MINUTES OF A SPECIAL MEETING OF THE GILCHRIST COUNTY BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS HELD AUGUST 2, 1994.
The Gilchrist County Board of County Commissioners, in and for Gilchrist County, Florida, convened in a special meeting at on August 2, 1994, at 5:00 p.m., in the Commissioner's Meeting Room at the Courthouse in Trenton, Florida, with the following members present to-wit:
Fred Wilkerson, Chairman
V. C. Cannon
Sue B. Suggs
Other persons in attendance were: Jackie R. Barron, Ex-Officio Clerk, Ted Burt, County Attorney, Sherree Pitzarell, Deputy Clerk, Michael Watkins and Camille Gianatalis, Nabors, Giblin & Nickerson Law Firm, John Kohn, Al Lewis, and Ronnie McQueen, Emergency Management/County Coordinator applicants.
Mr. Barron stated that reason he asked the Chairman to call a special meeting today, is to discuss the proposed fire assessments for fiscal year 1994-95. Mr. Watkins and Ms. Gianatalis, are present to update the Board on their work for those assessments.
Mr. Watkins stated that the Special Assessment Master Ordinance will repeal the current ordinance, keeping the current assessments in place. He added that there will be a four step process for the Board, beginning with the adoption of the Master Ordinance, and initial resolutions for EMS, Solid Waste and Fire Service, which identifies the initial rates. Following adoption, the notice will be published in the local paper and mailed to county residents. The next step will be the adoption of the final resolutions and assessment rates. The last step will be adopting the final roll.
Mr. Watkins and Ms. Gianatalis explained their method of calculating the rates for fire assessments, stating that fire service benefits property rather than people. Therefore, all parcels are subject to a special assessment for fire, since the potential for that service applies to all parcels. By using the State Fire Marshall's fire incident reports they were able to determine rates for various types of properties. The statistics from the State Fire Marshall's office indicates that 52.7% of all fires are residential, 33.4% are non-residential (this includes churches and barns), 7.9% are agricultural, and 6% are for vacant properties. In order to generate revenues totaling $125,000 per year, the residential rate would be $21.54 per dwelling. The rate for non-residential would be $0.0935. This rate would apply to commercial buildings, churches, and barns. Mr. Barron interjected that the assessment for a 20 x 20 barn would be $37.40, which is higher than the assessment for a dwelling. In addition, large barns, such as those at North Florida Holstiens would be assessed approximately $748 per year. This is the reason, Mr. Barron explained, he felt the Board should meet prior to adopting the initial rates, because he feels the rates for non-residential are too high. The Board agreed, and expressed their concern over the State Fire Marshall's statistics. The Board advised Mr. Watkins and Ms. Gianatalis that the percentage of calls for residential is too high and the percentage for vacant properties is too low. Ms. Gianatalis stated that they could develop report forms for Gilchrist County, whereby each fire department would be reporting the same information, in order to establish statistics specifically for Gilchrist County. Ms. Gianatalis added that this information should be tracked for at least one year, in order to get an accurate assessment of the types of fire calls responded to in Gilchrist County.
Mr. Barron stated that since it will take a year to develop the statistics, the Board may want to consider imposing a half mill for fire service, which is the current millage rate for fire service. The Board agreed that a half mill should be imposed, in light of the information presented today. Mr. Barron stated that he would check with Mr. Harrison, Property Appraiser, to verify whether or not the Board can change still change the millage. He added that if it is not too late, he will call an emergency meeting within the next few days for the Board to act on imposing half a mill for fire.
PUBLIC HEARING: INTERVIEWS FOR APPLICANTS FOR THE POSITION OF EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT/COUNTY COORDINATOR.
The Board interviewed each of the applicants for the emergency management/county coordinator position. The three final applicants for the position are: John Kohn, Al Lewis, and Ronnie McQueen. Each applicant spoke of their past work experience and answered questions asked by individual Board members. A discussion of salary expectations followed with each applicant indicating their preference. Each applicant was also given the opportunity to ask questions about the position. Following the conclusion of the interviews, the Board stated they would consider each applicant and make a decision on August 9, 1994. A meeting for that date has already been set at 6:00 p.m., however, they will meet at 5:30 p.m. and render a decision. There being no further business to come before the Board, a motion to adjourn was made at 7:31 p.m. by Commissioner Suggs, seconded by Commissioner Cannon, and unanimously approved.
FRED WILKERSON, CHAIRMAN
JACKIE R. BARRON, CLERK