MINUTES OF A REGULAR MEETING OF THE GILCHRIST COUNTY BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS HELD JULY 1, 1996
The Gilchrist County Board of County Commissioners, in and for Gilchrist County, Florida, convened in a regular meeting on July 1, 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 and Sam Ferguson, Deputy Clerks, Buddy Joyner, Transportation Superintendent, David Brittin, EMS Director, Jim Cooper, Chief Deputy, Jerry Ridgeway, Communications Supervisor, Ed Ricketson, Central Florida Electric, Bunky Baldree and Eric Black, Division of Forestry, James Brannin, Trenton Volunteer Fire Department, John Russell, Bell Volunteer Fire Department, George Manners and George Cole, Spring Ridge Volunteer Fire Department, Dick Edwards, Community Programs Consulting, Rayann Ferguson, Lamar Hines, Sue Spooler, Ms. Dull and Mr. Fisher, county residents.
The Board unanimously approved the minutes of the meetings held May 6th, May 20th, June 3rd, June 18th, and June 24th, following a motion from Commissioner Suggs, which was seconded by Commissioner Cannon.
Mr. Burt distributed a draft ordinance which would impose a 3% privilege fee for electric utilities. Once the ordinance is advertised, the fee can not be increased, however, it may be decreased if the Board chooses. This ordinance will be advertised for the July 15th meeting.
Mr. Barron reported that the Property Appraiser has certified the roll and 10 mills should increase the ad valorem taxes by $147,000. Mr. Barron added that this increase will not make up for the loss of federal inmate revenues. Fine & Forfeiture will loose approximately half of its revenues due to legislative changes.
Mr. Burt distributed a draft ordinance relating to the regulation of junk cars and appliances. This ordinance will be advertised for the August 5th meeting.
Mr. Burt stated that the City of Trenton issued a Notice of Violation of Codes on county property, located within the city limits. This property, which is located next to property owned by Johnnie Lee McGee, has been used by Mr. McGee for a number of years. According to the notice from the city, there are junk cars and other debris in need of removal. Chairman Bush stated that he would speak to Mr. McGee about cleaning the property. Mr. Burt added that he would reply to the City of Trenton that the county will have the property cleaned within thirty days.
Mr. Burt announced that the "Basden" case in federal court against the county has been dismissed.
Mr. Burt presented several Family Mediation contracts which were unanimously approved, following a motion from Commissioner Suggs, which was seconded by Commissioner Wilkerson. The contract are with the following: Beverly Graper, Robert Hornberger, Ann Kennedy, Linda Provus McElroy, Jack Nettles, Marilyn Peterson, Trish Peterson, Edith Richman, Candace Valenstein, E.A.W. Pan Zettler, and Myron Bilak.
Mr. Burt announced DCA is proposing to remove the Wacasassa Flats from the CARL list.
The ASCS office has a buy out plan, which entitles the county to approximately $400 (on the firing range property). Those funds could be donated to the FFA Alumni.
Mr. Burt reported that recent legislation (Chapter 163) should bring counties more directly in the process in regards to new municipalities. He will contact the Planning Council about addressing this legislation in the county's comprehensive plan.
Complaints have been received regarding people driving around Waters Lake where the water used to be at normal water levels. Rick Thompson is interested in conveying his portion of the property to the county. The Board did not indicate an interest in owning the property.
ISTEA funds can be used for historical purposes, if the building or site in question has been registered as a historical building/site.
Mr. Burt reported that Nadine Watson spoke to him about closing a road which leads to family owned property. The Board advised Mr. Burt to tell Ms. Watson to file a petition for road closure.
Mr. Burt presented a survey which indicates the location of the centerline of the road leading to the landfill (N.W. 10th St.). Some right-of-way was dedicated to the public when platted, however, in order to surface the road, additional ROW would be needed. Mr. Barron stated that he spoke to Rusty Yelvington and his only concern is that the road be centered and the county assist him in moving his fence. Mr. Burt stated that he spoke to Ed Philman and his concerns are that his daughters drive-way remain in such condition that water does not flow in her yard. In addition, Mr. Philman has a pump located close to the road.
The Board unanimously agreed, upon motion from Commissioner Suggs, seconded by Commissioner Wilkerson, to pay half the expenses for Mr. Burt for the Municipal Government Attorney's Conference.
Commissioner Suggs stated that Dade County has asked other counties to join them in a lawsuit against the state for Article V reimbursement. She will supply Mr. Burt with additional information.
The Board unanimously approved payment of the bills, following a motion from Commissioner Cannon, which was seconded by Commissioner Wilkerson.
Journal entries 1108 - 1116 were unanimously approved, following a motion from Commissioner Suggs, which was seconded by Commissioner Wilkerson.
Approval from the legislature has been received for the payment of $25,000 from Law Enforcement Trust Fund to the FFA Alumni.
The 1995 Error & Insolvencies report was presented to the Board, indicating a net decrease of $21,013.17 in taxes collected (this figure represents ad valorem and special assessments). Commissioner Cannon made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Sheffield, to approve the E & I report. The motion carried unanimously.
Mr. Barron reported that collections at Hart Springs park are down compared to last years collections. A portion of the revenue shortage can be attributed to poor management.
Chairman Bush announced that Rayann Ferguson has been working with the manager for the last week and she will be in later today to give a report to the Board.
Mr. Barron commented on the main boil at Hart Springs pumping a significant amount of sand. Mr. Barron recommends that a seawall be extended to at least the southeast corner of the boil. He also discussed the boat slip area, recommending that FBIP funds be used to pump sand out and replace the seawall.
Chief Deputy Jim Cooper:
Chief Cooper presented a request, on behalf of Sheriff Floyd, to transfer $5,500 from Selective Enforcement operating to SEU capital outlay and $5000 from Corrections operating to Corrections capital outlay. Commissioner Wilkerson made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Cannon, to approve the transfer. The motion carried unanimously.
Chief Cooper and Communications Supervisor Jerry Ridgeway spoke to the Board about fire dispatch protocol. According to Mr. Ridgeway, they received a total of 5648 calls in 1994; 6147 calls in 1995; and so far during the first six months of 1996, a total of 3027 have been received. These numbers represent calls for EMS, fire and law enforcement. During the first 6 months of 1995 the average response time for a rescue call was 13.8 minutes, the average for a fire call was 18.2 minutes, and the average for a law enforcement call was 14.6 minutes. So far this year, the average response time for a rescue call is 11.8 minutes, the average for a fire call is 16.6 minutes and the average for a law enforcement call is 12.8 minutes. Dispatch must rely on the information received from the caller when determining which fire department should be paged. Sometimes a fire department is paged and no one responds. In those cases, the City of Trenton is usually the back up because they are close to all the fire departments with the exception of North Gilchrist. There are also occasions when another department is on scene and requests Trenton to back them up. According to Chief Cooper, they have experienced problems with the pagers and recommends that the fire frequency be placed on a repeater system.
Buddy Joyner- Transportation Superintendent:
Mr. Joyner spoke to the Board about the possibility of using the school board's fuel facility to fuel county vehicles now that off road fuel can be used in all county vehicles. He has spoken to Mr. Hart. Chairman Bush stated that he would meet with Mr. Joyner and the School Board for further discussion.
Clerk's Report (cont.):
Mr. Barron reviewed the tax roll certification prepared by the Property Appraiser. There followed discussion of the loss of revenue for federal inmates. Chief Cooper stated that the local inmate population has increased. He suggested that the Board may inquire about housing state and juvenile inmates as an alternative to the federal inmates. Chief Cooper discussed the future needs of the jail and he anticipates that the county will need a larger facility within the next 4 or 5 years. It is his hope to construct a new jail, using Law Enforcement Trust Fund monies. Mr. Barron suggested that the Board discuss this topic with the legislative delegation.
The Board set the tentative budget hearing for September 9, 1996 and the final budget hearing for September 23, 1996. The Board also agreed to hold the Value Adjustment Board meeting on September 23, 1996.
Mr. Barron advised the Board that raises have been factored in at 5% or $1000, whichever is greater, for next fiscal year.
Commissioner Suggs stated that she would like to review the Property Appraisers budget request prior to the deadline to file objections with DOR, should the Board have any objections. Mr. Barron said he would ask the Property Appraiser to present his budget request during the July 15th budget workshop.
Mr. Barron, Mr. Burt and Mr. McQueen agreed to meet and evaluate the delinquent special assessment collections efforts.
Mr. Barron stated that the materials purchased for the firing range from Gilchrist Building Supply and Bell Concrete are nearing the $10,000 bid requirement threshold. Commissioner Sheffield made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Suggs, to suspend the bid requirements for the materials for the firing range project. The motion carried unanimously.
Mr. Barron remitted $13,447.30 in fees and interest to the Board for the month of May, 1996.
CDBG Report- Dick Edwards:
Mr. Edwards reported that he is still having problems with the Lovett project because the new well is pumping sand. Apparently, there are other family members living near her home hooking up on her well.
According to Mr. Edwards, for replacement projects, $15,000 will be available for demolition and the volunteer fire departments could participate in the demolition.
Ms. George Dull, an applicant for the CDBG program, was in attendance to file a complaint, however, Mr. Burt, county attorney, advised Ms. Dull that the Board adopted a formal grievance procedure which must be followed when filing a complaint.
Emergency Management/County Coordinator's Report:
Mr. McQueen distributed the monthly building permit report. The city of Trenton is interested in the county performing their building inspections. The city has approximately 100 inspections per year. The city would handle their own code enforcement and zoning, however, the county could absorb the city's inspections if the city adopted the county's fee structure. A joint meeting between the city and county will be scheduled in August. Commissioner Cannon made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Suggs, to pursue discussion with the city of Trenton regarding building inspections. The motion carried unanimously. Mr. McQueen stated that the building department has a great need for automation.
The post offices are scheduled to notify county residents to use their 911 addresses beginning August 5th, rather than the rural route addresses.
Following discussion, the Board advised Mr. McQueen that mowing along roadsides should be a priority this time of year and to have Mr. Parrish and his crew concentrate on mowing, rather than drive-way permits. The Board suggested that Mr. Martin could issue the drive-way permits until the mowing is completed.
The North Central Florida Regional Planning Council sent the county an agreement for the monitoring of hazardous waste generators. The Council has submitted a grant proposal to the Department of Environmental Protection. If approved, the grant will cover the Council's expenses in monitoring hazardous waste generators for several counties for next five years. DEP would like each county to identify a source of funds for continuing the program once the state money runs out. Previously, the county funded this expenses at a rate of approximately $4000 per year. Commissioner Suggs made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Cannon to approve the agreement. The motion carried unanimously.
Mr. McQueen read a letter to the Board from Dr. Cox, County Medical Director, urging the Board to free up some of Mr. Brittin's time for administration and training. Currently, Mr. Brittin is working shifts the same as other EMS employees. There are funds available to hire a part-time paramedic. Commissioner Wilkerson made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Cannon, to authorize the hiring of a part-time paramedic, providing funds are available, to be employed until September 30, 1996, at which time the position will be re-evaluated. The motion carried unanimously.
Commissioner Suggs made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Cannon, to rank the Bell Linear Park project number one for ISTEA priority, the Fanning Springs sidewalk project number two and the county courthouse historical preservation as number three. The motion carried unanimously.
Clerk's Report (cont.):
The Board discussed the need to set certain hours for the EMS billing clerk so that people have better access in regards to billing questions.
Mr. Barron reported that progress has been made in locating the kidney dialysis center. They are set to close on the Cliff Wilkerson property on July 15, 1996.
Ed Ricketson, Executive Director of Central Florida Electric Coop. appeared to discuss the proposed 3% franchise fee. Mr. Ricketson stated that Central Florida Electric will collect whatever franchise fee the Board imposes on Gilchrist County residents, however, he is not in favor of any additional costs passed on the electric consumers. Mr. Ricketson stated that Joe Ward will be representing him at the July 15th public hearing.
Chairman Bush announced that Senator Williams and Representative Boyd will be at the library on July 9th at 2:30 to present a check to the Board.
Commissioner Suggs reported on her recent attendance at the annual Florida Association of County Commissioners conference in Orlando. The weighted vote has been eliminated in regards to the election of officers. Another topic of discussion was the ISO ratings as it relates to building inspections. Commissioner Suggs was elected to the state board of directors and will serve as the chair of the Rural Caucus committee. Commissioner Suggs added that she is working on obtaining two Freightliner ambulances from Dade County.
The Board discussed the Tax Collectors need to remodel his office to accommodate new computer equipment. The Board asked that Mr. Welch be placed on the agenda for the July 15th budget workshop.
There being no further business to discuss, a motion to adjourn at 4:53 p.m. was made by Commissioner Wilkerson, seconded by Commissioner Suggs, and unanimously approved.
WILBUR BUSH, CHAIRMAN
JACKIE R. BARRON, CLERK