MINUTES OF A REGULAR MEETING OF THE GILCHRIST COUNTY BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS HELD MARCH 4, 1996
The Gilchrist County Board of County Commissioners, in and for Gilchrist County, Florida, convened in a regular meeting on March 4, 1996, at 9:00 a.m., in the Commissioner's Meeting Room at the Courthouse in Trenton, Florida, with the following members present to-wit:
Wilbur Bush, Chairman
V. C. Cannon
Sue B. Suggs
Other persons in attendance were: Jackie R. Barron, Ex-Officio Clerk, Ted Burt, County Attorney, Ron McQueen, Emergency Management/County Coordinator, Sherree Pitzarell & Sam Ferguson, Deputy Clerks, Sue Spooler, Ted Burt Law Office, Sheriff Floyd, Chief Deputy Jim Cooper, David Branson, Florida Power, Leamon Wells, Road Department Employee, Lamar Hines, James Suit, John Ayers, Herbert Brown, Murphy Everett, Don Thomas, Ronnie Smith, Michelle Walker, Paula Fugal, Terry Andrews, Grady Jones, and Johnny Jones, county residents.
Chairman Bush introduced Mr. John Davis, Lake City Community College, stating that Mr. Davis would like to speak to the Board about upcoming changes in the administration of the JTPA program. The program has been administered by the regional planning councils since 1983, and Gilchrist County was included in an 11 county region. Due to federal cuts in funding the Governor is recommending that the program be administered through the community colleges. This action would put Gilchrist in a new 5 county region, which coincides with the 5 counties served by Lake City Community College. Each region would have a committee, which would be represented with one county commissioner. Mr. Davis stated that the program would offer many of the same benefits as in the past. Chairman Bush advised Mr. Davis that a representative from the local planning council is scheduled to appear before the Board later during the meeting.
Minutes of Previous Meeting(s):
Commissioner Wilkerson made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Cannon, to approve the minutes of the meeting held January 8, 1996. The motion carried unanimously.
Mr. Burt presented the revised agreement with Craig Watson, H.I.D. of Gilchrist, Inc., for the use of his C & D landfill. Mr. Watson did not want a two year agreement, so the agreement before the Board today is for a period of one year. The other revision made was the deletion of the request by Mr. Watson to have the access road graded. The county shall pay to H.I.D. $35 for each 20 yard container of construction debris deposited and $50 for each 45 yard container. During the term of the agreement, the county will provide a rolloff container at the construction debris site for the deposit of any such non-hazardous material that is not permitted to be deposited in the construction debris landfill and pay fee for disposal. Commissioner Cannon made a motion to approve the agreement. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Sheffield, and unanimously approved. The motion carried unanimously.
Mr. Burt spoke to the Board about a letter he prepared which would exercise the Board's option to purchase the Lake property (firing range property). The balance due on the property is $18,750. Mr. Burt added that there will probably be some administrative expenses, however, he does not expect the total to exceed $19,250. Following discussion, Commissioner Suggs made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Sheffield, to authorize the expenditure of $19,250 from LETF for the purchase of the Lake property. The motion carried unanimously.
Mr. Burt spoke to the Board about subdivisions in the county. According to Mr. Burt, he has had several requests regarding subdivisions during the past month. The first subdivision, Lake Wood, S30 T9S R15E, has 17 lots and 9 were conveyed prior to amending the LDR's in December 1988, therefore those 9 lots are okay. At that time, the definition of a parent tract was anything greater than 20 acres. If you apply the current LDR methodology, whereby three lots can be between 10-20 acres and two lots can be less than ten acres, then all but three lots are in compliance with the current LDR's. This was discovered while performing a subdivision search. The Board could require ingress/egress information, as well as engineering for the 100 year flood plain requirements prior to permitting.
Mr. Burt stated that he has been in contact with Mr. Hugh Sanders regarding a small subdivision called Santa Maria, located in S6 T9S R15E. According to Mr. Burt, Mr. Sanders purchased 7.9 acres several years ago and it is his recommendation that the Board approve the division of property in total. According to the letter submitted by Carl Rehberg, this parcel was the last piece of the Ana M. Santa Maria Subdivision, which was divided in the early seventies. Commissioner Suggs made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Wilkerson, to approve the division of 7.9 acres owned by Hugh Sanders in Santa Maria subdivision. The motion carried unanimously.
Mr. Burt spoke to the Board about property which was divided among siblings, by their parents. The property belonged to Meveree Carlisle's parents, and some of the lots are very low acreage. Commissioner Sheffield made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Suggs, to approve the division. The motion carried unanimously.
Mr. Burt reported that he has had an opportunity to review the Florida Statutes regarding insurance for retirees and it is his opinion that the employee handbook should be updated to include the stipulation in chapter 112. According to the statutes, retirees should be given the opportunity in their employers group health insurance plan (at his own cost) indefinitely. Mr. Barron asked if coverage will be available to spouses and dependents and Mr. Burt replied that it is his understanding that the coverage is extended to them as well. The Board discussed their current policy whereby the county continues to pay their share (of health insurance cost) for retirees aged 64 and over, for twelve months after their retirement date. With the interpretation of the statutes, after the twelve months period described above, the retiree may continue to participate for an indefinite period of time, providing that he pay the entire cost of the coverage. Following discussion, Commissioner Suggs made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Wilkerson, to extend the group health insurance coverage to vested employees who leave service with the county, and their dependents, to an indefinite period of time, at their own costs, by resolution. The motion carried unanimously.
A RESOLUTION AMENDING THE HEALTH INSURANCE PORTION OF THE
GILCHRIST PERSONNEL POLICY AND THE GILCHRIST COUNTY
WHEREAS, GILCHRIST COUNTY adopted an employee handbook, and personnel policy; and,
WHEREAS, certain modifications are required regarding the offering of health insurance to retirees in order to comply with state law; and,
WHEREAS, the Board of County Commissioners determines that it is in the best interest of the employees of the County and the residents of the County that the amendments be made to the said personnel policy and employee handbook; and,
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Gilchrist County Board of County Commissioners that the Gilchrist County Employee Handbook and Personnel Policy is hereby amended in the following respect:
Page 40 of the Revised Personnel Policy and Employee Handbook, entitled "Health Insurance" is hereby amended to read as follows:
The County will determine its contribution, if any, toward employee life and major medical insurance on an annual basis. An employee must work an average of twenty (20) hours per week minimum to be entitled to participate in the County's group health and life insurance program.
Any retired employee having a vested retirement (ten years creditable service) and having attained 64 years of age at retirement, or any retired employee having thirty or more years of creditable service, at any age, is entitled to receive the same premium rate and the same premium participation with premium being paid by the Board of County Commissioners as existed for that employee on the date of his/her election to retire, with the premium payment by the Board of County Commissioners continuing for the next ensuing twelve (12) months from date of retirement. Upon expiration of the twelve month premium payment benefit, the said retiree may continue to participate for an indefinite period of time, providing that he/she pay the entire cost of the coverage. The said insurance coverage shall be available to the spouse and dependents of the retiree at the election of the retiree, with any additional premium being paid by the retiree, during both the initial twelve month period and thereafter.
THIS RESOLUTION shall take effect immediately upon adoption.
RESOLVED this 4th day of March, 1996, in regular session, by the Gilchrist County Board of County Commissioners.
BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
GILCHRIST COUNTY, FLORIDA
/s/Wilbur Bush, Chairman
/s/Jackie R. Barron, Clerk
Public Hearing- CDBG Grant Amendment:
Mr. Dick Edwards presented a proposed grant amendment to the Board which would allow for the replacement of ten homes deemed beyond repair. According to Mr. Edwards, he has inspected many of the homes and determined that there are those qualified for replacement with new mobile homes. In order to replace those dwellings, the grant contract would have to be amended, because the current contract is for the repair of homes only. If the contract is amended, the number of recipients will be reduced from 34 to 24. Mr. Barron disclosed that his son, Jackie R. Barron, Jr. has qualified for the program. Commissioner Suggs disclosed that her sister, Wanda Varcika and her niece, Felicia Barron have qualified for the program. Mr. McQueen stated that Mr. Rehberg wishes to disclose that Linda Waters is his sister-in-law and James Rehberg is his nephew; both have applied for the program. Following discussion, Commissioner Wilkerson made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Cannon, to approve the amendment. The motion carried unanimously.
Mr. Edwards reported that the bids on the Ronald Martin home are too high to be considered for the program. The lowest bid received was $29,900 which exceeds the average cost projected per home. In addition, the contractors bidding on the home are concerned about cracks in the flooring slab.
Mr. Edwards reported that the bids on Daphine Jenkins were also too high, and he recommends this home for replacement.
The Board reviewed the bids received on the Martin and Jenkins jobs, as well as others. Following discussion, Commissioner Wilkerson made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Suggs, to accept the lowest bids on A. Cox, J. White, K. Conner, C. Lott, G. Lovett, and R. Barker. The motion carried unanimously. A copy of the bid summary is on file with the Clerk's office.
Mr. Barron advised the Board that he met with representatives from Liberty National Insurance and they are trying to reconcile the problems reported in a previous meeting.
Mr. Barron presented the following SHIP applications for the Board's consideration:
Applicant SHIP Funds Total Cost Type Project
Maybelle Griggs $22,500 $22,500 Rehab Existing
Elmer Thomas $18,920 $18,920 Rehab Existing
Mr. Barron explained that both these projects will require the expenditure of funds for storage of furniture, and both are deferred payment loans. Commissioner Suggs made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Wilkerson, to approve the loans and storage costs. The motion carried unanimously.
Mr. Barron reported that he has received a copy of a letter from Sheree Lancaster to Mr. & Mrs. Bobby Helton, regarding their default on a SHIP project, which involved a first mortgage with Farmers & Merchants Bank and a SHIP loan. Mr. Barron stated that he will need to monitor the county's position.
The Board reviewed the bills submitted by the Clerk. There followed discussion regarding the charges for fire service provided by the City of Trenton. Through the month of January, the City of Trenton has billed the county $5700. Mr. Barron pointed out that no one has followed through on filing insurance claims to recover some of the fire service cost. Following discussion, Commissioner Cannon made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Sheffield, to approve payment of all bills submitted. The motion carried unanimously.
Journal entries numbered 114-115, 9642, 1046-1050, 1052-1056, were unanimously approved, following a motion from Commissioner Suggs, which was seconded by Commissioner Cannon. Copies are attached and made a part of the minutes.
Mr. Barron reported that $3568.76 has been expended on the new vault for the Tax Collectors office.
Mr. Barron reported that $38,907.28 has been spent to date on the jail roof project. In addition, $27,988.84 has been spent to date on the firing range construction. Mr. McQueen stated that Mr. Joyner is supposed to bill the sheriff for the use of the road departments equipment and the operators time. Chairman Bust stated that he spoke to Chief Cooper about installing a barrier to stop bullets in order to reduce the amount of lead that may contaminate the ground. Commissioner Suggs made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Wilkerson, to direct Mr. McQueen to contact the sheriff about installing a barrier. The motion carried unanimously.
Mr. Barron stated that $22,216.93 have been collected and remitted to the Board by the Clerk for the months of December and January.
Mr. Barron presented a letter from Deputy Tax Collector, Edgar Langford, regarding a refund of special assessments for Rick Dewees. According to Mr. Langford, Mr. Dewees paid the special assessments for this past year, however, the house was vacant. Commissioner Wilkerson made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Suggs, to refund $113.59 to Rick Dewees. The motion carried unanimously.
Mr. Barron advised the Board that he received a letter from Pastor Kevin Kidd, of the Community Church of the Nazarene, stating that it is their understanding that the county will be holding an auction soon, and they are interested in the donation of office desks, chairs, and a computer. Following discussion, the Board agreed to set the date for the county surplus auction for April 27th, beginning at 9:00 a.m. at the tower site, north of Bell on 129. The Board also agreed to continue the auction after lunch the same date, at the county road department for the rolling stock. The Board took no action on the request submitted from the Community Church of the Nazarene.
Mr. Barron stated that notification has been received from the Department of Environmental Protection that Gilchrist County has been approved to receive $351,651 for reimbursement of the landfill closure costs. In conjunction with the letter received, a grant agreement for the above amount was sent for the Board's approval. Commissioner Suggs made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Wilkerson, to approve the grant agreement for landfill closure reimbursement. The motion carried unanimously.
Mr. Barron reported that he received a copy of a resolution adopted in Highlands County which addresses the problem of teenage girls being impregnated by adult males. According to statistics, this is an ever-increasing problem throughout the state of Florida. Following discussion, Commissioner Suggs made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Sheffield, to adopt a similar resolution, which would support legislation to impose stricter penalties. The motion carried unanimously.
WHEREAS, on November 16, 1995, State Representative Tom Warner, District 82 - Stuart, filed House Bill 257, which would make it an act of child abuse pursuant to F.S. 827.04(4) for a person 21 years of age or older to impregnate a child 16 years of age, and that such crime would constitute a felony of the third degree; and
WHEREAS, on November 14, 1995, State Senator Locke Burt, 16th District - Ormond Beach/ Deland, pre-filed Senate Bill 200, which is a companion bill to HB 257; and
WHEREAS, both HB 257 and SB 200 also requires a young mother under the age of 16 to name the child's father and to provide a DNA sample from the baby before she can receive any financial assistance; and
WHEREAS, both HB 2457 and SB 200 would permit a young mother who refuses to identify the father of her child to be charged with a misdemeanor of the second degree; and
WHEREAS, both HB 257 and SB 200 is designed to close the loopholes in the current Statutory Rape laws in that consent of a young girl under the age of 16 to sexual relations with an adult male, 21 years of age and older, or the girl's lack of a chastity, will no longer be a defense since the bills clearly state that the offense is child abuse; and
WHEREAS, according to the 1995 Annual Report on the Impact of Teenage Pregnancy in Florida, which was developed by the Florida Education and Employment Council for Women and Girls, 3 out of every 4 teenage pregnancies can be traced back to an adult male, many 10-15 years older than the girl; and
WHEREAS, according to the same report cited above, adult men father 77% of births among school-age girls, and 51% of births among junior school-age girls; and
WHEREAS, it is estimated that teenage pregnancies in Florida cost taxpayers nearly 1.2 billion annually, when factoring in regular and at-risk prenatal care, emergency room and hospitalization, prenatal intensive care, re-hospitalization, special education, developmental services, AFDC, Medicaid, crimes and child abuse; and
WHEREAS, one study found that 66% of the teenagers who became pregnant were sexually abused with histories of rape, sexual abuse and physical abuse; and
WHEREAS, it is reported that 60% of adolescents giving birth for the first time have their delivery fees covered by public funds;
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Gilchrist County Board of County Commissioners categorically, and without reservations, endorses House Bill 257 and its companion bill, Senate Bill 200, and that all State Representatives and State Senators are strongly urged to support these bills.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Gilchrist county Board of County Commissioners hereby directs that a copy of this Resolution be forwarded to Florida Governor Lawton Chiles, Gilchrist County Legislative members, Executive Director - Florida Association of Counties and the Gilchrist County School Board.
DULY ADOPTED this 4th day of March, 1996.
GILCHRIST COUNTY BOARD
OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
/s/Jackie R. Barron, Clerk
Mr. Barron stated that he received the Overall Economic Development Program Update Survey from the North Central Florida Regional Planning Council. Each year the Council conducts a survey which is designed to identify the public facility needs and related projects within the region which need to be addressed in order to enhance economic development. Following discussion, the Board agreed to add the following projects to the list: restoration of the county courthouse, parking for downtown Trenton, public boat ramp improvements, and upgrade the fire protection services in the county. Commissioner Wilkerson made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Suggs, to approve the list and to add any projects that the cities, IDA, or Chamber may want to include. The motion carried unanimously.
Mr. Barron and Mr. McQueen spoke to the Board about monies collected from the sale of the arts license plates. The collection is minimal, however, it must be established where these funds will be spent, and the Board has the authority to make that decision. Following discussion, Commissioner Wilkerson made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Suggs, to give the funds to the library for their promotion of the arts. The motion carried unanimously.
Mr. Barron reminded the Board that the budget workshop is next Monday and the auditors will be in attendance to update the Board's financial position.
Sheriff's Volunteers- Joe Blanchard:
Mr. Blanchard spoke to the Board about the Sheriff's Volunteers activities. Since the group originated in November 1995, they have 48 members eligible for patrol, out of a total membership of 62. Members are being encouraged to take first aid training, which the organization intends to fund. According to Mr. Blanchard, the `Volunteers' beginning budget was $15,000. Of that amount approximately $8074 was spent on start-up costs such as the crime watch signs which were placed throughout the county and radios for communications.
Rachael Bishop-Cook: North Central Florida Regional Planning Council:
Ms. Bishop-Cook spoke to the Board about the same topic that Mr. Davis spoke about earlier in the day, regarding the new administration and redistricting for the Job Training Partnership Act Program & Jobs & Education Partnership. An interlocal agreement by form of a resolution was presented to the Board. Following discussion, Commissioner Suggs made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Wilkerson, to approve the resolution/interlocal agreement. The motion carried unanimously.
A RESOLUTION OF THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OF
GILCHRIST COUNTY, FLORIDA, ADOPTING THE INTERLOCAL
AGREEMENT CREATING THE FLORIDA CROWN JOB TRAINING
CONSORTIUM AND THE FLORIDA CROWN PRIVATE INDUSTRY
COUNCIL; PROVIDING AN EFFECTIVE DATE.
WHEREAS, the Governor has designated the Counties of Baker, Columbia, Dixie, Gilchrist, and Union, a Service Delivery Area under the Job Training Partnership Act of 1982 as amended in 1992; and
WHEREAS, the above named counties desire to establish the Florida Crown Private Industry Consortium to collectively carry out the responsibilities of each of the above named counties under the Job Training Partnership Act of 1982 as amended in 1992; and
WHEREAS, the above named counties desire to establish the Florida Crown Private Industry Council to provide policy guidance for, and exercise oversight with, respect to the job training program activities conducted pursuant to the Job Training Partnership Act of 1982 as amended in 1992;
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OF GILCHRIST COUNTY, FLORIDA:
1. That the "Interlocal Agreement Creating the Florida Crown Job Training Consortium and the Florida Crown Private Industry Council", incorporated herein as Exhibit A, by reference is made a part hereof.
2. That the undersigned hereby accepts the terms and conditions of this Agreement and hereby agrees to become a party to this Agreement, together with the other above named counties passing resolutions to such effect, until such undersigned party wishes to withdraw from this Agreement as provided for in Paragraph 12 of this Agreement.
3. This Resolution shall take effect upon its adoption, except that the Florida Crown Job Training Consortium and the Florida Crown Private Industry Council do not become duly authorized bodies for purposes of service delivery under terms of the Job Training Partnership Act, until July 1, 1996.
DULY ADOPTED in regular session, this 4th day of March, A.D., 1996.
BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
GILCHRIST COUNTY, FLORIDA
/s/Wilbur Bush, Chairman
/s/Jackie R. Barron, Clerk
Public Hearing- Special Permit Application for a Radio Tower:
Mr. Burt spoke to the Board members, distributing a copy of the relevant information from the Land Development Regulations, for the Board's consideration regarding the permit application.
Mr. Gene Parrish, Parrish Land Surveying, introduced his client Mr. Jim Johnson, co-owner of WDEL-FM, who is seeking a special permit to erect a 680' guyed tower structure, to boost the signal of the radio station located in Dixie County. The proposed site is off S.E. 100th Street. According to Mr. Johnson, he has already received FAA and environmental permits to construct the tower. Mr. Johnson stated that he is willing to offer the county use of his tower for the county's communications for 10 year free of charge. Mr. Johnson explained that the station located at the proposed tower site will be an unmanned station. Several area residents were present in the meeting and asked Mr. Johnson questions about interference from the tower to their televisions, radios, satellites, and other electronic equipment. Mr. Johnson stated that interference is unusual, however, he is required to respond to any complaint he receives for the first year, which includes correcting the problem. Mr. Johnson added that in most cases the installation of a filter will solve any problems people have, however, in rare cases, the television, etc., may have to be replaced, which his company is required to do during the first year. Mr. Johnson stated that he has not received any complaints regarding the tower in Dixie County.
Mr. Ben Dickerson, owner of Dickerson Broadcasting, has a radio station in Starke, Florida. Mr. Dickerson stated that he is concerned that the tower proposed by Mr. Johnson will interfere with the reception from his radio station in Starke because they are so close on the dial. According to Mr. Dickerson, the frequency for both stations is currently 106.3, and since most of his listeners are in Gainesville, he is concerned about the new tower, with its proposed location in eastern Gilchrist County, interfering with his signals. Mr. Dickerson's attorney, stated that the proposed tower will be the most powerful of its kind anywhere in the United States, and claims that Mr. Johnson is trying to gain a strategic advantage over his competitors. Mr. Johnson stated that Mr. Dickerson has attempted to slow down or halt radio stations as far away as south Florida, and added that when the new tower goes on line, the frequency will change from 106.3 to 106.9, which should not interfere with Mr. Dickerson's station.
Commissioner Suggs spoke to those in attendance, stating that the proposed site is in her district, and many of the residents present today reside in her district. She expressed her appreciation for the concerns presented by those residents and informed Mr. Johnson and Mr. Dickerson that the Board needs more time to study the issues. Commissioner Suggs made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Wilkerson, to table the issue until the April 1st board meeting, at 4:00 p.m. The motion carried unanimously. The Board asked Mr. McQueen to contact Mike Sherill and ask if he can attend the next meeting to offer some advise regarding the tower, since he is a former resident of Gilchrist County and educated in the field of broadcasting.
Public Hearing- Proposed Legislation:
Sheriff Floyd spoke to the Board about proposed legislation he has initiated which would allow for the one time donation of $25,000 to the FFA Alumni, who in turn would use the funds to purchase the property at the rodeo site and make improvements. Sheriff Floyd stated that Representative Mackey is willing to support the legislation, however, the Sheriff would like the Board's support in the form of a resolution. Following discussion, Commissioner Cannon made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Wilkerson, to adopt a resolution, supporting the one time expenditure from Law Enforcement Trust Fund to the FFA Alumni. The motion carried unanimously.
WHEREAS, the Gilchrist County Sheriff's Department has accumulated funds in the Law Enforcement Trust Fund; and
WHEREAS, the Gilchrist County FFA Alumni Association, Inc. has purchased real property in Section 30, Township 9 South, Range 15 East, Gilchrist County, Florida, and is making and has made improvements to that property; and
WHEREAS, the intended use of the property of the Gilchrist County FFA Alumni Association, Inc. is, among other things, to further drug abuse education and prevention programs for school age children; and
WHEREAS, the Gilchrist County Sheriff's Office wishes to contribute Law Enforcement Trust Fund monies to the furtherance of the services of the Gilchrist County FFA Alumni Association, Inc.; and
WHEREAS, the Gilchrist County Sheriff's Office is pursuing special legislation authorizing the utilization of the Law Enforcement Trust Funds for the purposes as above set forth, specifically being the payment of the cost of the acquisition of the real property and the improvements thereof in an amount not to exceed $25,000.00;
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Gilchrist County Board of County Commissioners that, by this Resolution, the Florida Legislature is requested to enact special legislation authorizing Gilchrist County and the Gilchrist County Sheriff's Office to expend funds from the Law Enforcement Trust Fund for the benefit of the Gilchrist County FFA Alumni Association, Inc. in the acquisition of and improvements to the real property in Section 30, Township 9 South, Range 15 East, more specifically described as follows:
The Northwest Quarter of the Northwest Quarter
of the Northwest Quarter of Section 30, Town-
ship 30 South, Range 15 East, less road right-
of-way of Highway 129, all lying and being in
Gilchrist County, Florida.
RESOLVED this 4th day of March, 1996.
BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
GILCHRIST COUNTY, FLORIDA
/s/Wilbur Bush, Chairman
/s/Jackie R. Barron, Clerk
Emergency Management/County Coordinator's Report:
Mr. McQueen reported that he received a grant agreement for the funding of the civil defense operations. Last year the grant was for a little over $11,000. Congress has not approved or appropriated all the grant funds for civil defense, however, the state has sent an initial allocation to begin and are waiting on congress to finish and implement a budget. The cover letter he received indicates that the balance of grant funds will be made available. Commissioner Sheffield made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Wilkerson, to approve the grant agreement. The motion carried unanimously.
Mr. Leamon Wells, road department employee, spoke to the Board about the raises given to some road department employees. Mr. Wells stated that the raises given to the men who obtained the CDL licenses overlooked the employees that had been employed a long period of time. In addition, Mr. Wells would like the same consideration given to him that Clark Cannon received prior to retiring; Mr. Cannon received a raise in hopes that it would boost his future retirement earnings. The Board pointed out that after Mr. Cannon received his raise, he decided not to retire and that is when the Board took action to recognize the employees with seniority by establishing pay increases for 12, 20 and 25 years service. The Board also pointed out that the recent increases were given to employees that were on the low end of the pay scale to bring their salaries in line with similar positions in similar-sized counties. This was a reclassification effort, approved by the Board after an independent study was conducted by the Florida Counties Foundation. The Board asked Mr. McQueen when the 6 months evaluations would be due for those employees involved with the reclassification. Mr. McQueen stated that the evaluations are due by the next Board meeting. The Board asked Mr. McQueen to give an update on the progress made since the reclassification became effective.
Mr. McQueen stated that he received a letter from the Suwannee River Shrine Club, requesting the use of the Hart Springs Boat Ramp for their annual fishing tournament, which is scheduled around the first of June. Commissioner Wilkerson made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Cannon, to approve their request. The motion carried unanimously.
Mr. McQueen reported that he is advertising for a park manager for Hart Springs. The park board suggests that the manager be paid $15,500 to $17,500. The previous park manager was paid $20,000 so the suggested salary range represents a savings. The park board suggests that the savings be put toward a summer recreation program which could be run in conjunction with the school board if they are willing to participate. Mr. McQueen stated that the school representative indicated that they may be able to provide bus transportation and packed lunches for a period of 6 weeks, 3 to 4 days per week. For the students participating, it is suggested that the gate fee be reduced to $1.00 per day. The Board unanimously agreed to approve the salary range recommended by the park board, providing that the park manager live at the springs, upon motion from Commissioner Wilkerson, which was seconded by Commissioner Suggs.
Mr. Barron mentioned that he is communicating with Jerry Owens, DEP regarding the water problems at Hart Springs park.
Mr. McQueen stated that he is looking into getting grant funds from DNR for Hart Springs.
Mr. McQueen reported that Amnesty Day for hazardous waste collection has been set for April 20th. Mr. McQueen asked the Board if they would like to offer free disposal for white goods and tires this year. Commissioner Suggs made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Sheffield, to allow free disposal of white goods and tires from April 20th to May 4th, at the transfer station in Bell, limiting the number of tires to 10 per person per day. The motion carried unanimously.
Mr. McQueen submitted a revised mobile recycling truck schedule for the Boards information and reported that stationery recycling containers will be placed at Trenton and Bell schools. The Board indicated approval of the new recycling truck schedule.
Mr. McQueen stated that Jenkins has submitted a proposal of $1850 for striping CR 341 from SR 26 to CR 344. The Board agreed that the cost should be charged to the transportation impact fee fund.
Mr. McQueen spoke to the Board about the small chipper that was declared surplus. Previously the Board rejected a bid of $400 for the chipper, however, Mr. Joyner would like to trade the chipper for two chain saws. The Board took no action.
Chairman Bush asked Mr. McQueen if the parts for the dragline have arrived. Mr. McQueen replied that Mr. Watson is currently in Russia, however, he will be in contact with him as soon as he returns.
Chairman Bush spoke to the Board about a request he received from Chub NesSmith. Apparently Mr. NesSmith sold a used mobile home to a young family in Gilchrist County. This family is the daughter, son-in-law and grandchild of Ken and Debbie Gainey. The baby is a newborn with critical medical needs, requiring one parent to stay with the child at all times. They are currently living with the Gaineys, however, they are trying to get their mobile home set up and have acquired all the permits necessary. They have not been able to pay the impact fee and the family and Mr. NesSmith have asked the Board if the fee may be waived or if there may be some assistance the Board can give the family. Mr. Barron stated that the Board can grant $400 to assist the family in paying the fee; the funds to be taken from the cash assistance account. Commissioner Wilkerson made a motion to grant the Woodard family a one time assistance payment of $400, in order for the family to pay the impact fee, based on the hardships the family has experienced. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Suggs and unanimously approved.
Mr. McQueen reminded the Board of the "field trip" on March 18th to Brooksville, sponsored the Southwest Water Management District. The topic will be the effects of pumping water from area lakes to Pasco County. Mr. McQueen indicated that he will be attending. Commissioners Sheffield and Suggs will also be attending the workshop.
The Board discussed the Affirmation Action plan adopted by the county and agreed that openings at the road department should be posted at the shop to give current employees the opportunity to apply for the job. Commissioner Sheffield added that he would like to see the position posted for two weeks. Mr. McQueen mentioned that the shop foreman position has been reclassified.
Mr. McQueen stated that he has designated Charissa Strickland as the person in his office to advertise plats and track the advertising. This action was taken as a result of the letter from Parrish Land Surveying.
Commissioner Suggs asked if the county's insurance could be combined with the school board's insurance to obtain a better group rate. Mr. Barron replied that this was considered in the past, however their exposure drove the county's rates up. He suggested that the Board may want to have the school board's exposures re-evaluated.
There being no further business to discuss, a motion to adjourn at 6:58 p.m. was made by Commissioner Wilkerson, seconded by Commissioner Cannon, and unanimously approved.
WILBUR BUSH, CHAIRMAN
JACKIE R. BARRON, CLERK