MINUTES OF A SPECIAL MEETING/BUDGET WORKSHOP OF THE GILCHRIST COUNTY BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS HELD JULY 15, 1996
The Gilchrist County Board of County Commissioners, in and for Gilchrist County, Florida, convened in a special meeting/budget workshop on July 15, 1996, at 1:00 p.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, Jay Blanchard, John Russell, and Joe Gilliam, county residents.
Chairman Bush presented a request from Tri-County Nursing Home for a letter of support from the Board of County Commissioners for their application for a certificate of need for an additional 21 beds. Following discussion, Commissioner Sheffield made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Wilkerson, to support their application. The motion carried unanimously.
The Board discussed the tentative millage rates for fiscal year 1996-97. Commissioner Sheffield made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Cannon, to certify the tentative millage rates at 10 mills for general operations, and .50 mill for fire service, setting the tentative budget hearing for September 9, 1996, at 7:00 p.m. The motion carried unanimously.
Mr. Barron reported that revenues from transportation impact fees are adequate to support additional debt service of up to $150,000. These funds could be used to complete the widening of CR 341 and to widen CR 232.
Mr. McQueen spoke to the Board about the need for a change order for Daphine Jenkins home. Following discussion, Commissioner Cannon made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Suggs, to approve a change order in the amount of $1600. The motion carried unanimously.
Mr. McQueen presented a request from the Gilchrist County Recreation Authority to have the entrance fee waived for a dinner recognizing the adult sponsors and supporters of GCRA, at Hart Springs Park. Commissioner Suggs made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Wilkerson, to waive the entrance fee and pavilion rental fee. The motion carried unanimously.
Budgets for Fiscal Year 1996-97:
Mr. Barron presented the budgets to the Board for their review. Ad valorem taxes for next fiscal year is expected to generate a 5.03% tax increase. All budgets are balanced with the exception of general revenue. General revenue fund has a budgeted reserve of $100,000 with no cash carry-over. In addition, general fund is out of balance by $112,261.
Mr. Barron reported that revenues for the fire budget have been figured with a half mill ad valorem taxes and a 1% privilege fee for a total of $141,746 in revenues. This budget will fund each fire department at $12,500, with the exception of the city of Trenton (which is budgeted at $20,000). In addition, the cost of insurance will not be paid from the individual fire department's budgets.
Property Appraisers Budget Request:
Mr. Harrison spoke to the Board about his budget request for next fiscal year. The total budget request is $385,046.00, which represents a 3.59% increase over the current year budget. It was pointed out that there are funds budgeted in the EMS and Solid Waste budgets for special assessment software that are not reflected in the above total budget request. Raises are calculated at $1000 or 5%. Mr. Harrison indicated that he will need an additional field person and vehicle within the next few years.
Mr. Welch spoke to the Board about the need for more office space in his office. He has recently received more computer equipment from the state and does not have adequate space. According to Mr. Welch, he has received an estimate from a cabinet maker for $3400. Labor to install the cabinets will be approximately $2500. These figures are not concrete and Mr. Welch indicated that he would bring back more accurate figures to the Board.
Emergency Medical Services:
Mr. Barron reported that assessment revenues are up approximately 15%, due to growth in the county. Collection of fees for services are also increased. Included in this budget are funds to continue the part-time paramedic position to fill in for Mr. Brittin (the Board agreed last month to restructure Mr. Brittin's position to include more administrative time). Mr. Barron pointed out that upon the advise of the labor attorney and the county attorney, pursuant to the pending election to decide the question of unionization, this budget does not change any personal services, issues, or benefits from the current level for those positions determined to be eligible to organize. This budget also includes the anticipation of a grant for $97,500 to purchase a new rescue unit. The grant will require a cash match of $32,500 which is also budgeted. This budget has a reserve of $12,000 and if adopted as is, there will be very little funds remaining for employee salary increases.
Mr. Barron reported that assessment revenues are up approximately 12.8%, due to growth in the county. This budget has a cash carry-over of $516,923 (a sizable portion of this amount is the reimbursement for landfill closure from the state). The budget also anticipates the hauling of garbage by outside haulers.
The Board advised Mr. Barron to inform the Sheriff to reduce his budgeted salary increases to 5% or $1000.
Mr. Joyner spoke to the Board about applying milled asphalt to widen county road 232, indicating that approximately 8 inches will be applied.
Susan Bryant, Supervisor of Elections, spoke to the Board about her concerns regarding parking at the library on election day.
The Board unanimously agreed to hold their regular meeting in September on the 9th because the first Monday of the month is on Labor Day, following a motion from Commissioner Suggs, which was seconded by Commissioner Sheffield.
Chairman Bush appointed Commissioners Suggs, Wilkerson, and himself to serve on the Value Adjustment Board.
There being no further business to discuss, a motion to recess at 5:10 p.m. and reconvene at 7:00 p.m. was made by Commissioner Suggs, seconded by Commissioner Cannon, and unanimously approved.
The Board reconvened at 7:00 p.m. with the following members present:
Wilbur Bush, Chairman
V. C. Cannon
Others Present: Jackie R. Barron, Ex-Officio Clerk, Ted Burt, County Attorney, Ron McQueen, Emergency Management/County Coordinator, Sherree Pitzarell & Sam Ferguson, Deputy Clerks, Art Ingram, Joe Atwood, Marvin Hand, Kimberley Hunt, Clarence Feagle, Joe Dixon, Allen Stinson, Al Green, Billy Rogers, Gary Martin, John Russell, Raymond Smith, Joseph Gilliam, Bud Riffle, Terry Parrish, Randy Durden, Kenneth Thompson, Robert Schustrich, Donna Thompson, Joanie Schustrich, Jeff Jordan, George Manners, George Cole, and Don Alexander.
Public Hearing- Privilege Fee Ordinance:
Mr. Burt explained to those present that the current privilege fee ordinance expires on September 30, 1996. If the Board wishes to impose a privilege fee for electric utilities beyond that date, they must adopt an ordinance. The proposed ordinance is for 3%, which is an increase over the current 1% privilege fee. Mr. Barron explained that the current budget projections are based on the revenues as they currently exist. These revenues will fund a budget at $140,000. There followed discussion regarding the possibility of imposing special assessments for fire services. Mr. Burt, county attorney, advised those present that the District Court recently ruled against Lake County in their efforts to impose special assessments for fire service.
Mr. Barron stated that Chief Deputy Jim Cooper reported earlier today that efforts are being made to acquire an upgrade to the county's FCC license to accommodate repeater capacity for fire communications.
Mr. Barron read a letter submitted by David Branson, area manager for Florida Power Corporation. Mr. Branson expressed concern about the proposed ordinance because it would not only increase the privilege fee which is passed on to Florida Power customers, but also because it does not impose a term limit.
Mr. Burt advised the Board that they can adopt the proposed ordinance as advertised, adopt the ordinance with changes, table adoption until a later date, or do nothing.
The majority of those residents in attendance voiced support for the increased privilege fee to fund fire services. Following discussion, Commissioner Wilkerson made a motion to adopt the ordinance, changing the proposed privilege fee of 3% to one percent, with the one percent privilege fee dedicated to funding fire services, with no sunset date on the ordinance. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Sheffield. Following discussion, Chairman Bush called for a vote by the Board. Commissioners Wilkerson, Sheffield, and Cannon voted in favor of the motion. Chairman Bush voted in opposition of the motion. (Commissioner Suggs was absent).
AN ORDINANCE PROVIDING FOR THE REGULATION OF THE COUNTY
ROAD SYSTEM OF GILCHRIST COUNTY AND COLLECTION OF A FEE
FOR THE PRIVILEGED USE OF SUCH COUNTY RIGHTS-OF-WAY BY
ELECTRIC UTILITIES; REGULATING THE OCCUPANCY OF THE
COUNTY RIGHTS-OF-WAY AND OTHER REAL PROPERTY OF GILCHRIST
COUNTY BY ELECTRIC UTILITIES, INCLUDING CENTRAL FLORIDA
ELECTRIC COOPERATIVE, INC., FLORIDA POWER CORPORATION AND OTHER ELECTRIC UTILITIES THAT MAY OPERATE WITHIN GILCHRIST
COUNTY FOR THE CONSTRUCTION, LOCATION OR RELOCATION OF
THEIR ELECTRICAL FACILITIES; PROVIDING LEGISLATIVE FIND-
INGS; DEFINING CERTAIN TERMS INCLUDING "ELECTRIC FACILITIES"; GRANTING TO THE ELECTRIC UTILITIES INCLUDING
CENTRAL FLORIDA ELECTRIC COOPERATIVE, INC., FLORIDA POWER
CORPORATION, AND OTHER ELECTRIC UTILITIES THAT MAY OPERATE
WITHIN GILCHRIST COUNTY THE PRIVILEGE TO USE AND OCCUPY THE
COUNTY RIGHTS-OF-WAY; PROVIDING FOR THE IMPOSITION OF AN
ELECTRIC UTILITY PRIVILEGE FEE; PROVIDING FOR THE CALCULA-
TION OF THE ELECTRIC UTILITY PRIVILEGE FEE AT AN AMOUNT EQUAL TO ONE PERCENT (1%) OF THE GROSS REVENUES RECEIVED BY
THE ELECTRIC UTILITIES INCLUDING CENTRAL FLORIDA ELECTRIC
COOPERATIVE, INC., FLORIDA POWER CORPORATION, AND OTHER
ELECTRIC UTILITIES THAT MAY OPERATE WITHIN GILCHRIST COUNTY
FROM THE SALE OF ELECTRICITY TO CUSTOMERS WITHIN THE UNIN-
CORPORATED AREAS OF GILCHRIST COUNTY; PROVIDING FOR MONTHLY
PAYMENTS OF THE ELECTRIC UTILITY PRIVILEGE FEE; PROVIDING A FINDING THAT THE ELECTRIC UTILITY PRIVILEGE FEE WILL BE
PASSED THROUGH TO THE ELECTRIC UTILITIES' CUSTOMERS IN THE
UNINCORPORATED AREA OF THE COUNTY PURSUANT TO THE RULES OF
THE FLORIDA PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION; PROVIDING FOR IN-
DEMINIFICATION OF THE COUNTY FOR OCCUPANCY OF THE COUNTY
RIGHTS-OF-WAY; PROVIDING FOR SEVERABILITY; PROVIDING AN
BE IT ORDAINED BY THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OF GILCHRIST COUNTY, FLORIDA:
SECTION 1.01. DEFINITIONS. When used in this Ordinance, the following terms shall have the following meanings, unless the context clearly otherwise requires:
"Board" shall mean the Board of County Commissioners of Gilchrist County.
"County" shall mean Gilchrist County, Florida.
"County Engineer" shall mean the County Engineer or his or her designated representative.
"County Rights of Way" shall mean those easements and rights of way utilized or obtained for use for a road, street, alley, bridge or other public way on the County Road System, and such other lands available for public use.
"County Road System" shall mean the road system of the County as defined in Chapter 334, Florida Statutes, or its statutory successor in function.
"Electric Facilities" shall mean all structures or personal property utilized in generating or transmitting electricity placed on or within County Rights of Way, including but not limited to: transmission lines, poles, signs, wires, conduits, and fences; and electric power generation facilities or other structures.
"Electric Franchise" shall mean the franchise granted to the Electric Utilities pursuant to Section 2.01 of this Ordinance.
"Electric Utilities" shall mean collectively Central Florida Electric Cooperative, Inc.; and Florida Power Corporation; and new Electric Utilities.
"Electric Utility Privilege Fee" shall mean the fee imposed on Electric Utilities in Section 2.06 of this Ordinance for the following purposes: (a) as reasonable compensation for the privileges granted in this Ordinance to use and occupy the County Rights-of-Way for the construction, location or relocation of Electric Facilities; (b) as a fair rental return on the privileged use of public property to engage in a business or proprietary activity; and (c) for payment of the cost of the regulation of the County Rights-of-Way and the protection of the public in the use and occupancy of such Rights-of-Way.
"Florida Power" shall mean Florida Power Corporation, an electric utility as defined by Chapter 366, Florida Statutes.
"Central Florida Electric" shall mean Central Florida Electric Cooperative, Inc., a rural electric cooperative created under Chapter 425, Florida Statutes, and an electric utility as defined in Chapter 366, Florida Statutes.
"New Electric Utilities" shall mean any person or entity that commences the generation or transmission of electricity to customers within the unincorporated area of the County and uses the County Rights-of-Way for such business activity or proprietary purpose subsequent to the effective date of this Ordinance by the operation and maintenance of Electric Facilities.
SECTION 1.02. FINDINGS. It is hereby ascertained, determined and declared:
(A) The Board has the statutory responsibility for the general supervision of the roads and streets within the County Road System under the provisions of Chapter 336, Florida Statutes. Such statutory responsibility includes the duty to establish new roads, change and discontinue old roads, and keep all roads in good repair.
(B) The Board has the further statutory responsibility for the regulation of the location and relocation of Electric Facilities on the County Rights-of-Way under the provisions of Chapter 337, Florida Statutes. Such statutory responsibility includes the authority to require the Electric Utilities to obtain a permit for the location of Electric Facilities on the County Rights-of-Way.
(C) Florida Power Corporation and Central Florida Electric use and occupy the County Rights-of-Way in a manner and to an extent not available to the general public for the purpose of engaging in a business or proprietary activity.
(D) The use and occupancy of the County Rights-of-Way by the Electric Utilities provides a benefit to such Electric Utilities and inevitably results in the relinquishment of property rights in the County Rights-of-Way which property rights are held by the County as a public trust.
(E) Regulation of the uses of the County Rights-of-Way by Electric Utilities is essential for the County to maximize the effective and efficient use of the County Rights-of-Way and to preserve their paramount use in supporting traffic circulation and control on the County Road System.
(F) The citizens of the County through the past allocation of County revenues have a historical economic investment in the acquisition, construction, and maintenance of the County Rights-of-Way and the preservation and maintenance of the County Rights-of-Way is in the public interest.
(G) Improper construction, location, or relocation of poles and other Electric Facilities is a potential safety hazard to the public and is inconsistent with the paramount use of the County Rights-of-Way to provide traffic circulation and control on the County Road System.
(H) The Electric Utility Privilege Fee is a reasonable charge imposed upon the Electric Utilities for their privileged use of County Rights-of-Way in the conduction of their business and proprietary activity of generating and transmitting electricity for sale to customers in the unincorporated areas of the County. A New Electric Utility that requires a similar privileged use of County Rights-of-Way in the conduction of the business or proprietary activity of generating and transmitting electricity for sale to customers in the unincorporated areas of the County shall also be charged the Electric Utility Privilege Fee.
(I) The Electric Utility Privilege Fee is imposed against each Electric Utility for its privileged use of County Rights-of-Way and is calculated as a percentage of the revenues received by the Electric Utility from the sale of electricity to its customers within the unincorporated areas of the County. The Electric Utility Privilege Fee is not based on the extent and scope of the Electric Facilities that are located in County Rights-of-Way.
(J) The finding that an Electric Utility Privilege Fee is a reasonable fee or charge is based upon the following factors: (i) reasonable compensation for the privileged use of public property required in the conduct of a proprietary or business activity as a fair rental return on such privileged use of public property; and (ii) payment of the cost of competing uses of County Rights-of-Way.
(K) If an Electric Utility conducts its business or proprietary activity within Gilchrist County exclusively on property other than the county Rights-of-Way, no Electric Utility Privilege Fee is imposed under this Ordinance. A New Electric Utility generating and transmitting electricity for sale on property other than County Rights-of-Way is not exercising a privileged use of public property in its business or proprietary activity and is beyond the scope of this Ordinance.
SECTION 1.03. STATEMENT OF INTENT.
(A) It is the intent of the Board to grant a non-exclusive privilege and franchise to the Electric Utilities to use and occupy the County Rights-of-Way for the generation or transmission of electricity in a manner not available to the general public under conditions and regulations necessary to provide and maintain the paramount use of the County Rights-of-Way for traffic circulation and control on the County Road System.
(B) It is the further intent of the Board to provide essential regulation of the use of County Rights-of-Way by the Electric Utilities; to protect the public interest in such County Rights-of-Way and public land use; to grant a privilege to the Electric Utilities to use County Rights-of-Way that is not granted to the public generally; and to collect a fee to pay the cost of such regulation and public protection and to provide a fair rental return on the privileged use of public property.
SECTION 2.01. PRIVILEGE AND FRANCHISE GRANTED.
The Electric Utilities are granted a privilege and franchise to use and occupy the County Rights-of-Way for the construction, location, and relocation of Electric Facilities. Such Electric Franchise shall be subject to the conditions and regulations provided in this Ordinance and conditioned upon payment by the Electric Facilities of the Electric Utility Privilege Fee established in Section 2.06 of this Ordinance.
SECTION 2.02. LOCATION OF ELECTRIC FACILITIES. All Electric Facilities shall be constructed, located, or relocated in such a manner as to provide minimal interference with the contemplated traffic circulation and control on the County Rights-of-Way and shall not restrict reasonable ingress and egress from abutting property. The location or relocation of all Electric Facilities shall be within corridors established by the County, if any and if applicable; be in accordance with the rules, regulations and requirements of the Florida Public Service Commission, the National Electrical Code and the Rural Utilities Services; and be communicated to the County Building Department. When any portion of a road, street, alleyway, or other public improvement within the County Rights-of-Way is excavated by an Electric Utility in the location, relocation, construction, or repair of any of its excavated shall, within a reasonable time and as early and practicable after such excavation, be replaced by the Electric Utility at its expense in as good condition as it was at the time of such excavation.
SECTION 2.03. ELECTRIC UTILITIES LIABILITY. The use of the County Rights-of-Way as support for the County Road System for traffic circulation and control is a paramount and superior use of such Rights-of-Way by the County. Each Electric Utility shall be liable for the cost and expense incurred by the County in connection with the construction, reconstruction, repair, or relocation of its Electric Facilities made necessary by the widening, grading, paving, or otherwise improving by the County of any road, street, alleyway, or other public improvement within the County Rights-of-Way. Payment of the Electric Utility Privilege Fee shall not be construed as an assumption of such cost or expense by the County.
SECTION 2.04. NO COUNTY LIABILITY. The County shall not be liable to any Electric Utility for any cost or expense in connection with its construction, reconstruction, repair, or relocation of the Electric Facilities made necessary by the widening, grading, paving or otherwise improving by the County of any road, street, alleyway or other public improvement within the County Rights-of-Way.
SECTION 2.05. INDEMNIFICATION. The County shall not be liable or responsible for any accident or damage that may occur in the construction, location or relocation or operation and maintenance by an Electric Utilities of their Electric Facilities on or within the County Rights-of-Way and the Electric Utilities as a condition of the privilege and franchise granted pursuant to Section 2.01 of this Ordinance, shall be deemed to have agreed to indemnify and hold harmless the County from any and all liability, loss, cost, damage, or expense which may accrue to the County by reason of negligent, default or misconduct of the Electric Utilities in the construction, location, or relocation or operation and maintenance of its Electrical Facilities in or within the County Rights-of-Way.
SECTION 2.06. ELECTRIC UTILITY PRIVILEGE FEE.
(A) Effective October 1, 1996, a one percent (1%) Electric Utility Privilege Fee shall apply to all revenues received by Central Florida Electric and Florida Power from the sale of electricity to residential, commercial, and industrial customers within the unincorporated areas of the County. Payments of the Electric Utility Privilege Fee shall be made monthly to the County. Monthly payments shall be due and paid on or before the twentieth day of the month following receipts of revenues by Central Florida Electric and Florida Power for the previous calendar month.
(B) Commencing with the first day revenues are by New Electric Utilities, a one percent (1%) Electric Utility Privilege Fee shall apply to all revenues received by New Electric Utilities from the sale of electricity to residential, commercial, and industrial customers within the unincorporated areas of the County. Payment of the Electric Utility Privilege Fee shall be made monthly to the County. Monthly payments shall be due and payable on or before the twentieth day of the month following receipt of revenues by New Electric Utilities for the previous calendar month.
(C) Notwithstanding the foregoing, the Electric Utilities Privilege Fee shall not apply to Electric Utilities that conduct business or proprietary activity exclusively on property other than County Rights-of-Way.
SECTION 3.01. AUTHORITY. This Ordinance is adopted under the power of self government of counties not operating under a charter authorized under Article VIII, Section (1) (f), Florida Constitution and implemented in Section 125.01, Florida Statutes. The privilege and franchise awarded to the Electric Utilities under Section 2.01 of this Ordinance is pursuant to the power of self government to counties not operating under a county charter and not pursuant to the additional statutory authority of Section 126.42, Florida Statutes.
SECTION 3.02. NO VESTED RIGHTS GRANTED. The Electric Utilities shall not acquire any vested rights hereunder which would limit in any manner the County's right to amend, modify or revoke this Ordinance.
SECTION 3.03. EXAMINATION OF BOOKS AND RECORDS. The county may at its option and its expense and upon reasonable notice to the Electric Utilities, at any time within ninety (90) days after each anniversary date of the effective date of this Ordinance examine the records relate to the calculation of the Electric Utility Privilege Fee payment to the County, as provided herein. The examination of such books, accounts, or records, or other materials necessary for the determination of compliance with the terms, provisions, or requirements of this Ordinance shall be during regular hours of business of the Electric Utilities and at the corporate offices of the Electric Utilities.
SECTION 3.04. COLLECTION OF ELECTRIC UTILITY PRIVILEGE FEES FROM ELECTRIC CUSTOMERS. It is hereby legislatively declared that the Electric Utility Privilege Fee imposed by this Ordinance is the functional equivalent of a franchise fee within the contemplation of the Florida Public Service Commission Rule 25-6.100(7), Florida Administrative Code, and it is contemplated that the Electric Utility Privilege Fee shall be collected pursuant to such established administrative procedures.
SECTION 3.05. COUNTY'S USE OF ELECTRIC UTILITY PRIVILEGE FEE PROCEEDS. The County shall expend the proceeds of the Electric Utility Privilege Fee within its Fire Protection Service Program.
SECTION 3.06. SUPPLEMENTING ORDINANCE. This ordinance is supplemental to Gilchrist County Ordinance No. 95-11, which will automatically expire on September 30, 1996.
SECTION 3.07. SEVERABILITY. If any clause, section, or provision of this Ordinance shall be declared unconstitutional or invalid for any reason or cause other than the establishment of the Electric Utility Privilege Fee determined under this Ordinance, the remaining portion of said Ordinance shall be in full force and effect and be valid as if such invalid portion thereof had not been incorporated herein.
SECTION 3.08. INCLUSION IN CODE. It is the intention of the Board of County Commissioners, and it is hereby ordained that the provisions of this Ordinance shall become and be made a part of the Code of Gilchrist County, Florida. The sections of this Ordinance may be renumbered or relettered to accomplish such intention and the word "ordinance" may be changed to "section", "article" or other appropriate word.
SECTION 3.09. EFFECTIVE DATE. A certified copy of this Ordinance shall be filed with the Florida Department of State by the Board within ten (10) days after enactment. This Ordinance shall take effect upon filing with the Department.
DULY ENACTED in regular session, this 15th day of July, 1996.
BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
GILCHRIST COUNTY, FLORIDA
/s/Wilbur Bush, Chairman
/s/Jackie R. Barron, Clerk
Special Assessment Rates for Fiscal Year 1996-97:
The Board discussed the special assessment rates for the next fiscal year. Mr. Barron stated that the proposed budgets for Solid Waste and EMS contain the same rates that are currently in effect and both budgets are balanced. Following discussion, Commissioner Sheffield made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Cannon, to adopt the initial assessment rates for EMS and Solid Waste at the current levels, setting a public hearing for September 9, 1996, at 7:00 p.m. to adopt final rates. The motion carried unanimously.
There being no further business to discuss, a motion to adjourn at 8:50 p.m. was made by Commissioner Sheffield, seconded by Commissioner Cannon, and unanimously approved.
JACKIE R. BARRON, CLERK