a property. He felt that there had been past issues with these units and clarified that this would be a unit that parents or children could live in and which could include tiny homes and units that could be rented out. He relayed his understanding that Osceola County had the highest impact fee in the state, but did not think that they charged impact fees for accessory dwelling units.
Commr. Campione questioned if they had to make up those fees or if they were allowed to include it if the square footage did not exceed a certain threshold into a higher category.
Ms. Marsh said that she had contacted the Osceola County Attorney’s Office to ask this question and they informed her that they had labeled accessory dwelling units as a smaller type of impact. She added that she had requested the impact fee study that would support this and was still waiting to receive that information.
Commr. Parks thought that this could be discussed at an affordable housing workshop.
Commr. Campione opined that effects on adjacent property owners could be considered.
Commr. Blake relayed his understanding that individuals in Lake County could avoid having to pay an impact fee for an accessory dwelling structure by not installing a stove.
Commr. Campione confirmed this and added that they could also connect it to the main building. She expressed a concern that individuals had to do this to meet the code.
Commr. Blake asked if the County could adopt an alternative impact fee from the Osceola County study or if Lake County had to commission their own study.
Ms. Marsh replied that it depended on how old the study was; however, that they would likely want to perform their own study because Osceola County probably had a different demographic and types of construction. She believed that the Lake County Office of Procurement Services was working on putting out a bid to find a firm that could do this.
Commr. Campione suggested that there could possibly be some thresholds that could not be exceeded or else additional fees would have to be paid. She said that other units could still be allowed but it could be similar to paying for an extra trash can or an additional fire fee.
Ms. Marsh stated that some individuals may be unable to have accessory dwelling units due to subdivision restrictions that do not permit it due to rental units potentially changing the character of a neighborhood.
Commr. Parks noted that the County would have to address vacation rentals and he relayed his understanding that Osceola County had an ordinance which allowed code enforcement to address individuals renting an accessory dwelling unit on a daily basis.
Commr. Campione suggested that Lake County would have more rural lots that were not deed restricted.
Commr. Parks thought it would be good for parents and families to be able to age in place. He said that for a workshop, the Board could consider how many affordable housing units would be required as the county grew over the next 10 years based on projected population. He felt that a request for a small multi-family dwelling, such as an apartment, could possibly support affordable housing and justify its density if it had the correct numbers.
lake and sumter emergency recovery meeting
Commr. Parks thanked Mr. Michael Tart, Executive Director for Lake and Sumter Emergency Recovery (LASER), Mr. Tommy Carpenter, Director for the Office of Emergency Management, and County staff for a meeting about unified response with LASER. He added that LASER was going to organize a post-disaster response with churches and non-profit organizations.
commissioner breeden – vice chairman and district 3
lake and sumter emergency recovery meeting
Commr. Breeden said that she had also attended the LASER meeting.
centennial celebration for american legion post 35
Commr. Breeden reported that she and Commissioner Sullivan had attended a centennial celebration for the American Legion Post 35 in the City of Mount Dora on September 14, 2019.
housing for all summit
Commr. Breeden complimented Mr. Smith and all of South Lake for the housing for all summit. She felt that the event was excellent and said that it got the Board thinking about options for possible solutions.
COMMISSIONER BLAKE – DISTRICT 5
leesburg high school resource room
Commr. Blake commented that for the past year, he had served on the Juvenile Justice Circuit Five Advisory Board which met once a month at Trinity Assembly of God in the City of Fruitland Park. He relayed that they typically had a local provider give a presentation during the meeting and that Mr. Rondo Fernandez, Founder of The Mojo Grill & Catering Company, had discussed The ROCK program at Leesburg High School which included a resource room that local churches could contribute to. He elaborated that the room had hygiene supplies for students who could not afford them, along with free counseling. He added that Mr. Fernandez had supported similar programs in Marion County schools.
Commr. Breeden commented that on October 1, 2019 at 3:00 p.m., there would be a ribbon cutting for The ROCK program at Leesburg High School.
library advisory board meeting
Commr. Blake said that on Thursday, September 19, 2019, there was a Library Advisory Board meeting at the Fruitland Park Library. He mentioned that it was a great meeting and he acknowledged Mr. George Taylor, Director for the Office of Library Services, for doing a great job with library services.
commissioner campione – CHAIRMAN AND district 4
affordable housing WORKSHOP
Commr. Campione mentioned affordable housing and thought that if the Board had a workshop on this issue, they could possibly identify some of the key costs that made housing unattainable. She noted that there were impact fees for water, sewer and transportation in a city, and that the County had created a transportation infill waiver. She thought that the Board could also consider how the school impact fee affected affordability and wondered if the Lake County School Board could possibly consider a waiver for a portion of the school impact fee or waiving a certain number of fees per year if certain criteria was met, such as for bridge housing. She expressed an interest in determining what could be done locally to provide assistance.
Commr. Sullivan said that the County knew the capacity of all the schools and that a waiver could help if affordable housing would be built in an area with school capacity.
Commr. Campione thought that the school impact fees were countywide but that students would not be added where there were no stations for them. She said that a date could be set so that the Lake County School Board could be aware of a workshop and that it could be advertised.
recess and reassembly
The Chairman called a recess at 10:41 a.m. until the 5:05 p.m. Budget Public Hearing.
5:05 BUDGET PUBLIC HEARING
PRESENTATION OF MILLAGE RATES
Ms. Jennifer Barker, Executive Director of Administrative Services, said that the purpose of this presentation was to adopt the final millage rates and the final budget for FY 2020. She commented that the Chairman would then open the public hearing for public comment, and the Board would have these three actions: adopt the final FY 2020 millage resolutions; adopt the changes to the FY 2020 tentative budget; and adopt the final budget for FY 2020. She remarked that Chapters 129 and 200 of the Florida Statutes, which outline the procedures for the annual adoption of tax rates and budgets, require that she identify the proposed millage rates for FY 2020 as well as any adjustments that the Board would consider this evening. She began presenting the proposed FY 2020 millage rates and said that the proposed Lake County General Fund Countywide Millage was 5.0734 mills, which was a decrease from the FY 2019 rate and a 4.24 percent increase over the rollback tax rate of 4.8670 mills. She related that the proposed Lake County Ambulance and Emergency Medical Services municipal service taxing unit (MSTU) millage was 0.4629 mills, which was equal to the FY 2019 rate at a 5.16 percent increase over the rollback tax rate of 0.4402. She stated that proposed Lake County Stormwater, Parks and Roads MSTU millage was 0.4957 mills, noting that this was equal to the FY 2019 rate and a 4.95 percent increase over the rollback tax rate of 0.4723 mills. She commented that the proposed Lake County Fire Rescue MSTU millage was 0.4704 mills and stated that this was equal to the FY 2019 rate and a 5.14 percent increase over the rollback tax rate of 0.4474 mills. She concluded that the proposed Lake County Public Lands-Voted Debt Service millage, which did not factor into the rollback calculations as it was approved by a referendum, was 0.1100 mills and was a decrease from the FY 2019 rate.
PRESENTATION OF FINAL BUDGET
Ms. Barker shared that there had been 17 budget workshops during the FY 2020 budget process. She also indicated that the following strategies were used to develop the FY 2020 budget: no millage increases; increase the General Fund reserves; maintain status quo General Fund County operating budgets; wage increases were included and were comprised of a one percent across the board increase, up to an additional three percent for performance based increases, and additional funding was included for wage adjustments in targeted areas to enhance recruitment and retention of key workers; fund all of the mandated increases such as the Florida Retirement System (FRS) and Medicaid expenses; and continue to identify and implement efficiencies. She noted that the proposed final budget incorporated the approved project list for the Infrastructure Sales Tax which had been adopted by the Board in August 2019. She added that the proposed final budget included employee wage adjustments and fully funded the judicial support and the Lake County Clerk of the Circuit Court and Comptroller, Property Appraiser, Tax Collector, Supervisor of Elections, and Medical Examiner. She elaborated that the budget also included the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and Florida Division of Emergency Management (DEM) approved reimbursements related to Hurricane Irma totaling approximately $8.6 million. She then relayed the following information about the proposed FY 2020 final budget: provides an additional $5.3 million of the $6.7 million initially requested by the Lake County Sheriff’s Office (LCSO); an additional $2.8 million was added to the General Fund reserves, which would now be at 9.13 percent of the operating budget, with the Board’s policy including a goal of seven to twelve percent of the operating budget in the General Fund operating reserves; and there was a remaining $1.7 million from the FEMA and DEM reimbursements which had been added to special reserves and were separated from the General Fund operating reserves. She explained that the proposed budget included these 15 new positions: a position in judicial support for a general magistrate to reduce the time that family law cases are brought to resolution; one new limited term probation officer as requested by the Board; two new positions in the Office of Building Services including a senior building inspector and a plans examiner; six new firefighter positions; five new positions in the Office of EMS including three paramedics and two emergency medical technicians (EMTs) which had been approved by the Board at their September 10, 2019 meeting; and three deleted positions including a library assistant I position, a library technician position, and an environmental program associate position. She summarized that all of these changes resulted in a net of 12 new positions.
The Chairman opened the public hearing.
Mr. Wayne Bailey, a resident of Lake County, thought that a primary concern would be public safety and he asked the Board to approve the Lake County Sheriff’s budget request. He relayed his understanding that the Sheriff had reduced his request from $6.7 million to $5.1 million and he opined that the Sheriff needed this amount to fund his deputies, jail cost increases, and to be consistent with other law enforcement agencies. He indicated an understanding that the Marion County Sheriff’s Office, which had a similar population as Lake County, had a significantly higher budget. He mentioned that the Lake County population had grown in the past 10 years by 20 percent, though the Sheriff’s budget had only increased by 10 percent; furthermore, the Sheriff’s personnel budget had decreased by 8.5 percent. He felt that in east Lake County, more homes were being built and said that there were high traffic corridors from the City of Orlando metro area. He relayed his understanding that some citizens in east Lake County were commuting to other cities and that this created more pressure on the LCSO and the Lake County Offices of Fire Rescue and EMS to respond to residents’ needs. He urged the Board to approve the Sheriff’s budget request as submitted and to allow him to pay competitive rates, to increase the number of deputies, and to increase the safety in Lake County.
Mr. Fred Costello, a resident of the Palisades community and a volunteer for the LCSO, felt that the budgets approved by the Board provided many top quality services to the county including fire rescue, emergency management, animal services, roads and bridges, parks and trails, library services, environmental protection and others. He felt that the Lake County Sheriff’s budget regarded public safety, that this was the first priority of government, and that this budget funded individuals who secured peace and safety for residents. He commented that each day, Lake County deputies left the safety of their homes to secure the residents’ safety and that the LCSO must recruit, train and retain the finest men and women who were willing to place their lives in danger to protect the residents. He opined that competition for personnel was a daily challenge and he relayed his understanding that the cost for all LCSO services was $0.52 per day for a Lake County resident; furthermore, the cost for services allocated to crime prevention and response was only $0.27 per day per county resident. He felt that this was a great value and he urged the Board to approve the Sheriff’s budget.
Mr. Smith mentioned that he had met with the Greater Groves Homeowners Association (HOA) about creating workforce housing for that community. He shared that their most significant concern was a lack of law enforcement and he endorsed ensuring that there were adequate law enforcement officials on the roads and supporting the Sheriff’s full requested budget. He also expressed concerns about the effects of a lack of a homeless crisis center and he felt that this could be a place that individuals could visit to receive treatment and find affordable housing. He opined that the effects of the lack of a crisis center included increased costs for the Lake County Jail and emergency rooms in hospitals. He supported having funding to create a crisis center for the county, and he expressed a concern that the Lake County workforce was having difficulty finding housing and that employers were experiencing challenges with finding workers in Lake County. He relayed his understanding that many other counties had this issue and were using General Fund revenue to support housing and to obtain matching federal and state grants.
Ms. Nancy Hurlbert, a concerned resident of Lake County, asked the Board to not fund the approximately $18,000 for the Lake County Historical Museum office manager. She opined that the museum did not have to pay approximately $126,000 per year for rent, for City of Tavares water and sewer services, and for electric services. She felt that taxpayers who opposed the policies of the museum were paying for these services and she indicated an understanding that other museums in the county supported themselves. She mentioned that the museum had significantly increased its membership, and she thought that the museum should support itself and that the funding for the museum should be redirected to the LCSO.
Ms. Patricia Drake, a concerned citizen, felt that if the LCSO was fully funded, then the office would be able to successfully perform their jobs which would enhance public safety. She also thought that denying the Sheriff’s request would leave the County vulnerable to the high cost of crime. She felt that vulnerability would cost the County more money due to the cost associated with an increase in crime. She relayed that she was a part of a group of citizens who met with the Sheriff to discuss his budget requests, and she indicated an understanding that the Sheriff was requesting a $5.1 million increase in his budget which was just over seven percent. She relayed her understanding that the Sheriff managed about 750 employees and that this was 43 positions less than in 2008, yet the county population had increased by over 20 percent. She said that the Sheriff also had to fund the FRS and comply with its mandates. She mentioned that the LCSO included law enforcement operations, criminal justice operations such as operating the jail, administrative services, specialty units, and aviation, yet Lake County was not one of the highest paying counties for sheriff deputies. She thought that Lake County deputies made an average of $18.35 per hour, and that the Sheriff invested a large part of his budget to provide training for individuals but was unable to retain them. She expressed a concern for LCSO training being a financial drain on the department and she expressed support for the LCSO being able to train and retain the people they hire. She also opined that a backlog in the judiciary system had created a strain on the Sheriff’s budget. She felt that the Sheriff needed to fully staff his office so that other counties’ issues did not come to Lake County.
Mr. Michael Watkins, a resident of Lake County, opposed funding for the Lake County Historical Society. He felt that there were needs for emergency management and that there were other items that the funding could be used for. He expressed a concern for the Historical Society bringing in a Confederate statue and creating division in the county. He also questioned if more Confederate statues would be brought to the county by the Historical Society and he indicated a concern for funding this activity. He supported allowing the Historical Society to support itself and he felt that there was not proper African-American representation in the society.
Ms. Lou Brown, a concerned citizen, supported the increase in funding for the LCSO. She expressed that she felt safe in Lake County and that the LCSO was respected. She indicated a concern for LSCO personnel leaving Lake County for other departments with higher pay, along with spending money to train individuals that leave the office.
Mr. Frank Wood, a resident of Lake County, requested that the funding for the Lake County Historical Society be withheld. He thought that there had been several audits conducted on the Historical Society which listed numerous concerns that had not been met; furthermore, he opined that funding should be withheld until those items were addressed. He opined that the Historical Society’s process concerning a Confederate statue was flawed and that it had been kept quiet. He relayed his understanding that many county residents were just now learning of the plan to move the statue to the City of Tavares and that public disapproval was growing. He mentioned that nine of Lake County’s fourteen municipalities had passed resolutions urging the BCC to reject the statue and that other cities were considering similar resolutions; additionally, no city had supported the statue. He also commented that on August 10, 2019, about 500 Lake County citizens marched to protest bringing the statue to the county. He relayed his understanding that the Confederate statue had been taken down when the Governor and State Legislature decided that it was an inaccurate and inappropriate representation of the state. He indicated an understanding that the statue was then offered to any city, county or museum in the state and that they had all denied it except for the Lake County Historical Museum. He opined that many felt the statue would be more appropriately housed in the Museum of Florida History or the Olustee Battlefield Historic State Park, which were both funded by the State of Florida. He urged the Board to withhold funding from the Historical Society until they address the citations found in previous audits of the museum and until a broader discussion about the Confederate statue is held involving all stakeholders in the county.
Ms. Diane Riordan, a resident of Lake County, expressed that she was proud to be a citizen of Lake County and that she wanted the LCSO to be fully manned and supported.
Mr. Michael Lukasik, a resident of Pennbrooke Fairways and representing a United States veterans club, said that they appreciated the Lake County Sheriff and his force. He felt that the LCSO’s support of the veterans club was great and commented that they wanted to support the LCSO. He asked the Board to allow the Sheriff to have the budget he needed to be successful and to ensure residents’ safety.
Mr. Gary Drake, a resident of The Villages, expressed concerns for the effectiveness and the efficiency of the LCSO, for crime in Lake County, and for adequate funding for the Sheriff. He recalled that he was part of a group of residents from The Villages who had spoken to the Sheriff earlier in the year and he praised the Sheriff for being effective and efficient. He relayed his understanding that the Sheriff had indicated a concern for addressing crime from Orange County and the Four Corners area; furthermore, he opined that it could be more expensive to address this crime in Lake County when compared to keeping it out of the county. He opined that the population growth in Lake County was 18.6 percent from 2008 to 2018 and that if the contracts and the FRS were removed from the Sheriff’s budget, then in 10 years his budget only grew 4.6 percent in inflation of 16.6 percent. He felt that the function of government was to keep people safe and he expressed a concern for the Sheriff being restrained by a budget that did not fit his needs.
Ms. Linda Kero, a resident of Lake County, mentioned the possibility of withholding funding from the Lake County Historical Society and thought that this funding could be used elsewhere. She opined that there was a significant cost to the Sheriff’s department during the march on August 10, 2019 and she opined that the LCSO had caused concern in the community during this event. She also felt that the Confederate statue did not belong in the county.
There being no one else who wished to address the Board regarding this matter, the Chairman closed the public hearing.
Ms. Barker commented that the first request was for approval of the millage resolutions. She elaborated that this included the Lake County General Countywide Levy of 5.0734 mills, the Lake County MSTU for Ambulance and Emergency Services Levy of 0.4629 mills, the Lake County MSTU for Stormwater, Parks and Roads Levy of 0.4957 mills, the Lake County Fire Rescue MSTU Levy of 0.4704 mills, and the Lake County Voter Approved Debt Levy of 0.1100 mills.
Commr. Campione explained that when the Board set the millage, they were funding the budgets of the Constitutional Officers along with their own budget. She said that the Constitutional Officers were autonomous duly elected officials that were accountable for their decision making and that the Board relied upon them to ensure that their offices were efficient and properly utilizing taxpayer funds. She mentioned that although the economy was strong and it had been suggested that this was the year where the Board could use a full rollback rate, the Board was addressing needs in each of its budgets for the County and the Constitutional Officers. She related that last year, the Sheriff had conducted a salary study and that there were discrepancies for what the LCSO needed to do to be competitive. She added that there was a significant demand throughout the state for sworn officers and that the Sheriff needed to be competitive with adjoining counties and other agencies. She commented that the Sheriff began implementing the study over the past year and that performing a full rollback would lead to being unable to fund all of the Constitutional Officers and the BCC. She recalled that at the previous BCC meeting, the Board reduced the millage rate from the previous year, though an increase in property values could lead to some residents seeing an increase in their bill. She mentioned that due to the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in the previous year, the Board adopted an extra millage for the Lake County School District to implement school safety measures; furthermore, a portion of the increase on residents’ bills was due to this additional millage and performing a full rollback could still lead to there being an increase on a resident’s bill. She felt that the Board worked hard to consider the people of Lake County who had to pay tax bills, though the Board also had to ensure that services were funded and residents were safe. She expressed appreciation for Mr. Cole and staff’s work on this item, and she thanked the Constitutional Officers for working to provide budgets that would not request more funding than necessary to provide their services.
Commr. Sullivan felt that this had been a thorough process and he pointed out that in this budget, the County had met the Sheriff’s budget to bring it back to where it was previously. He added that the LCSO had worked diligently with the County and that 11 of the County’s 12 net positions were first responders due to the increased need for these individuals. He expressed support for all of the resolutions before the Board and opined that the process had ensured that they were providing highly efficient government services in the county.
Commr. Parks supported each of the millage rates except for the General Fund rate. He felt that the County was still fiscally vulnerable and recalled that he had proposed a smaller reduction in the millage rate two weeks prior about halfway between the previous millage rate and the currently proposed rate. He opined that the revenue did not support the long term needs of the county’s growing population and that the county had rapidly transitioned from an agriculture based community to a suburban based community. He felt that that the County was still trying to find the right mix of industry and housing to reduce the tax burden on homeowners and that the County had not kept up with infrastructure demands during this period. He opined that the budget millage rate did not support roads and that there was currently no guarantee that the County would be spending more money on road resurfacing in the coming year when compared to the previous year. He indicated an interest in possibly allocating $1 million of the $1.7 million in special reserves for road resurfacing, pending a forthcoming discussion about a potential short term loan from penny sales tax for road resurfacing. He also thought that the reserves should be 18 to 20 percent of the operating budget before considering significant reductions in the millage rate. He expressed a concern for being vulnerable to another hurricane and being reliant upon the federal government. He relayed his understanding that Lake County was the lowest taxed county in the region and that the County’s current staff was at early 2000s levels. He said that the County recently outsourced its fleet to save about $1 million and that Mr. Cole and staff had done a great job to save over $3 million in BCC offices. He felt that the County was very conservative, business minded and focused on efficiency as evidenced by those numbers. He did not think that this would be an issue of growing government, and he opined that the property tax system was flawed. He indicated an interest in State Legislature possibly giving the County the statutory ability in a revenue neutral move to significantly lower property taxes while offsetting this with a sales tax. He said that if this was done, then roughly 30 percent of the County’s revenue could be paid for by the approximately 110 million tourist that visit the state annually. He then expressed support for the Sheriff’s budget request and thanked him for his service.
Commr. Campione asked if Commissioner Parks would support a General Fund millage of 5.0957 as opposed to 5.0734. She recalled that at the previous meeting, the Board had voted for a $1 million reduction, which was the currently proposed rate of 5.0734, from what had originally been proposed. She also questioned if Commissioner Breeden had supported only a $500,000 reduction.
Commr. Breeden denied this and clarified that she had supported a $1.5 million reduction but had compromised with a $1 million reduction.
Commr. Parks said that he had wanted only a $500,000 reduction.
Commr. Campione asked if the Board could increase the millage after setting the rate at the September 10, 2019 BCC meeting.
Ms. Barker said that the Board could decrease the millage but could not increase it.
Commr. Campione asked to clarify that Commissioner Parks wanted a higher millage rate than what was proposed at the previous meeting, and Commissioner Parks confirmed this for the General Fund millage rate.
Commr. Breeden felt that she had compromised greatly and thought that the Board could have performed a rollback. She noted that there had to be three votes in favor and that her goal was to pass a budget in support of the Sheriff.
Commr. Campione summarized that Commissioner Breeden had wanted a lower millage, that Commissioner Parks had wanted a higher millage, and that to get three votes, Commissioner Breeden had decided to compromise on her preferred millage to support the Sheriff’s budget.
Commr. Parks opined that the millage should not be that low.
Commr. Breeden thought that the commercial property owners experienced the brunt of any increase in millage and said that she could support a legislative fix for them at the state level. She recommended that for the $1.7 million in special reserves, the Board should wait until after the hurricane season before spending this funding. She felt that a 10 percent increase for the Sheriff’s budget between 2008 and 2018 or 2019 was modest and recalled the challenge of those times. She commented that in the previous year, she performed an analysis with the Sheriff’s request and said that he had been able to implement part of his salary schedule; furthermore, the Sheriff only had a six percent increase over the 10 year period while County operations had a 42 percent decrease in expenditures. She felt that the County had been in recovery for the past 10 years but had not experienced the effects of this except for possibly the past three years. She opined that the County was improving in getting back to where they wanted to be, and she expressed support for reducing the millage slightly. She felt that the time to reduce the millage was when times were good and recalled that in the past recession, the County had to reduce the millage rate because they had inflated too much.
Commr. Parks asked if she would be supportive of resurfacing roads.
Commr. Breeden expressed support for resurfacing roads and said that she would be supportive on October 8, 2019 when the Board considered a loan for this; however, she expressed that she did not support dedicating the $1.7 million in special reserves at this time due to the hurricane season.
Commr. Campione recalled that while the County was able to submit for reimbursements from FEMA after the previous hurricane, there was not a guarantee if that funding would be received or how long it would take to receive it. She opined that it would be prudent to increase the reserves and be prepared for these events. She supported giving the Board flexibility by not committing the $1.7 million at this time.
Commr. Breeden commented that a homeless crisis center could be a possibility for that funding.
Commr. Parks relayed that this was encouraging to him but that all of these projects were why he was supportive of a higher millage rate.
Commr. Blake said that he ran for office on tax reductions and preventing new taxes. He explained that as a property’s assessed value increased, the property tax bill also increased; however, this did not always correspond with an average resident’s increase in income. He felt that he had an obligation to uphold his campaign promises and that a rollback would be a compromise. He shared that the American Tax Foundation conducted an annual study which found that Americans paid more now in state, local and federal taxes combined than for food, clothing and housing combined. He expressed a concern for this and said that he appreciated the LCSO; additionally, he felt that the Sheriff was doing what he believed was best for his office by implementing a salary study. He agreed with Commissioner Parks that property taxes were not a perfect way to fund local government, and he expressed support for a consumption tax rather than a property tax. He said that he would only be supportive of the rollback rate.
Commr. Campione said that the Board appreciated him being consistent. She mentioned that the County could see where the local tax money was going and what it was being used for. She also expressed appreciation for Mr. Cole reducing the County’s budget over the past several years, and she opined that the County could not perform a rollback and still fund all of its services.
On a motion by Commr. Sullivan, seconded by Commr. Breeden and carried by a vote of 3-2, the Board approved the final millage rate for the Lake County General Countywide Levy of 5.0734 mills (Resolution 2019-118).
Commr. Parks and Commr. Blake voted no.
On a motion by Commr. Sullivan, seconded by Commr. Breeden and carried by a vote of 4-1, the Board approved the final millage rate for the Lake County Municipal Services Taxing Unit (MSTU) for Ambulance and Emergency Services Levy of 0.4629 mills (Resolution 2019-119).
Commr. Blake voted no.
On a motion by Commr. Sullivan, seconded by Commr. Parks and carried by a vote of 4-1, the Board approved the final millage rate for the Lake County MSTU for Stormwater, Parks and Roads Levy of 0.4957 mills (Resolution 2019-120).
Commr. Blake voted no.
On a motion by Commr. Parks, seconded by Commr. Breeden and carried by a vote of 4-1, the Board approved the final millage rate for the Lake County Fire Rescue MSTU Levy of 0.4704 mills (Resolution 2019-121).
Commr. Blake voted no.
On a motion by Commr. Blake, seconded by Commr. Breeden and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the final millage rate for the Lake County Voter Approved Debt Levy of 0.1100 mills (Resolution 2019-122).
CHANGES TO FY 2020 TENTATIVE BUDGET
Ms. Barker stated that since the first public hearing on September 10, 2019, staff had updated the fund balance and revenue projections which included reducing the General Fund countywide millage to 5.0734 mills and providing an additional $1 million in savings to the taxpayers. She added that staff also reduced the Public Lands-Voted Debt millage from 0.1324 to 0.1100 mills which provided an additional $500,000 in savings to the taxpayers. She said that upon direction from the Board on September 10, 2019, staff increased the funding for LifeStream Behavioral Center by an additional $150,000, and increased the funding for LASER by $55,000 for a total of $60,000. She remarked that staff included the funding for the five new positions and one ambulance purchase from the Ambulance and Emergency Services MSTU reserves for the Office of EMS, and the County had some additional capital projects that they re-budgeted. She mentioned that they updated the purchase order (PO) carryforward estimates, that the remaining FEMA and DEM reimbursements were put into special reserves outside of the General Fund operating reserves, and other miscellaneous changes and adjustments were made. She related that for the Sheriff’s budget, staff had included an additional $2 million for operational enhancements since the first public hearing, recognized additional revenue and expenditures related to Lake County School Board contracts for school resource deputies, a court liaison and crossing guards, and staff removed revenue and expenditures related to the dispatch services for the City of Eustis due to the City voting against that service. She summarized that the changes to the FY 2020 tentative budget totaled $7,136,307 and said that staff was requesting approval of those changes.
Commr. Breeden mentioned that the five new positions for the Lake County Office of EMS were the same five positions that were in the staffing changes.
Ms. Barker confirmed this and noted that this was presented to the Board at the September 10, 2019 BCC meeting.
Commr. Campione remarked that the Lake County Office of Building Services positions were funded with an enterprise fund and that the positions paid for themselves. She felt that the Board was committed to finding a way to address the county’s road resurfacing needs. She recalled that the Board had expressed interest in using more money from the General Fund for this purpose and that this could possibly happen at midyear. She mentioned that the Board would have a transportation workshop in October 2019 to discuss ways to address the roads in the worst condition over a two year period.
Commr. Parks expressed support for allocating a small amount of the General Fund each year for road resurfacing which could be increased each year, in addition to a loan program to address the issue at once. He also indicated an interest in reconsidering this after the hurricane season ended.
Commr. Campione indicated support for this.
Commr. Breeden said that she had counted on being able to do this but did not feel that this was the right time to make that decision.
Commr. Sullivan also indicated support for this but felt that all options should be considered. He thought that this needed to be one of the Board’s highest priorities.
On a motion by Commr. Sullivan, seconded by Commr. Breeden and carried by a vote of 4-1, the Board approved the adopted changes to the FY 2020 tentative budget totaling $7,136,307.
Commr. Blake voted no.
Ms. Barker requested approval of the final FY 2020 budget resolution totaling $471,356,871.
On a motion by Commr. Sullivan, seconded by Commr. Breeden and carried by a vote of 4-1, the Board approved Resolution 2019-123 for the Fiscal Year 2020 Final Budget totaling $471,356,871.
Commr. Blake voted no.
There being no further business to be brought to the attention of the Board, the meeting was adjourned at 6:22 p.m.
leslie campione, chairman
GARY J COONEY, CLERK