A regular MEETING OF THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
october 8, 2019
The Lake County Board of County Commissioners met in regular session on Tuesday, October 8, 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; Gary J. Cooney, Clerk of the Circuit Court and Comptroller; Kristy Mullane, Chief Financial Officer; and Kathleen Bregel, Deputy Clerk.
INVOCATION and pledge
Pastor Art Eaton from The Fellowship in the City of Leesburg gave the Invocation and Commissioner Campione led the Pledge of Allegiance.
Mr. Jeff Cole, County Manager, stated that since the agenda was first published, the background details for Tab 13 had been revised and distributed the previous week, and that the draft report was added to Tab 24. He also requested for Tab 14 to be moved from the consent agenda to the regular agenda.
sales surtax oversight committee presentation
Mr. Michael Rankin, Chairman for the Sales Surtax Oversight Committee, remarked that the Florida Statutes, Section 212.055, authorizes the levy of local government infrastructure surtax and specifies its use. He explained that the Sales Surtax Oversight Committee included two appointed members from the Board of County Commissioners (BCC), the Lake County School Board, and the Lake County League of Cities, as well as representation of two Lake County Constitutional Officers. He elaborated that the committee meets periodically, that sixteen government entities submit expenditures of payments to the committee, that the committee may request additional information if needed, and that the committee then presents this report to the BCC. He indicated that their most recent meeting was held on September 23, 2019, and that a copy of their report was in the Board’s meeting packet. He stated that the next committee meeting would be held in the spring of 2020.
employee service and quarterly awards
Ms. Jeannine Nelson, Human Resources and Risk Management Manager, announced that they would be recognizing employees who had reached service milestones in their careers with Lake County as well as recipients of the quarterly awards as follows:
Christina Whyte, Program Associate
Office of County Probation
Jimmy Wise, Solid Waste Coordinator
Public Works Department – Solid Waste Operations
Cindy Davis, Right of Way Agent II (not present)
Public Works Department – Right of Way
Paul Doran, Chief Maintenance Supervisor (not present)
Office of Facilities Maintenance
Dominic Zawilski, Construction Inspector I
Office of Parks and Trails
Steven Lafleur, Fire Lieutenant/ EMT
Office of Fire Rescue
John Zornes, Equipment Operator III (not present)
Public Works Department – Road Operations
EMPLOYEE AND TEAM QUARTERLY AWARDS:
EMPLOYEE OF THE QUARTER
Greg Fussell, Computer Technician II
Information Technology Department
Ms. Nelson stated that Mr. Greg Fussell, Computer Technician II with the Information Technology Department, was being recognized as the Employee of the Quarter. She relayed that during the quarter Mr. Fussell had assisted multiple departments including the Offices of Emergency Management, Fire Rescue, Animal Services, Building Services, and Fleet Management with a variety of complex projects. She said that he had taken the lead on managing the County’s mobile devices and had assisted the Office of Fire Rescue with the testing of new tablets. She shared that he was also instrumental in setting up computers and equipment for both the new Lake County Animal Shelter adoption trailer and the waiting area for the Office of Building Services. She explained that the work which Mr. Fussell had completed this quarter would improve customer service to Lake County residents and that the County was grateful for his dedication in the workplace and excellent customer service to both internal and external customers. She then congratulated him for being selected as the employee of the quarter.
SUPERVISOR OF THE QUARTER
Joshua Whiting, Quality Assurance Training Officer
Office of Public Safety Support
Ms. Nelson stated that Mr. Joshua Whiting, Quality Assurance Training Officer with the Office of Public Safety Support, was being recognized as the Supervisor of the Quarter. She mentioned that Mr. Whiting had assisted in the extended absence of the area manager and had played a vital role in the continuity of the office operations. She remarked that he adjusted his schedule and responsibilities as needed in order to ensure that deadlines were met while providing excellent customer service. She shared that Mr. Whiting demonstrated a desire to excel and consistently went above and beyond what was needed. She said that his willingness to learn the intricacies of the new computer-aided dispatch software had proven invaluable for staff members. She then congratulated him on a job well done.
T.E.A.M. OF THE QUARTER
Fleet Operation Enhancements Team – Office of Fleet Management
Joseph Blackwell, Fleet Management Supervisor
Paul Rade, Fleet Management Supervisor
Noah Bordas, Mechanic I (not present)
Timothy Chastain, Mechanic/Welder/Fabricator (not present)
Robert Dickinson, Mechanic I (not present)
James Green, Mechanic II (not present)
Allyson Griffin, Parts & Supply Technician
Teresa Harrison, Accounting Technician
Larry Higgins, Mechanic I (not present)
Jeanne Hotaling, Accounting Technician
Richard Sullivan, Mechanic I
Robert Weaver, Mechanic I
Devon Lynch Makin, Mechanic I
Ms. Nelson remarked that the T.E.A.M. of the Quarter award went to the Fleet Operation Enhancements Team from the Office of Fleet Management. She commented that over the past quarter the Office of Fleet Management had worked diligently to streamline operations by reorganizing their facilities which created workflow efficiencies and a safer environment. She reported that as a result of this, they had dramatically reduced repair time and improved customer service; furthermore, the downtime for fire trucks and heavy equipment vehicles was decreased by almost fifty percent. She noted that this team was closely analyzing the quality of vendor performance and ensuring that all warranties were properly applied. She stated that through their diligence, reorganizational approach, and operational efficiencies, this team had demonstrated the County values of customer service, motivation, and teamwork. She relayed the County’s appreciation for their hard work and commitment, and congratulated them for being selected as the T.E.A.M. of the Quarter.
On a motion by Commr. Breeden, seconded by Commr. Parks, and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved Proclamation 2019-116 designating October 15, 2019 as White Cane Safety Day.
Commr. Parks related that this recognition was meaningful to him since his grandfather had lost his eyesight. He said that he appreciated how New Vision for Independence assisted individuals and their families with learning how to adapt to the loss of sight and function within the community. He then read and presented Proclamation 2019-116 to Ms. Chantel Buck with New Vision for Independence.
Ms. Buck thanked the BCC for recognizing White Cane Safety Day and shared that her organization was grateful for the support that the BCC and municipalities showed to those with disabilities. She mentioned that there were three events commemorating White Cane Safety Day the following week and invited the Commissioners to attend.
On a motion by Commr. Sullivan, seconded by Commr. Breeden, and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved Proclamation 2019-117 designating the week of October 13-19, 2019 as Mediation Week.
Commr. Campione read and presented Proclamation 2019-117 to Ms. Debbie Clark, Director for Case Management for the Fifth Judicial Circuit, and Ms. Jo Dell Coning, Director of Alternative Dispute Resolution for the Fifth Judicial Circuit.
Ms. Coning thanked the BCC for the recognition and shared that their office had been selected as a pilot site for a new online dispute resolution project for the State of Florida which would be initiated in February 2020 through the County Small Claims Court volunteer mediators.
On a motion by Commr. Breeden, seconded by Commr. Blake, and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved Proclamation 2019-130 designating the week of October 7-18, 2019 as National 4-H Week in Lake County.
Commr. Campione read and presented Proclamation 2019-130 to Ms. Dallas Daniels, the 4-H agent for the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) Lake County Extension, and several Lake County 4-H students. She shared that the County was grateful for the services provided by the 4-H volunteers, teachers and parents, and relayed how proud the community was of the students’ hard work.
Ms. Daniels thanked the BCC for their ongoing support of the 4-H program, and recognized the 4-H volunteers for their partnership and dedication to positive youth development which she felt was the reason the program was so successful.
On a motion by Commr. Blake, seconded by Commr. Breeden, and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved the minutes for the BCC meeting of August 13, 2019 (Regular Meeting) as presented.
citizen question and comment period
Mr. David Serdar, a concerned citizen, said he was worried about plastic waste litter and encouraged the Board of County Commissioners (BCC) to take action on reducing this in order to provide a better future for the next generation.
Mr. Vance Jochim, a Lake County resident, expressed a desire for the County to perform internal audits, and also thanked the Board for honoring mediators. He commented on Tab 17 and asked for that intersection to be a County priority; additionally, he said that in regards to Tab 29 and the loan for road resurfacing projects, that the County’s current debt load should be examined to determine the risks as he supported pay-as-you go financing.
CLERK OF the Circuit COURT and comptroller’s CONSENT AGENDA
On a motion by Commr. Parks, seconded by Commr. Sullivan 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 5, as follows:
List of Warrants
Request to acknowledge receipt of the list of warrants paid prior to this meeting, pursuant to Chapter 136.06 (1) of the Florida Statutes, which shall be incorporated into the Minutes as attached Exhibit A and filed in the Board Support Division of the Clerk's Office.
Southwest Florida Water Management District’s FY 2020 Schedule of Meetings
Request to acknowledge receipt of the Southwest Florida Water Management District’s Fiscal Year 2020 Schedule of Meetings and a map depicting the District’s boundaries as required by Section 189.417, Florida Statutes.
Hills of Minneola CDD Proposed Budgets for FYs 2019 & 2020
Request to acknowledge receipt of the Hills of Minneola Community Development District Proposed Budgets for Fiscal Years 2019 and 2020 in accordance with Section 190.008(2)(b) of the Florida Statutes for purposes of disclosure and information.
Greater Lakes/Sawgrass Bay CDD Resolution 2019-08
Request to acknowledge receipt of Resolution 2019-08 identifying the Fiscal Year 2019/2020 meeting schedule for the Greater Lakes/Sawgrass Bay Community Development District. This meeting schedule is being submitted in accordance with Section 189.015(1) of the Florida Statutes.
Estates at Cherry Lake Community CDD FY 2019/2020 Adopted Budget
Request to acknowledge receipt of the Final Adopted Budget for Fiscal Year 2019/2020 approved by the Board of Supervisors of the Estates at Cherry Lake Community Development District. Transmittal of the Final Adopted Budget is being made pursuant to Section 189.016 of the Florida Statutes.
COUNTY MANAGER’S CONSENT AGENDA
Commr. Campione requested for Tab 9 to be pulled for a separate vote due to a disclosure of a voting conflict. She noted that while she was not related to anyone within the Campione & Hackney, P.A. firm which was listed on this agenda item, she did not want there to be any concern regarding this.
Commr. Parks asked to be able to comment on Tab 15 after the consent agenda 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 7 through 23, with the revised background details for Tab 13, the draft report added to Tab 24, moving Tab 14 to the regular agenda and pulling Tab 9 for a separate vote as follows below:
On a motion by Commr. Sullivan, seconded by Commr. Breeden and carried by a vote of 4-0, the Board approved Consent Agenda Tab 9. Commissioner Campione abstained from voting.
Request approval to declare items as surplus, and authorization of their removal from the County’s official fixed asset inventory system records. The fiscal impact cannot be determined at this time (revenue).
AGENCY FOR ECONOMIC PROSPERITY
Request approval of a letter of support for the City of Mount Dora's Department of Economic Opportunity grant funding application regarding utilities and high-speed fiber optic cable in the target employment areas within the Wolf Branch Innovation District, U.S. 441 and Highland Street Corridors. There is no fiscal impact. Commission District 4.
PUBLIC SAFETY AND DEVELOPMENT SERVICES
Request approval of a contract with Campione & Hackney, P.A. (Tavares, FL) to provide outside legal services for the Board of Building Examiners. The fiscal impact cannot be determined at this time (expenditure).
Request approval to advertise an ordinance to amend Section 8-2, Lake County Code, entitled Jurisdiction and Powers, creating Section 14.00.13, Lake County Code, Appendix E, Land Development Regulations, to be entitled Action by the Lake County Code Enforcement Special Master. There is no fiscal impact.
Request approval to purchase three Pierce/Saber custom pumpers for Lake County Fire Stations 27 (Mount Dora), 82 (Plantation) and 112 (Four Corners) from Ten-8 Fire Equipment, Inc. (Sanford, FL), and authorization for the Office of Procurement Services to execute all implementing documentation. The fiscal impact is $1,399,787.00 (expenditure). Commission Districts 1, 3 and 4.
1. To accept a $1,756,630.50 federal Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grant to hire 15 firefighters, and approval to expend the required $1,091,959.50 County match.
2. To purchase 15 sets of protective gear and uniforms at an estimated cost of $82,500.00.
The total estimated fiscal impact is $2,931,090 (revenue/expenditure of $1,756,630.50 in grant funding and expenditure of $1,174,459.50 in County funding for the grant match and purchase of the gear and uniforms).
1. Approval to award Contract 19-0450 to CJ's Sales and Service of Ocala, Inc., dba CJ's Power Systems (Ocala, FL), for the purchase and installation of generators for seven fire stations.
2. Authorization for the Office of Procurement Services to execute all implementing documentation and related budget transfer(s).
The fiscal impact is $293,051.69 (expenditure - $219,788.77 in grant funding and $73,262.92 in Impact Fee funds). Commission Districts 2, 3 and 5.
Planning and Zoning
Request approval of a site plan for commercial buildings, totaling 50,359 square feet, located at 16731 State Road 50, in the Clermont area. Commission District 2.
PUBLIC SERVICES AND INFRASTRUCTURE
Request approval of an agreement with the Lake County Water Authority (LCWA) for a water quality study of Lake Joanna, and approval of an Unanticipated Revenue Resolution 2019-132 to receive funds in the amount of $32,175.00. The total fiscal impact is $52,175.00 (revenue/expenditure - $32,175.00 in LCWA funding and $20,000.00 in Stormwater MSTU funding). Commission District 4.
Request approval to terminate the Development Agreement executed on February 14, 2019, with D.R. Horton, Inc. (Arlington, TX) for intersection improvements at Dead River Road and South Duncan Drive (State Road 19) in Tavares. There is no fiscal impact. Commission District 3.
Request approval to award a contract to C.W. Roberts Contracting, Inc. (Wildwood, FL) for the County Road 473 safety improvement project in the Bassville Park area. The fiscal impact is $1,110,130.93 (revenue/expenditure - $500,098.00 in federal/state grants funding and $610,032.93 in sales tax funding). Commission District 3.
Request approval to accept a performance bond of $104,851.36 associated with Commercial Driveway Connection Permit #53227 issued to widen and resurface County Road 455 for Sterling Venues in Montverde. The fiscal impact is $320.00 (revenue – permit application fees). Commission District 2.
Request approval to release a cash maintenance surety of $3,500.00 that was provided for the maintenance of improvements in the Pineland Subdivision, located off Pine Island Road, just west of Clermont. There is no fiscal impact. Commission District 1.
Request approval to:
1. Release a performance bond of $3,800,634.55 posted for completion of infrastructure improvements for the Palms at Serenoa Phase I final plat, located near Clermont.
2. Execute a Developer's Agreement for Construction of Sidewalk Improvements with D.R. Horton, Inc. (Orlando, FL).
3. Accept a performance bond of $314,028.59 for sidewalk construction.
There is no fiscal impact. Commission District 1.
Request approval to:
1. Release a performance bond of $105,218.08 that was provided for the construction of sidewalks in the Johns Lake Landing Phase 2 subdivision, located east of Clermont.
2. Release a performance bond of $170,637.50 that was provided for the construction of a retaining wall that was required as part of the Planned Unit Development for Johns Lake Landing.
There is no fiscal impact. Commission District 2.
Request approval of a Modification of Contract with RATP Dev USA, Inc., to extend the current contract by one year and include adjustments to the annual paratransit trips, increased mileage requirements for vehicle maintenance and inspections, increased hours for fixed route service, management of fuel procurement and a Consumer Price Index adjustment. The fiscal impact is $7,058,909.00 (expenditure).
tab 14 - RESOLUTION 2019-131 in response to mount dora
Commr. Campione mentioned that there was a similar item to this one which was discussed at a previous meeting. She noted that Mr. Jochim had completed a speaker comment card so she allowed him to address the Board.
Mr. Jochim mentioned that he had followed the Interlocal Service Boundary Agreements (ISBAs) and had concerns regarding the cities annexing into county areas. He felt that the developments that came into these annexed areas were a higher density than the rural areas already there. He encouraged the Board to protect the rights of people from annexation and to find a way to mitigate these issues especially regarding the provision of water and utilities.
Commr. Campione recalled the lengthy discussions with the City of Eustis regarding their proposed ISBA. She then relayed that the terms the County would be proposing back to the City of Mount Dora included the following: designating what the extent of the boundaries of the ISBA would be if an agreement was reached; designating compatibility of land uses in order to address densities and intensities with appropriate buffers and setbacks along unincorporated property boundaries with mitigation of inconsistent uses; the opportunity to provide for terms in the agreement which would protect unincorporated residents from changes that might be a result of properties being annexed into the city; establishing an effective process by which residents in the unincorporated county could participate and exercise their due process rights to be heard regarding annexations; addressing the provision of utilities and requirements associated with covenants to annex, both existing and future; preserving the unique character of the rural and semi-rural areas east of State Road (SR) 441; and limiting non-contiguous annexations but making an exception for the properties within the Wolf Branch Innovation District, and the Battaglia, Avington, and Summer Lake-Grace Groves properties since these contained properties that were split with some inside and some outside the Joint Planning Area (JPA). She reiterated that these were the items included in the proposed resolution to the City, noting that if the Board did not have any additional thoughts then this resolution could move forward to the City of Mount Dora in order to negotiate the ISBA.
Commr. Parks inquired if the face-to-face meeting with the City of Eustis regarding their ISBA was still happening.
Commr. Campione thought that the decision from the previous BCC meeting was to develop an ISBA to address the Pine Meadows property with a second ISBA for the entire area the City of Eustis had requested. She felt that the face-to-face meeting was only going to happen if the City was not in agreement with what the County presented.
Ms. Melanie Marsh, County Attorney, remarked that she had re-listened to the former BCC meeting, and that there was not consensus regarding having or not having this face-to-face meeting; however, she reported that the County had to wait 60 days in order to allow the other cities who were invited to participate to decide if they wanted to. She indicated that a draft response was in process with the hope that once it was sent to the City of Eustis, they would agree to it or make minor changes. She reiterated that a meeting could still take place but not until after the 60 day timeframe which would place it into November 2019.
Commr. Campione felt that providing the draft would give some substance to work with if a meeting did take place.
Commr. Breeden said that she did not think the City of Eustis was desiring to have an ISBA for just one development.
Commr. Campione agreed but opined that the Pine Meadows property was the easy one to resolve so the more difficult issues could then be addressed, such as utility provisions for the covenant to annex, and fire and emergency services, etc., for the bigger area.
Commr. Breeden believed it was important for the ISBA basics to be similar for both the Cities of Eustis and Mount Dora; additionally, she desired for the City of Eustis to be finished prior to the City of Mount Dora since their ISBA request was first.
Commr. Campione added that there was still the 60 day requirement. She shared that she did not necessarily want another ISBA but that since the Cities of Eustis and Mount Dora were desiring to have one, the County was trying to work through the issues with the ultimate goal to protect the unincorporated residents, protect against incompatibility, preserve rural and semi-rural areas, and protect due process rights, etc. She agreed that both parties should be treated as equally as possible, noting that there were some differences in the areas and some issues might be easier to work through than others.
Commr. Parks expressed support for this agenda item and reiterated his belief that the City of Eustis would probably want the face-to-face meeting.
On a motion by Commr. Sullivan, seconded by Commr. Breeden and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved Resolution 2019-131 responding to Mount Dora Resolution 2019-77 dated August 6, 2019, initiating the process to negotiate an Interlocal Service Boundary Agreement pursuant to Section 171.203, Florida Statutes.
comments on Tab 15
Commr. Parks commented that this was for approval of a commercial site plan. He wanted to emphasize that the City of Clermont and the County had worked on this together and that both entities were in support of it. He indicated that both the City and the County had asked that this site have a higher standard of development in regards to landscaping, architectural design guidelines, trail improvements and crossings, noting that they had worked with the project manager regarding this. He said that even though it took a while to work through the details, he felt that what was agreed upon would be the best for the residents of Lake County.
presentation on the wolf branch innovation district
Dr. Richard Levey, with Levey Consulting, LLC, provided a brief update on the Wolf Branch Innovation District (WBID). He mentioned that the project started in October 2017 and had included community meetings, stakeholder input, and updates to the BCC. He indicated that the WBID Implementation Plan was in the Board’s packet of information, and he then highlighted the final draft revisions, noting that the changes were more for clarification purposes. He said the first revision was on page three which was an added footnote to the plan map that addressed a minor condition at an intersection along SR 46 where there was an opportunity to work with a property owner for alignment of the road. He added that this page also had a map edit suggesting to utilize up to four units per acre for the single family future land use (FLU) category. He relayed that the second revision was on page four and included the addition of a definition of the Gateway District, a footnote which identified the types of uses for this district, and some data clarifying acreages for non-developable lands. He shared that page seven now contained clarification to the Summer Lake-Grace Groves transportation issue in regards to average daily trip thresholds. He stated that the last revision was on page eleven with the addition of the word “prohibition” of single family development in the regional office use category which was not a change but simply a recognition of the existing policy.
Commr. Campione inquired where the single family land uses were which were addressed in the map edit on page three.
Mr. Levey responded that they were primarily west of Round Lake Road and south of Wolf Branch Road, noting that most were already developed with a few being vacant. He added that the single family residential area was within the tan color on the map.
Commr. Campione asked if there was a minimum open space requirement, and she urged caution in regards to utilizing the proper zoning.
Mr. Levey replied that if they were developing under the County’s land use and zoning regulations then they would comply with the County’s requirements for open space. He noted that there had not been changes to the single family land use category; rather, this was about where certain densities would be placed within the overall plan. He added that most of the developed properties with utilities were already within the city with the undeveloped properties still being in the unincorporated area. He reiterated that the future land use allowed up to four dwellings per acre and that the City could choose to zone it at two and a half units per acre. He concluded with a request for this plan to be brought back to the October 22, 2019 BCC meeting for adoption to include the following four actions: initiate the future land use map amendments consistent with the WBID plan; initiate amendments to the FLU policy to create a new WBID section to identify specific use and development criteria; initiate an amendment to the County zoning code to establish WBID specific uses and development standards; and create a new subsection in the Lake County Code with regards to design guidelines applicable to the WBID area.
Mr. Cole indicated that there would be an agenda item on the October 22, 2019 BCC meeting for adoption of this plan which would include these recommended actions; additionally, he stated that there would be a request to exercise the third year option of Dr. Levey’s contract in order to have him work on the implementation of these action items.
Commr. Parks asked how long the design guideline process would take and if they would be similar to the nearby Community Redevelopment Area or the ones in the City of Clermont and SR 50 area. He felt that what it would look like was an important consideration as the county grew.
Mr. Levey responded that the plan had some unique design guideline components already within it that they would start with, noting that they would be open to input. He relayed that there had been staff discussions in regards to whether it would be an actual code section or a design guidelines manual that would be adopted as a reference. He added that the design elements such as fencing, signage, and landscaping could be consistent with the surrounding area.
Commr. Sullivan agreed that the character of the community should be maintained.
Mr. Levey recapped that the first phase of this project considered the character of the City of Mount Dora area; however, he emphasized that the land use designation of an employment center would have higher intensity uses so the challenge would be how to capture the essence and the feel of that unique area of the county while still creating a new economic opportunity. He thought the structure was in place to accomplish this and that now the details just needed to be added to it so that what was expected was clear to any applicant seeking development.
Mr. Cole relayed that in regards to Commissioner Parks’ comment on commercial design standards for SR 50, that staff had presented them to the Lake County Planning and Zoning Board; however, the item was taken off of their agenda and would be placed back on their November 2019 agenda. He indicated that this would delay those coming to the BCC until their November 19, 2019 meeting.
recess and reassembly
The Chairman called a recess at 10:10 a.m. for 5 minutes.
public hearing – ordinance 2019-54
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 CHAPTER 16, LAKE COUNTY CODE, ENTITLED PARKS AND RECREATION; MODIFYING PARK RULES AND REGULATIONS; CREATING SECTION 16-54, LAKE COUNTY CODE, ESTABLISHING SPECIFIC REGULATIONS FOR THE PINE MEADOWS CONSERVATION AREA; PERMITTING HUNTING OF SMALL GAME IN THE PINE MEADOWS CONSERVATION AREA WITH RESTRICTIONS; PROVIDING FOR SEVERABILITY; PROVIDING FOR INCLUSION IN THE CODE; PROVIDING FOR FILING WITH THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE; AND PROVIDING FOR AN EFFECTIVE DATE.
The Chairman opened the public hearing.
There being no one who wished to address the Board regarding this matter, the Chairman closed the public hearing.
Commr. Campione mentioned that she had received a call from a resident in the nearby area who was concerned about possible noise or nuisance issues; additionally, she stated that other residents were inquiring which days and during what times there would be hunting. She recommended to consider this as a one year pilot to make sure no conflicts arose and that the Board be amenable to any adjustments that might be needed in the future based on feedback.
Commr. Breeden thought that was a good idea.
Ms. Marsh explained that the next step would be for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) to enter an executive order which would set when hunting was allowed and what could be hunted. She elaborated that since the Board had already sent a letter requesting this, that once they passed this ordinance, the FWC would move forward. She thought they were anticipating having everything ready by November 1, 2019.
Commr. Parks asked if alligators were considered small game for hunting.
Mr. Mark McBride, Assisted Coordinator for the Waterfowl and Small Game Program with FWC, replied that alligators were not included in the small game category; furthermore, he implied that this ordinance would include game such as waterfowl and snipe.
Commr. Campione asked what the normal hunting hours were, how long the season was, and how many days a week hunting would occur.
Mr. McBride responded that the current proposal was for two days a week on Wednesday and Sunday, and that hunting hours were half an hour before sunrise until sunset; however, he said that 90 percent of the hunting would most likely happen within the first hour and the last hour of daylight. He said that the hunting season was 60 days and generally started the Saturday before Thanksgiving and ran until the Saturday after Thanksgiving with a two week split, and then again from early December until the last Sunday in January.
Commr. Campione inquired about licenses needed from the State of Florida and if individuals would need any from this location.
Mr. McBride replied that hunters would need a hunting license as well as a management area permit from them; additionally, he indicated there were other licenses needed but that they could all be obtained from the FWC with many being issued online.
Commr. Sullivan felt this was a fair opportunity with everything regulated by the FWC.
Commr. Campione mentioned that the only other concern could possibly be the Pine Meadows property which was adjacent to this area and part of the ISBA discussion with the City of Eustis. She opined that if they decided to develop this property as a residential area, then there could be conflicts in the future that might need to be addressed. She thanked the FWC for attending the meeting and asked for them to report back after the season started.
Mr. McBride thanked the BCC for their support.
On a motion by Commr. Sullivan, seconded by Commr. Blake and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved Ordinance 2019-54 amending Chapter 16, Lake County Code, entitled Parks and Recreation, to create Section 16-54, Lake County Code, governing the hunting of small game at the Pine Meadows Conservation Area with restrictions.
county road 455 project development and environment study
Mr. Fred Schneider, Public Works Director, remarked that the purpose of this presentation was to present information on the status of the County Road (CR) 455 extension project, development and environment (PD&E) study. He recalled that the need for improvements in this area was identified through the Lake-Sumter Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) 2035 Long Range Transportation Plan and the Wellness Way Area Plan (WWAP) which was an area of significant economic development opportunities and a mix of various uses. He then introduced Mr. Dwayne Darbonne, with Metro Consulting Group, LLC, to provide the update.
Mr. Darbonne shared that he had 30 years of experience as a professional transportation engineer and served as the consultant project manager for this project. He explained that a PD&E study is an environmental and engineering process used to document social, economic, and environmental impacts associated with a proposed transportation improvement project. He then showed a map of the study area which he said started where the previous CR 455 PD&E study ended near Hartwood Marsh Road, and then extended southward towards Schofield Road and ultimately would connect to the proposed Central Florida Expressway (CFX) Connector. He mentioned that from the previous study, there had been two design projects with phase one already constructed and phase two undergoing final design and permitting with right-of-way acquisition beginning in 2020. He indicated that traffic congestion was measured as a level of service (LOS) which ranged from an “A” which is free flowing traffic to an “F” which would be traffic gridlock, noting that the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) required a “C” LOS on principal roads such a U.S. 27 while other agencies typically permitted a “D” LOS. He then displayed a chart and map reflecting the traffic data collected in 2018 on many of the key roadways within and outside the study area. He mentioned that most of the roads were a “C” LOS except for Hartwood Marsh Road between Hancock Road and U.S. 27. He relayed that the study required the projection of traffic 20 years into the future from the design year; therefore, since the estimated design year was 2025, he showed a graphic for LOS of the key roadways for 2045, noting that Hancock Road and Hartwood Marsh Road would be an “F” LOS with U.S. 27 being a “D” LOS. He commented that public meetings were held throughout the process to capture community concerns with the implementation of those concerns when possible. He added that additional stakeholder input was sought from major property owners, Water Conserv II, and CFX. He then displayed a graphical depiction of a typical section of the proposed roadway which included two lanes in each direction, a 22 foot raised median, four foot bike lanes, a five foot sidewalk, a 12 foot shared use path and an eight foot privacy wall. He also showed a build alternative within the study area, noting that the proposed new north-south corridor would maintain a “C” LOS along the regional roadways within and outside the study area. He then displayed a slide reflecting the five potential CR 455 alignment options and explained each of the various alignment paths; additionally, he showed a table comparing these five potential CR 455 alignments and the various impacts for each. He pointed out that most of the options had zero residential relocations, and that the construction costs varied from about $47 million to $67 million. He summarized that for the CR 455 extension PD&E study in collaboration with the Lake County Public Works Department, the purple alternative was recommended to move forward into final design and permitting when funding was available, noting that the implementation of this roadway would be staggered based on the projected traffic, planned developments, and as funding became available. He anticipated that segment A which was replacing Hartwood Marsh Road would be the highest priority, that segment B which would connect Wellness Way to the new CFX connector would be next in priority, with segment C being an initial two-lane roadway between Hartwood Marsh Road and the Wellness Way roadway. He related that two roundabout locations were suggested for the northern segment of the project since they would provide traffic efficiency, reduce speeds, were safer than the traditional stop controlled intersections, had less noise, and long-term costs would be reduced since they did not have traffic signals to maintain. He then displayed pictures of the proposed roundabouts including the stormwater pond locations. He concluded his presentation by mentioning that their next public meeting was scheduled for October 25, 2019 with a public hearing to hopefully take place in December 2019.
The Chairman recognized that a citizen had completed a speaker comment card for this agenda item and allowed her to speak.
Ms. Katie Herrera, a resident who lived near segment C of the proposed route, remarked that her property would be affected by the proposed blue alternative. She indicated that her community had worked diligently to connect with the project managers, the County, and the BCC in order to share their thoughts regarding this project. She thanked everyone for being receptive to their opinions and feedback. She expressed support of the purple route as she believed it would leave her rural community untouched; additionally, she requested that the plans continue to include buffers with trees, vegetation and no street lights in order to minimize pollution to the area. She concluded by thanking the BCC for their support and leadership of the county.
Commr. Campione thanked Ms. Herrera for speaking on behalf of her community and also thanked Mr. Schneider, staff, and Mr. Darbonne for attempting to find a route which would have the least negative impacts. She inquired about the option to have small takes of properties impacted or to have an entire purchase if that was the property owner’s desire, and asked if this had been communicated to those property owners.
Mr. Schneider responded that multiple community meetings had taken place and would continue, noting that as they moved forward with the design process there would be additional public meetings and that staff would be reaching out to those property owners. He said that if the Board approved the alignment, then staff would be able to reach out to the property owners sooner to obtain their desire.
Commr. Campione expressed concern for residents when they knew this proposed route was a possibility but did not know how and when their property would be impacted. She urged for those discussions to happen as soon as possible so that property owners could have notice of what might happen to their property.
Commr. Blake asked for clarification on the number of property relocations for the purple route as he thought Mr. Schneider had mentioned that there would be one possible relocation but on slide 17 it had the number four listed under relocations.
Mr. Darbonne replied that the number four under relocations on slide 17 was the ranking and not the number of relocations.
Mr. Schneider responded that if they went with the proposed full right-of-way width, it would be very close to the home for that one property relocation; however, he reiterated that if the property owner desired for that to be avoided, they could narrow the median or lane width to avoid it as well as provide a privacy wall.
Commr. Blake also asked aside from the relocations, how many properties would be divided for the purple route.
Mr. Darbonne answered that currently there were seven residential impacts; however, he stated that it was possible that number would be reduced during the design phase.
Commr. Breeden added that some of the properties were agricultural and not residential. She also thanked Mr. Schneider and the Metro Consulting Group for listening to the BCC and the public and for being creative to find the best route with the least impact to residents.
Commr. Parks thanked staff as well as Ms. Herrera for representing her large community. He relayed that several citizens had questioned why this road was being proposed. He opined that with the growth in the area, lack of planning could result in a poor land development pattern in the future; therefore, he believed that this road was necessary in order to prevent that. He asked for the purple route to possibly be moved even further west for segment C. He also noted that for anything south of the second southernmost roundabout, he did not support it being four-lane right away and requested for it to be two-lane initially. He recognized that right-of-way was planned to be purchased, and asked for it to be a natural pattern with native vegetation in order to provide an additional buffer.
Mr. Schneider remarked that most of segment C was within Water Conserv II and that any adjustments could be made during the design process.
Mr. Darbonne displayed the slide which reflected two lanes with native landscaping for that area.
Commr. Parks then requested to have a staff initiated land use change for Ms. Herrera’s community in order to make it rural or a special area of planning so that their rural character would be protected in perpetuity, noting that this would be voluntary for each land owner.
Mr. Schneider relayed that this request was separate from the PD&E study but that the Lake County Office of Planning and Zoning was working on setting up a special community designation for that area.
Commr. Blake asked if the two houses near the southern roundabout were willing sellers of their right-of-way or would they be a taking. He recalled that for the Citrus Grove Road widening, he voted in favor of it because the property owners asked for it to move forward; however, he reiterated his lack of support for eminent domain takings.
Mr. Schneider indicated that staff had discussions with them but could not commit that they were willing sellers at this point.
Commr. Parks opined that Hancock Road south from Hartwood Marsh Road to SR 50 would eventually need to be widened in order to reduce congestion, noting that he felt this should happen even prior to the area south of the roundabout becoming four-lanes.
homeless shelter presentation
Lieutenant Chris Doborwicz, Corps Officer with The Salvation Army, thanked the Board for allowing him to speak regarding the proposed shelter. He shared that since the presentation in June 2019, their committee had worked hard to promote awareness, recruit volunteers and host public brainstorming sessions to discuss this endeavor, noting that the next public meeting would be on October 21, 2019 at 10:45 a.m. at The Salvation Army location in the City of Leesburg. He explained that in order for The Salvation Army to build an emergency shelter, they would need to establish a long-term contract to operate it annually. He related that he had provided the Board with an information packet which contained a detail summary of the approximate $1.2 million a year that it would cost to operate a 50 bed shelter which would include the provision of intensive case management; furthermore, he said that the 50 beds was simply a starting point in order to project realistic costs. He explained that their desire was to create a facility which would have the flexibility to meet the needs of the community in future years. He gave the example that with this philosophy, if the continuum of care was operating effectively, then homelessness should be reduced over time and then the shelter could possibly become transitional living units or other permanent supportive housing opportunities. He indicated that The Salvation Army was committed to the following: overseeing the construction of a 50 bed emergency shelter which could expand or contract based on population distribution and demand; managing the shelter by providing intensive case management for the length of time needed for individuals; providing quarterly performance results to stakeholders; and linking clients to other system of care providers as well as offering a place for agencies and other organizations to meet with clients in the shelter. He stated that they would aim to serve single men, single women, and families to include some children. He relayed that this information had also been presented in September 2019 to a Lake and Sumter Counties City Managers’ meeting at which The Salvation Army explained that in order for this shelter to happen, it would take commitment from the Counties. He remarked that the subject of affordable housing was also mentioned in that meeting, and that The Salvation Army suggested that the Cities inventory their tax rolls and identify homes which could possibly be renovated and donated to other non-profits in the area. He said that apart from funding, it was also imperative to have a plan for how the shelter would fit within the whole continuum of care and for relationships with partners to be forged in order to truly reduce homelessness, noting that The Salvation Army had hosted community resource meetings throughout the last year with over 65 agencies and organizations within the area attending. He shared that they were also working to identify property that might be suitable for this shelter, that there was a five and a half acre piece of land about a mile from their office on SR 44 and West Main Street in the City of Leesburg that might work well, and that they had preliminary conversations with a construction company regarding costs for this project. He opined that while the costs may be expensive at the start, they would hopefully be reduced over time if the system of care functioned as intended. He related that they were at the point where they needed to know if the costs would be feasible for the County and Cities, and that their desire was to continue to serve the community to the best of their ability. He concluded by thanking the BCC for their support.
Commr. Campione thanked Lieutenant Doborwicz for presenting and sharing the information. She thought this was a good start to understanding what the shelter might look like in regards to operation, and agreed that reaching out to Sumter County and the Cities regarding a partnership was important. She mentioned that she had met with an officer from the City of Clermont and learned that some of the cities have community resource officers whose primary job is to interact in crisis situations and to work with the homeless population; additionally, she said that this officer shared a presentation with her that that City of Sarasota had developed. She noted that based on this information, she felt it was also important to reach out to the police departments to get their input as well as possibly the public defender and state attorney’s office in order to obtain information on their diversion programs as she believed they would have good insight on which individuals coming out of jail were legitimately attempting to get their lives back on track, noting that having a temporary shelter while trying to connect individuals to services and permanent housing could have a positive impact. She implied that the City of Clermont Police Department was supportive of the shelter.
Commr. Parks added that Sheriff Peyton Grinnell was also in support of this and agreed with involving the City of Clermont Police Department in discussions. He asked if the cost for the shelter was over a million dollars annually to operate.
Lieutenant Doborwicz replied that was correct, noting that included some startup costs so the annual amount could potentially be less. He reiterated that they had met with several partnering agencies and that one of their concerns from the continuum of care perspective was to have the smallest footprint possible; however, he said that determining the right bed count was not an exact number but the cost for 50 beds was a starting point. He commented that the hope was that if everything was functioning properly, then the bed count should technically go down. He agreed that working with police departments was vital.
Mr. Cole remarked that the City of Leesburg, City of Clermont and possibly one other city police department were at the City Managers’ meeting.
Commr. Campione thought that the City of Eustis had a similar officer who was involved in crisis situations. She believed that most were in agreement that this program would be directed to people who knew they needed help, were wanting to do what was necessary to get out of their current situation, and simply needed the resources to do so. She opined that homelessness looked different in various cities and that there were probably some individuals who might not want assistance. She reiterated that asking the public defender and the state attorney’s office to be part of this conversation was important; furthermore, she proposed that the BCC consider if asking the Cities to help with funding would be for city residents with the BCC then representing unincorporated residents.
Commr. Sullivan said that he agreed. He felt that this tied into the recidivism issue within the County jail, and that there needed to be an alternative place for these individuals. He thought that homeless concerns affected many of the areas that the County oversaw such as law enforcement, public safety, etc. He opined that the funding to assist LifeStream Behavioral Center was also helpful for the County. He shared that the homelessness study conducted by the City of Leesburg several years ago discovered that many of the homeless go between the Cities of Eustis and Leesburg and that 30 percent were veterans. He believed that helping these individuals connect with the services they needed would have a positive impact, and he thought this was a good start. He asked for confirmation that The Salvation Army was implying that operational expenses was where they needed the most assistance.
Lieutenant Doborwicz confirmed that was correct; furthermore, he said it was important to understand what each City’s priority was regarding this issue, noting that if a municipality was contributing funding they might want it to go towards certain needs for their community. He remarked that their desire was to create a facility with options that would be flexible and adaptable. He asked the Board for support for a possible meeting to better understand the Cities and their desire to be a part of this.
Commr. Parks encouraged having a meeting and beginning the discussions as soon as possible with the Cities and the police departments, and felt that working with The Salvation Army on this endeavor was a good partnership. He expressed understanding of the community’s concerns regarding the shelter but wanted the Board to take action and to move forward.
Commr. Breeden thanked The Salvation Army for stepping up to address a solution to the homeless situation in the county. She related that she had received some concerns from the City of Leesburg regarding the property location and encouraged Lieutenant Doborwicz to remain in communication with them. She asked how this shelter would assist with keeping the homeless population from growing in the City of Leesburg as she felt that was one of their concerns.
Lieutenant Doborwicz responded that an important element was addressing affordable housing as they would need a place to send individuals once they came through the shelter as part of the continuum of care. He raised the question of who might be responsible for finding housing and identifying income benefits.
Commr. Breeden opined that those options should be throughout the county and not just within the City of Leesburg, and Commissioner Campione agreed.
Lieutenant Doborwicz indicated that he would reach out to the City of Leesburg to understand their concerns. He stated that the proposed property location backed up to The Salvation Army’s warehouse and seemed to be an ideal location close to their office which would allow easy access to some services.
Commr. Campione asked Lieutenant Doborwicz to explain how the shelter might function on a daily basis and how intake might occur as she shared that some people were concerned with possible loitering in the parking lot of the facility.
Lieutenant Doborwicz opined that some of that would depend on who the shelter might be serving.
Commr. Breeden asked if this shelter would serve just Lake County or if it would include surrounding counties.
Lieutenant Doborwicz replied that would need to be decided based on who might want to contribute funding and if they wanted to have beds available for that funding.
Commr. Campione thought it could be interesting if a City wanted to have a certain number of beds set aside for them. She envisioned this as an opportunity for someone coming out of the County jail and wanted to get back on their feet. She asked if The Salvation Army was thinking they would reach out to homeless individuals on the street.
Lieutenant Doborwicz responded that he thought they might as they wanted to have a positive impact on the surrounding city. He shared that the Mid Florida Homeless Coalition recently reached out to individuals at Veterans Memorial Park in the City of Leesburg who did express interest in a shelter. He added that the solution was not just a shelter but getting the continuum of care working together to process individuals and their needs. He mentioned that the shelter in Sarasota County was structured so that there were a certain number of beds for various situations, noting that they could have beds available but if individuals did not meet the specific program the beds were held for, then they could be placed on a waiting list.
Commr. Campione suggested that maybe the next step was to workshop with entities that wanted to be involved to better understand their needs. She reiterated that having an alternative place for law enforcement would be helpful.
Commr. Parks agreed that the Sheriff had expressed those same desires to have a place to take individuals instead of taking them to jail. He remarked that the intention of this meeting and the desired outcome should be very clear to those involved as he felt that this subject had been discussed for several years and a call to action should be determined.
Lieutenant Doborwicz commented that some of the questions were difficult to answer at this point since the specifics still needed to be discussed based on what the community needed.
Mr. Cole opined that what he thought would allow this opportunity to move forward was a financial commitment from Lake County; furthermore, he stated that once it was determined if the County had the resources to be able to commit, then he felt that the Cities and other entities would offer support.
Commr. Parks inquired if making a commitment without the exact amount would be helpful.
Mr. Cole believed that the Cities were waiting to see what the County was willing to commit to, noting that he had already received questions regarding this. He felt this was the next step to move this forward.
Commr. Parks remarked that they could let the municipalities know that the County was committed but desired to have discussions on what the Cities needed and then the County could commit to an amount.
Commr. Breeden suggested committing not less than 50 percent.
Commr. Sullivan agreed that a formula needed to be determined and discussed with the municipalities as he felt that based on the population, it was not just a County issue.
Commr. Campione opined it was a countywide issue and noted that the County collected millage in the city and unincorporated area.
Commr. Breeden felt that there were more homeless within the cities than outside of them and thought that it should be supported by more than just the County government.
Commr. Blake appreciated The Salvation Army’s initiative for this project and said he supported the overall idea behind it; however, he expressed concerns with taking taxpayer money and utilizing it on this type of project especially when the County just had to finance road construction. He indicated his willingness to encourage his church to get involved since they normally gave ten percent of their budget to local projects such as this; additionally, he believed there were many churches in the county that could possibly commit annual support for this.
Commr. Parks agreed that it would be good to involve the churches and non-profit organizations although he felt that they might have their own outreach programs.
Commr. Breeden asked if staff could develop two to three possible funding scenarios for the County.
Mr. Cole responded that he had reviewed the numbers and the population and relayed that about half of the population was in the unincorporated areas which would make it about $500,000 a year for the County and $500,000 for the Cities, although he felt that the fact that the County collected a countywide millage was an important point to consider. He relayed that at the city managers’ meeting, he did not believe that any of the Cities had placed funding within their FY 2020 budget for this project. He said that staff could report back on potential amounts based on what the County had available.
Commr. Parks recommended sending a letter from the Board Chairman and the County Manager to the Cities requesting a meeting of all the Cities in order to discuss funding and a cooperative agreement.
Commr. Sullivan suggested having Lieutenant Doborwicz present at the League of Cities.
Commr. Campione specified that they needed to get to the point where a city council would vote and actually make a commitment, noting that they would need information in order to make a decision. She agreed with having a meeting with all the Cities in order to provide the information to them.
Lieutenant Doborwicz added that The Salvation Army would want to know the Cities’ needs as well.
Commr. Campione opined that might need to be a follow-up discussion between the Cities and The Salvation Army after this informational meeting. She volunteered to help coordinate a possible roundtable to reach out to the police departments, Sheriff’s Office, public defenders, and state attorney’s office for their input.
Lieutenant Doborwicz added that The Salvation Army would also need to know how long the Cities would be willing to commit as they were thinking a ten year span but needed to know what the Cities might be considering.
Commr. Breeden opined that a written agreement was what The Salvation Army needed.
Commr. Campione referenced the material that Lieutenant Doborwicz had given to the Board which mentioned benchmarks, goals, reduction of homelessness, the number of people served, addressing recidivism, and the number of positive outcomes. She thought this information would be an important element in getting the Cities and the County to commit to a long-term agreement since this would add accountability, noting that service could be reevaluated if the goals were not being met.
Commr. Breeden cautioned reserving beds for certain cities as they could be needed for another entity.
Lieutenant Doborwicz relayed that his team could be prepared to address that question.
Ms. Denise Burry, Executive Director for Forward Paths Foundation, reported that there were already meetings happening with the community service team and included a majority of the groups the Commissioners were suggesting such as LifeStream, the public defender’s office, the County jail, etc. to discuss issues like mental health, jail diversion and affordable housing.
Commr. Campione asked if there was a way for County staff to be included in these discussions, and Ms. Burry indicated that they would be welcome to participate. Commissioner Campione suggested including this information when presenting to the Cities as well.
Mr. Cole indicated that he would be willing to establish a meeting, noting that it might take a couple of months to coordinate the meeting on a day where there was no city commission or BCC meeting.
Commr. Campione suggested that if the Cities wanted information sooner than the meeting, they could connect with Lieutenant Doborwicz.
Lieutenant Doborwicz reminded the Board that The Salvation Army was moving into their busiest time of year but would do whatever was needed.
Mr. Cole added that the city managers had received the same information packet which Lieutenant Doborwicz provided to the BCC and hopefully they had shared that with their commissions.
The Chairman recognized several citizens who had filled out speaker comment cards.
Ms. Mary Greer, a Lake County resident, commented that she had lived in the county for ten years and was glad to see that homelessness was being discussed with ways to address it. She said that one of the faces of homelessness that she wanted to make sure services were provided for was that of homeless children. She indicated that many social workers relate that a big obstacle for the homeless population was being able to provide first and last month rent amounts and deposits for utilities; therefore, she felt that having a facility such as what was being discussed could really help families in their quest to gain housing. She opined that The Salvation Army was a great organization to partner with and thanked the Board for their efforts.
Commissioner Sullivan left the meeting at 12:00 p.m.
Ms. Jill Moss Greenberg, a concerned citizen, remarked that she had also lived in Lake County for over ten years with the hope to be here for many years to come. She relayed that she had previously been involved in homeless education at the national level, and that she was encouraged to see the Board involved in homelessness issues. She opined that the face of homelessness could be anyone in this room because people can lose their jobs, get evicted, be unable to find affordable housing, or have an accident where their health care costs bankrupt their family; additionally, she agreed with Commissioner Sullivan that a majority of the homeless population were veterans. She encouraged the Board to consider the full breadth of who the homeless could be in order to bring understanding; additionally, she asked them to consider youth and education in this endeavor. She commended The Salvation Army for their willingness for this project.
Mr. Serdar asked for the Board to support The Salvation Army with this project as he felt they were a great organization.
Commr. Campione summarized that the next steps would include the following: connect Lieutenant Doborwicz with the group that Ms. Burry was referring to; start planning the meeting of the Cities’ elected officials to include law enforcement, judicial offices, etc. and make it a presentation of proposed ideas for how to accomplish this shelter; work on a draft agreement to start negotiations with The Salvation Army on how to handle the operational aspect to include benchmarks and continued input; propose scenarios for matching funds whether based on population or what the Cities wanted to contribute to make up the difference between what the County was contributing and what was needed; and perform outreach to local churches. She then thanked The Salvation Army for presenting along with those who came to provide input.
public hearing – resolution 2019-133
Ms. Marsh remarked that it was required by state law that every three years an inventory listing of any property that the County owned which would be available for affordable housing be brought to the Board, noting that this resolution was for such purposes and for Board approval. She explained that there was no listing attached to the resolution because when the County receives properties, they immediately make those properties available to various affordable housing agencies. She stated that if these agencies are interested in the properties, then the County brings them throughout the year for the Board to surplus and transfer title to those entities. She indicated that the County did not have an accumulation of properties, and that if houses were not available for affordable housing, then they were offered out to adjoining property owners, Cities, or other entities who might be interested in them. She reiterated that state required this every three years through a public hearing but that there were no current properties attached because the properties are conveyed to various entities when received.
Commr. Campione inquired if the resolution had to be adopted if there was no attachment.
Ms. Marsh replied that by state law the resolution had to be adopted; furthermore, she said the resolution referenced that the County conveys to various entities throughout the year.
Commr. Campione clarified that the Board would approve the resolution but that at this point, there were currently no properties, and Ms. Marsh confirmed that was correct.
The Chairman opened the public hearing.
There being no one who wished to address the Board regarding this matter, the Chairman closed the public hearing.
Commr. Breeden asked if the County did receive properties which would be appropriate for affordable housing, would the Board need to approve another resolution.
Ms. Marsh responded that this only had to be done every three years per state law, noting that staff would provide in another three years a listing and what had been conveyed.
Commr. Campione suggested that due to all the discussions regarding availability of affordable housing, that this item should be brought back to the Board if properties did become available.
Ms. Marsh indicated that properties did appear on the BCC agenda throughout the year as they became available, noting that after staff receives word from the affordable housing agencies that they are interested in a property, then staff immediately brings it to the Board to have it be surplus and conveyed. She added that if the Board preferred, staff could develop a list of what had been done over the past three years in order to reflect how many properties had been conveyed, and then staff could provide that list annually to the Board.
Commr. Campione asked for the list to include location. She also inquired about when the affordable housing groups are not interested and the property is sold, could those proceeds go towards affordable housing needs.
Ms. Marsh replied that they could, and that option was at the Board’s discretion.
Commr. Breeden asked if an affordable housing agency received a property and then later determined it was not a good fit and sold it, could they reuse those funds.
Ms. Marsh commented that under their current agreements, they were required to use the property for affordable housing and were not allowed to sell it; however, she said that those agreements were currently being revamped and that if the Board wanted to allow the agencies to take the properties, sell them, and then utilize the money towards other viable properties, then staff could make that part of the agreement.
Commr. Breeden expressed support for that idea.
On a motion by Commr. Blake, seconded by Commr. Parks and carried unanimously by a vote of 4-0, the Board approved Resolution 2019-133 adopting an inventory listing of all real County owned property appropriate for use as affordable housing pursuant to Section 125.379, Florida Statutes.
2019 infrastructure sales tax revenue note
Ms. Jennifer Barker, Executive Director for Administrative Services, announced that the purpose of this presentation was to update the Board on the financing for road resurfacing projects, which was up to $10 million, and to provide an opportunity to refinance the 2018 Infrastructure Sales Tax bank loan, noting that loan was taken out the previous year for the purpose of constructing a new Lake County Animal Shelter and purchasing new public safety radios. She provided the following background information: on June 11, 2019, the Public Works Department presented a road resurfacing program which included several funding options; following that meeting, PFM Financial Advisors, LLC (PFM) performed a debt service analysis for a $10 million bank loan for the purpose of accelerating the road resurfacing projects identified; and on August 13, 2019, PFM presented the findings of the analysis and the Board directed staff to obtain proposals for an Infrastructure Sales Tax loan of up to $10 million in order to resurface county roads. She then introduced Mr. Jay Glover, with PFM, who provided the results of the procurement process and discussed the possibility of refinancing the 2018 Infrastructure Sales Tax bank loan.
Mr. Glover relayed that on August 21, 2019, PFM distributed a request for proposal (RFP) to identify a lending institution which could provide a cost effective means of financing the road resurfacing projects, noting that they received 12 proposals which he opined was a good reflection of the County. He stated that based on their review with County staff, the County Attorney’s Office, and the Clerk of the Circuit Court and Comptroller’s Office, they determined that SunTrust Bank provided the lowest cost option with the most favorable terms for the County as follows: a 1.85 percent interest rate which would be locked through the full term of the financing; the interest rate would be locked through November 1, 2019 which would eliminate any risk associated with rising interest rates; included post-closing interest rate adjustments only in the event of a determination of taxability as a result of action or inaction of the County; and provided an option for a par call after five or seven years for an additional 25 basis point (bps) and 12 bps respectively, but given the low interest rate PFM was not recommending this. He remarked that due to the aggressive bid from SunTrust and the overall continued decline in interest rates, PFM felt that there was an opportunity to prepay last year’s loan and save the County some debt service since this document had a provision which allowed prepayment at any time without a penalty; therefore, he relayed that PFM asked SunTrust if they would be willing to increase their commitment to cover the amount of debt needed to refinance the approximate $20 million financing from the previous year which was at a 2.89 percent interest rate. He summarized that SunTrust was willing and provided another proposal, not to exceed $20 million, for the refinancing of the 2018 note at the same 1.85 percent interest rate; furthermore, he indicated that this refinancing at this interest rate could save the County slightly over $1 million on a net present value basis for debt service over the remaining term of the financing, noting that this was not extending the maturity but was lowering the debt service payment each year.
Mr. Cole clarified that some of the $1 million in savings would be passed along to the Cities since they were currently paying the County towards the debt service.
Ms. Barker related that if the Board approved moving forward with the financing, the next steps would be to hold the required public hearing on October 22, 2019, and then have the closing on or before November 1, 2019 in order to lock in the 1.85 percent interest rate. She concluded with the requested action for approval for the Chairman to execute the non-binding proposal letter to SunTrust Bank for the 2019 Infrastructure Sales Tax revenue note to provide $10 million in funding for road resurfacing projects, for the Chairman to execute the non-binding proposal letter to SunTrust Bank to refinance the 2018 Infrastructure Sales Tax Capital Financing loan currently with Citizens First Bank, and to hold a public hearing on October 22, 2019.
Commr. Blake requested for the approval to be divided into two separate votes as he was in support of the refinancing but not the $10 million finance request.
Commr. Campione mentioned that she would not normally support borrowing money to do road resurfacing; however, she said that when comparing what it would cost to repair four rated roads once they started to deteriorate at a faster rate, it would save the County money to accomplish the resurfacing now instead of waiting since the repair costs would most likely increase as the roads deteriorated exponentially. She asked for a list of the roads that would be resurfaced to be placed on the County website for citizens to be able to review.
Commr. Parks felt that this was an optimization of tax dollars and was the fiscally prudent action from a business perspective, especially with the low interest rate, and he thought it would be cheaper to accomplish this now instead of waiting. He added that the budget for the penny sales tax was the County’s business plan on how they would provide services across a number of areas for the entire county over the next ten to fifteen years. He opined that the only way to not borrow would be to reduce funding for other service needs such as public safety.
Commr. Breeden liked the fact that the loan did not go beyond the current sales tax period.
Commr. Campione expressed appreciation for Commissioner Blake’s earlier proposal regarding delaying certain projects in order to fund road resurfacing; however, she mentioned that she received feedback from those areas which would have benefited from those projects indicating that they did not want them delayed as they felt they had already waited for them to be done. She also believed that the cost of paying back the loan at this interest rate would be less than what it would cost to pay for road resurfacing as funding became available since the cost to repair would continue to become more expensive.
Commr. Breeden thought less roads could be resurfaced without the loan.
On a motion by Commr. Breeden, seconded by Commr. Parks and carried by a vote of 3-1, the Board approved for the Chairman to execute the non-binding proposal letter to SunTrust Bank for the 2019 Infrastructure Sales Tax revenue note to provide $10 million in funding for road resurfacing projects, and to hold a public hearing on October 22, 2019.
Commr. Blake voted no.
On a motion by Commr. Blake, seconded by Commr. Breeden and carried unanimously by a vote of 4-0, the Board approved for the Chairman to execute the non-binding proposal letter to SunTrust Bank to refinance the 2018 Infrastructure Sales Tax Capital Financing loan currently with Citizens First Bank, and to hold a public hearing on October 22, 2019.
solid waste collection presentation
Ms. Mary Hamilton, Chief of Operations for the Public Works Department, updated the Board on the solid waste collection and disposal contracts. She showed a map reflecting the three different collection areas and their current contracts, noting that Area 1 was with WCA, Area 2 was with Waste Connections, and Area 3 was with Waste Pro. She commented that the current contracts would expire on September 30, 2021, that a renewal option was available for three years, and that the County was ahead of the deadline to renew but staff believed it was a good time to consider options. She presented the following current collection contract items with the proposed contract amendments: bulk waste was currently collected within 72 hours but proposed to be collected by zone on yard waste day with a 24 hour notice; yard waste collection was currently unlimited with the proposal to change to be four yards per week; the annual postcard mailer to each resident was proposed to be eliminated; the fleet requirement to be seven years old or newer was replaced with the proposal to have fleet based on performance with an annual inspection; haulers were currently required to use the Rehrig brand carts but the proposal was to allow flexibility to purchase comparable carts; and the three year contract extension was proposed to become a seven year contract extension at the same contract rate. She commented that the disposal contract would also expire on September 30, 2021, had the same three year renewal, and ran the same time track as the collection contract. She mentioned that Heart of Florida (HOF), which was run by Waste Connections, proposed a seven year renewal with existing terms and no rate increases. She recalled that the Board had directed staff to initiate discussions regarding use of the 19 acre unused landfill cell. She reported that a liner compatibility test was conducted to evaluate potential waste-to-energy ash disposal with the conclusion that the cell was eligible to receive ash. She then displayed a map of the central facility with the potential 19 cell area. She reported that staff had a positive initial meeting with Covanta on July 31, 2019, and that they expressed interest in future partnerships with Lake County and were currently evaluating their options; furthermore, she relayed that one option Covanta suggested was that if the County brought ash into the cell then they could potentially take leachate for the County in a swap situation. She concluded with the proposed next steps which were to notify the haulers to execute contract amendments, to notify HOF to execute the disposal contract amendment, Board consideration of the contract amendments, and to advance further discussions with Covanta as well as other opportunities in order to best utilize the 19 acre cell.
Commr. Parks thanked staff for their work on this and thought it was good for the County. He also expressed appreciation for staff holding the haulers accountable with fines which he felt was making a difference.
Commr. Breeden agreed and indicated that she wanted to meet with Ms. Hamilton regarding some issues a community was having in order to make sure they would be addressed.
Ms. Hamilton commented that in regards to the one questionable area referenced, their fines had come down considerably since they brought in a new district manager and new equipment; additionally, she noted that there had been an improvement in service, that she had reached out to that community, and that she had spoken to the haulers regarding the issue. She relayed that they were committed to a high level of service and pointed out that the collection rates would remain the same for the seven year term with the only increase year to year being the consumer price index (CPI) which was built into the contract; furthermore, she said that the fines collected would remain within the solid waste assessment fund and would allow the County to pay for the CPI increases with no anticipated increase for the residents.
Mr. Cole emphasized that CPI increases would be a normal component of contracts; however, staff did not anticipate having to do that throughout the life of this amendment due to the reserve account established with the fines, noting that this would allow the assessment to remain steady for up to seven years.
Commr. Breeden remarked that it would be better for the residents to have good service rather than fines accruing.
Commr. Campione agreed and said great service was the goal. She stated that she liked the modifications regarding bulk pickup as well as the yard waste element, and felt that the possible use of the landfill was promising.
Mr. Cole related Board consensus to continue with the next steps and to bring contracts back to the Board for approval.
Commr. Parks asked for a presentation or discussion regarding recycling education, and Mr. Cole indicated that staff could do that.
appointments to parks, recreation, and trails advisory board
On a motion by Commr. Breeden, seconded by Commr. Blake and carried unanimously by a vote of 4-0, the Board approved the appointment of Mr. Andrew LoFaro as a Representative for District 5, and Mr. Ben Gugliotti to replace Ms. Patricia Burgos as the Lake County Water Authority representative, to the Parks, Recreation, and Trails Advisory Board.
commissioner parks – district 2
city of minneola education way
Commr. Parks recognized the City of Minneola for the great job they did with the grand opening of Education Way.
florida association of counties legislative conference
Commr. Parks relayed that he had recently attended the Florida Association of Counties Legislative Conference and said that he would send copies of the proposed legislation to the Board, noting that recycling was an area they were pursuing. He added that he addressed Lake County’s request for legislative assistance for upgrading septic tanks to higher performance units.
bike lanes on newer roads
Commr. Parks asked for staff to develop a resolution for Board approval which would require construction of bike lanes on newer roads. He indicated that the Lake County Public Works Department staff becomes a part of discussions with the Cities regarding funding for new roads since the County collects impact fees. He expressed a desire to have a resolution passed so that anytime County staff was involved with new roads, even if in a city, that the standard per a resolution would require a bike lane for any new road.
Commr. Campione noted that it might not be necessary for some roads near trails.
Mr. Cole stated that staff would develop possible language for a resolution and bring it back to the Board.
commissioner breeden – vice chairman and district 3
league of cities luncheon
Commr. Breeden mentioned that there was a League of Cities luncheon on the upcoming Friday that she would not be able to attend and offered for another Commissioner to attend.
president trump event
Commr. Breeden stated that she was pleased to be able to attend the President Trump event in The Villages the previous week.
commissioner blake – district 5
president trump event
Commr. Blake said that the President Trump event ran very smoothly, had a lot of energy, and was well done.
aquatic plant management team shadow
Commr. Blake thanked Ms. Mary Hamilton, Chief of Operations for the Public Works Department, for setting up the opportunity for him to ride with the aquatic plant management team to see how they address issues within Lake Griffin. He said it was a very enlightening trip and that he appreciated the opportunity.
commissioner campione – CHAIRMAN AND district 4
trout lake water quality treatment project
Commr. Campione shared that she had the chance to visit the Trout Lake area to see the innovative technology utilized for the water quality treatment project which processed water coming from Hikes Ditch, noting that the water left the treatment process crystal clear. She wondered if this process could be utilized in other locations.
Commr. Breeden asked if it was a County project.
Commr. Campione replied that it was a project done by the Department of Agriculture through a grant program.
central florida expressway authority board meeting
Commr. Campione announced that the Lake-Orange connector was on the agenda for the upcoming Central Florida Expressway Authority (CFX) Board Meeting on Thursday, October 10, 2019. She opined that it would be a good project which would be well utilized and serve the need to move drivers from U.S. 27 over to the SR 429 in a rapid and efficient manner.
Commr. Parks relayed support for toll roads since they helped to fund the many road needs in the state.
Commr. Campione indicated that with CFX, everything was kept locally and it was easy to track the revenue and see the roads being maintained.
county legislative delegation meeting
Commr. Campione reminded the Board of the meeting the following day with the County’s legislative delegation at 10:00 a.m. at Lake-Sumter State College. She explained that staff was reorganizing the County’s presentation in order to identify any funding that the County had already put into or would be putting into a project. She gave the example that with the fairgrounds project, the County would sell the existing property and seek other potential funding sources such as tourist development taxes.
Mr. Cole noted that the document he had provided to the Board the previous evening included all the additional funding information as mentioned.
There being no further business to be brought to the attention of the Board, the meeting was adjourned at 1:00 p.m.
leslie campione, chairman
GARY J COONEY, CLERK