MINUTES OF A SPECIAL MEETING OF THE GILCHRIST COUNTY BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS HELD MAY 20, 1996
The Gilchrist County Board of County Commissioners, in and for Gilchrist County, Florida, convened in a special meeting on Monday, May 20, 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, Sam Ferguson & Sherree Pitzarell, Deputy Clerks, Lt. Darrell Williams, Gilchrist County Sheriff's Office, Jim Cooper, Chief Deputy, Gilchrist County Sheriff's Office, and George Manners, Spring Ridge Volunteer Fire Department.
Mr. Barron spoke to the Board about using the vacant portion of the EMS building as storage space for the Clerk's Office. The Clerk's Office frequently need to retrieve old files stored at the microwave building and it is very inconvenient. If the files were stored across the street, it would reduce the response time for requested file information. Commissioner Wilkerson made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Cannon, to approve the Clerk's use of the vacant portion of the building. The motion carried unanimously.
The Board discussed the possibility of needing to hire an engineer or architect. According to Mr. Burt, if a public building is expected to cost more than $200,000.00, the construction must be bid. If the architecture services are expected to cost more than $10,000.00, they too must be bid as professional services. Mills Engineering indicates that their services will not cost more than $10,000.
Chief Cooper explained that the firing range will be open to the public for hunter education and firearm safety courses. The building will also be used as an emergency shelter.
The building is expected to be a total of 12,500 square feet, constructed in phases. Chief Cooper added that they are only concerned about the construction of the current portion (which is approximately 28 x 80). Following discussion, Commissioner Wilkerson made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Suggs, to authorize the completion of the current phase, and finish the fill on the footer that has been started for the next phase. The motion carried unanimously.
House Bill 557- Removal of the Presumption of Correctness for all county Property Appraisers:
The Chairman of the Board received a request from the Small County Coalition, asking small counties to pass a resolution urging the governor to veto House Bill 557. Currently, the burden of proof is on the property owner, however, if this bill becomes law, the burden of proof would be on the property appraisers/counties. The county could be required to spend large sums to defend their position, should the property appraiser be challenged by utility companies or other large property owners, most of whom have attorneys on staff. Following discussion, Commissioner Suggs made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Cannon, to urge the governor to veto House Bill 557, by resolution. The motion carried unanimously.
A RESOLUTION OPPOSING HOUSE BILL 557 WHICH REMOVES
PRESUMPTION OF CORRECTNESS.
WHEREAS, the Legislature in the 1996 session passed House Bill 557; and
WHEREAS, House Bill 557 removes the presumption of correctness for all county property appraisers throughout Florida; and
WHEREAS, Gilchrist County, a small county, does not have financial resources to sustain long, drawn out legal battles with large property owners with full time lawyers on payroll; and
WHEREAS, Gilchrist County has confidence in the integrity and professionalism of the Gilchrist County Property Appraiser; and
NOW, THEREFORE, be it resolved by the Gilchrist County Board of County Commissioners that, by this resolution, the Governor of the State of Florida is hereby requested, on behalf of Gilchrist County, to veto House Bill 557, thereby retaining the doctrine of presumption of correctness for all of the property appraisers throughout Florida, including the Property Appraiser of Gilchrist County.
RESOLVED in special session this 20th day of May, 1996.
GILCHRIST COUNTY BOARD OF
/s/Wilbur Bush, Chairman
/s/Jackie R. Barron, Clerk
Mr. Barron gave a brief update of the financial status of the fire fund, reporting that Nabors Law Firm has been completely paid. Mr. Barron stated that the fire departments have been conservative in spending and the county will assist these departments with in-house vehicle maintenance. There is approximately $6500 in the district-wide repair and maintenance fund. Twelve thousand dollars was budgeted for the city of Trenton and currently that fund has a balance of $900. In addition, the county is in receipt of a bill from the city for $1800 for the month of April. The reserve is down to $289. The reserve for general fund is approximately $8000.
There being no further business to discuss, a motion to adjourn at 10:20 a.m. was made by Commissioner Sheffield, seconded by Commissioner Cannon, and unanimously approved.
WILBUR BUSH, CHAIRMAN
JACKIE R. BARRON, CLERK