MINUTES OF A REGULAR MEETING OF THE GILCHRIST COUNTY BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS HELD MAY 19, 1997.
The Gilchrist County Board of County Commissioners, in and for Gilchrist County, Florida, convened in a regular meeting on May 19, 1997, at 5:00 p.m., in the Commissioner's Meeting Room at the Courthouse in Trenton, Florida, with the following members present to-wit:
Sue B. Suggs, Chair
Other persons in attendance were: Joseph W. "Joe" Gilliam, Ex-Officio Clerk, Ted Burt, County Attorney, Sherree Pitzarell and Sam Ferguson, Deputy Clerks, Dick Edwards, CDBG grant administrator, Carrie Helton, SHIP participant, Danny Davis, EMS employee, Theron Hudson, Brian Lewis, county residents, Robert Moeller, Duncan Jones.
Minutes of the meeting held April 28, 1997 were unanimously approved, following a motion from Commissioner Wilkerson, which was seconded by Commissioner Bush.
W. W. Welch- Tax Collector:
Mr. Welch, Tax Collector, spoke to the Board about office renovations which would improve the communication between his staff and the customers. Since the installation of service windows at his office, his staff and the customers experience difficulty hearing one another. He is considering removing a portion of a wall to enable better visibility. He has received quotes for roll downs, similar to a garage door, that could be secured and locked from the inside and had submitted the bids to Mr. McQueen, however, he is not here today. It will cost about $1900 for the removal of the wall and the roll downs. Commissioner Bush made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Wilkerson, to approve the expense, up to $1900. The motion carried unanimously. Mr. Gilliam reported that there is about $4000 left in courthouse construction.
Dick Edwards- CDBG:
Mr. Edwards submitted quotes for the Covington and Osteen projects. According to Mr. Edwards, Ms. Covington needs a heating and air conditioning system, along with some rewiring work to accommodate the new systems. In addition, her hot water heater needs some new plumbing. Donle Enterprises is the low bidder for Covington and Osteen. Commissioner Sheffield made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Durden, to award the bid to Donle Enterprises. Commissioners Bush and Wilkerson voted in favor of the motion and Chairman Suggs voted in opposition. Mr. Edwards reported that Randy Smith can install a 4" well for about $1350 for the Beach family. It is Mr. Edward's opinion that since the well he drilled on the Varieka property was less than 100 feet from the Beach well, the drilling could have caused the Beach well to collapse. Mr. Burt suggested that the Board have the Suwannee River Water Management District and/or an engineer make the determination as to what caused the well to collapse. Mr. Edwards stated that there was a meeting with Mr. Dull, CDBG recipient, the contractor, the building inspector and Ms. Collis, CDBG task force member, to try to resolve the complaints Mr. Dull has about the work he received through the CDBG program. There followed discussion regarding the well problems at the Dulls between the Board and Mr. Edwards. Commissioner Sheffield made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Durden to approve the changes recommended for Mr. Dull. The motion carried unanimously.
Mr. Burt reported that Jimmy Shepherd's term on the Board of Adjustment expired April 19, 1997. According to Mr. Burt, Mr. Shepherd is willing to continue serving at least on an interim basis. Commissioner Bush made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Wilkerson to reappoint Mr. Shepherd on an interim basis, and advertise for the vacancy, after consultation with Mr. Pelham regarding proper procedure. Commissioner Durden asked if it is the Board's policy to advertise vacancies. Mr. Burt stated that he has not spoken to Mr. Pelham about this procedure. There followed discussion among Board members about this being the first notification that Mr. Shepherd's term expired. The motion carried unanimously.
Mr. Burt stated that he received notification from Mid-Florida Mortgage that Bobby Lee and Carrie Helton have been approved for a first mortgage in the amount of $42,340.00. They are requesting that the county subordinate the existing SHIP mortgage. The current balance of the SHIP mortgage is $16,687.50 and the appraised value of the home is $42,000.00. Ms. Pitzarell, Deputy Clerk, stated that she called Mid-Florida Mortgage for more information on the request and was advised by Mr. Wade that the mortgage amount quoted on the letter to Mr. Burt was incorrect. According to Mr. Rodney Wade, loan officer, the Heltons are borrowing $32,316.00. It is their intention to pay off the first mortgage held by Farmers & Merchants Bank and consolidate some bills. Commissioner Wilkerson made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Bush, to subordinate the SHIP mortgage with Mid-Florida. The motion carried unanimously.
Mr. Burt said he understood that some Board members have been contacted by Mr. Chope, who filed a case against the county several years ago. The attorney representing the county in this case is Bruce Bowman, and he asks that any future contact be referred to him.
Greenways Project- Robert Moeller:
Mr. Moeller appeared before the Board to discuss the Greenways Project, reminding the Board that they adopted a resolution in support of the project in 1995. Historically, the greenways have encouraged recreational development and recreational opportunities in the areas they serve. The St. Marks trail near Tallahassee has anywhere from 300-400 people per day, per weekend on the trail and they spend about $11 per day. Trenton will be the beginning point for people coming from the east and the railroad station here in the heart of town offers an excellent access point. In addition to the resolution of support adopted by the Gilchrist County Commission, the project has generated 21 additional resolutions passed since 1995. Those resolutions were supporting the acquisition of the CSX railroad by the state, which was completed in February 1997. The trail will be a 10 to 12 foot wide path of asphalt from here to Fanning Springs. From there the trail will cross the Suwannee River and continue to Cross City. In addition, in Fanning Springs, the trail will also lead to Chiefland. Mr. Moeller stated that he understands that the three counties have no funds in their budgets to develop this trail, however, ISTEA funding from DOT is an available funding source. ISTEA funds are federal funds channeled through the state to the districts to counties. These funds can not be used to pave streets but they can be used for sidewalks, greenways, public restroom, etc. The greenways committee requests that Gilchrist County join the other counties and declare this project as their number one priority ISTEA project. If the three counties can show unified support, the chances of receiving ISTEA funds are greater. In addition, the greenway committee requests that the three counties approve renaming the project to the Nature Coast Greenways. The Suwannee River Water Management District is willing to apply for the ISTEA grant and will do the engineering services required upfront, at no charge. If we have our plans in place, and are ready to begin, the grant application will be viewed more favorably by DOT. If the project is granted only partial funding, the contract with SRWMD stated they must come back before the Boards to determine what portion of the project will be funded by the grant. The contract also states that there is a Nature Coast Coordinating Greenway Committee, consisting of one commissioner and one concerned citizen from each county and they will meet with the SRWMD. The contract calls for each county to provide the limerock base for the project. It appears as though it will probably be 18 months before the construction can begin. The Board expressed concern about how the greenway will be maintained once completed. According to Mr. Moeller, a resolution requests the State Department of Recreation and Parks to manage the greenway, and asks the legislature to support the positions through legislative funding. The counties will be expected to periodically mow along the greenway and patch potholes. There may also be some limerock grading maintenance required, where the greenway crosses a graded road. It is also anticipated that the counties will commit county and state inmates to pick up trash and provide garbage cans. Chairman Suggs stated that Mr. Burt has requested that Mr. Pelham review this proposal since it is a land use project. Mr. Moeller informed the Board that they have a deadline of 6-13-97 to apply for ISTEA funds. Commissioners Suggs and Sheffield expressed concern about being able to provide rock, since the county is currently in need of another source for rock. Mr. Moeller stated that ISTEA funds can be used to purchase limerock. Mr. Scarborough, Executive Director of the Suwannee River Water Management District, stated that the Nature Coast Greenway is one of the major greenways the SRWMD would like to be established by the year 2000. Mr. Scarborough added that the Water Management District is committed to lobbying the legislature for funding for maintenance. Fanning Springs Mayor Carol McQueen spoke in favor of the project, stating that the entire city council is present tonight asking for support. Several other citizens spoke in favor of the greenways project, urging the Board to participate. Following discussion, Commissioner Bush made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Sheffield, to adopt an interlocal agreement and authorizing the chairman to execute the interlocal agreement, by resolution. The motion carried unanimously.
RESOLUTION ADOPTING INTERLOCAL AGREEMENT RELATING TO
NATURE COAST GREENWAY AND RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING
CHAIRMAN OF GILCHRIST COUNTY COMMISSION TO EXECUTE
WHEREAS, on June 13, 1995, the Gilchrist County Commission did adopt a Resolution calling upon the Florida State Department of Greenways and Trails and all other involved agencies to commit sufficient manpower and resources to acquire that certain abandoned railway owned by CSX and now called the "Nature Coast Greenway", and
WHEREAS, the State of Florida has now acquired ownership for said "Nature Coast Greenway", and
WHEREAS, the construction of a paved recreational pathway will provide recreational opportunities to the people of Gilchrist County and will also provide economic stimulus to businesses in this area, and
WHEREAS, the only presently existing funds to pay for the recreational pathway are available through a Federal "Intermodel Surface Transportation Efficiency Act (I.S.T.E.A. funds)", and
WHEREAS, the aforesaid I.S.T.E.A. funds are annually made available to Gilchrist, Dixie, and Levy counties, Florida through the Florida Department of Transportation, and
WHEREAS, interlocal coordination of funding and construction efforts between Gilchrist, Dixie, and Levy counties promote a more rapid, efficient, and economical construction of the aforesaid recreational pathway, and
WHEREAS, cooperation with the Suwannee River Water Management District will allow the counties to obtain at no cost consulting and engineering services necessary to construct the Greenway;
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Gilchrist County Board of County Commissioners as follows:
1. The proposed "Interlocal Agreement" by and between the Gilchrist County Board of County Commissioners, the Dixie County Board of County Commissioners, and the Levy County Board of County Commissioners, and the Suwannee River Water Management District is hereby approved. A true copy of said Interlocal Agreement is attached hereto and marked "Exhibit A".
2. The Chairman of the Gilchrist County Board of County Commissioners and Clerk of the Gilchrist County Board of Commissioners are hereby authorized to execute said Interlocal Agreement on behalf of Gilchrist County, Florida.
ADOPTED by the Gilchrist County Board of County Commissioners, this 19th day of May, 1997.
BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
ATTEST: GILCHRIST COUNTY, FLORIDA:
/s/Joseph W. Gilliam, Clerk /s/Sue B. Suggs, Chair
Commissioner Wilkerson made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Durden, to request that the Nature Coast Greenway become a part of the Florida Parks System, by resolution. The motion carried unanimously.
JOINT RESOLUTION REQUESTING THAT THE NATURE COAST GREEN-
WAY BECOME PART OF THE FLORIDA PARKS SYSTEM AND JOINT
RESOLUTION PROVIDING IN-KIND ASSISTANCE.
WHEREAS, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection acting through the Florida Department of Greenways and Trails has acquired ownership, on behalf of the State of Florida, the approximate thirty-one (31) mile abandoned rail corridor running between the towns of Cross City, Chiefland, and Trenton; and
WHEREAS, the Nature Coast Greenway passes Fanning Springs State Park, now operated by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and the Florida Division of "Recreation and Parks" (hereinafter referred to as "Parks and Recreation") at a location which is central to the entire Greenway; and
WHEREAS, the Nature Coast Greenway terminates in Chiefland, Florida at a location which would permit easy future connection to Manatee Springs State Park which is also operated and maintained by "Recreation and Parks"; and
WHEREAS, the Nature Coast Greenway traverses a portion of the Suwannee River Valley, which is unsurpassed in natural beauty; and
WHEREAS, the Nature Coast Greenway is likely to attract substantial numbers of visitors from throughout the State of Florida and this nation; and
WHEREAS, the rural population and limited tax base of Dixie, Levy, and Gilchrist counties make it impossible to fund full time management and to assume complete responsibility for the Greenway; and
WHEREAS, the said counties nevertheless desire to render all feasible aid to the construction and maintenance of the Greenway;
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the County Commissions of Dixie, Levy and Gilchrist counties as follows:
1. The aforesaid counties hereby jointly request that "Recreation and Parks", the Florida State Legislature, the Florida State Cabinet, and all other concerned state agencies take all reasonable and necessary steps to make the Nature Coast Greenway a part of the Florida State Park system under the supervision of the "Recreation and Parks".
2. The aforesaid counties call upon the Legislature and the Florida Cabinet to provide to the "Recreation and Parks" sufficient funding to increase staff for management of the Greenway and to provide additional funds for improvements and maintenance of the Greenway.
3. The aforesaid counties further recognizing that the project is deserving of support, and the aforesaid counties represent that they will provide the following "in kind services" in relation to the Greenway:
a. The counties, concurrent with the adoption of this Resolution, have agreed to jointly apply through the Suwannee River Water Management District for grant funds under the "Federal Intermodel Surface Transportation Efficiency Act" (I.S.T.E.A.) and to prioritize the expenditure of local I.S.T.E.A. funds for the construction of the Greenway. A true and correct copy of the Interlocal Agreement is attached hereto and marked "Exhibit A".
b. The said Interlocal Agreement further provides that the counties will supply materials, equipment, and manpower for the clearing of the recreational path.
c. The attached Interlocal Agreement further provides that the aforesaid counties will provide the necessary limerock base for the recreational pathway to be constructed on the Greenway.
d. Upon completion of the planned recreational pathway upon the Nature Coast Greenway the aforesaid counties represent that they will enter into an Interagency Agreement with the Florida State Department of "Recreation and Parks" to assist said agencies in the management and maintenance of the Greenway by assisting in providing the following in-kind services:
(1) By providing in-house personnel and equipment to periodically mow portions of the Greenway.
(2) By providing in-house equipment and manpower to perform routine maintenance of the recreational pathway such as pothole patching, grading and limerock addition.
(3) By committing county and available state inmate work crews to the Greenway for purposes of litter and trash control.
(4) To provide for garbage pickup from designated garbage deposit sites along the Greenway without charge to the State.
(5) To promote the formation and continued existence of local citizen support groups and further assist in the management and maintenance of the Greenway.
(6) To encourage local law enforcement to provide for routine patrol and surveillance of the Greenway.
ADOPTED by the Gilchrist County Board of County Commissioners after reading in full on this 19th day of May, 1997, by Sue Suggs, Chairman of the Gilchrist County Board of County Commissioners.
BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
ATTEST: GILCHRIST COUNTY, FLORIDA:
/s/Joseph W. Gilliam, Clerk /s/Sue B. Suggs, Chair
Denise Jackson- Tri County Foster Parents Association:
Ms. Jackson introduced herself to the Board, advising that within the Tri-County Foster Parents Association, each county has a chapter. Ms. Jackson services as the vice-president of the Gilchrist Chapter, and they are seeking permission to use Hart Springs one day each month free, during the three months of summer. In return, their members are willing to pick up trash along the road in that area. There are currently 22 foster homes in Gilchrist County. Commissioner Wilkerson made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Bush to waive the entrance fee one day per month for the three months of summer for the Gilchrist County Foster Parent Picnic Day, in exchange for their cleaning along the road. The motion carried unanimously and the Board referred her to Mr. McQueen for participating in the Adopt-A-Road program.
Chairman Suggs stated that she received a request for her signature for participation in the anti-drug abuse grant program, from the Sheriff's office. Commissioner Sheffield made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Durden, to authorize the Chairman to sign the necessary documents to participate in the anti-drug abuse grant program. The motion passed unanimously.
Mr. Brian Lewis, American Legion, asked the Board about the recent turkey shoot held at the firing range, which was sponsored by the Bell Boys and Girls Athletic Association. Mr. Lewis stated that it was his understanding that the firing range property and building could only be used for law enforcement purposes, and a turkey shoot is clearly not a law enforcement activity. Several Board members stated they would like an explanation, as they too were under the impression that the facility could only be used for law enforcement. Commissioner Durden stated that there were some law enforcement activities going on in conjunction with the turkey shoot. The Board asked the Clerk to invite the Sheriff to the next Board meeting for an explanation.
Commissioner Bush stated that there is a rough area on 40th Street and the Board previously agreed to place some material on that road. However, two loads have been placed on it and the problem still exists. Commissioner Durden stated that he will check on the situation and report back to the Board.
The Florida Crown Regional Workforce Development Board of Directors has a vacancy for a county commissioner. They are currently accepting nominations. Commissioner Wilkerson made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Sheffield, to nominate Commissioner Bush. The motion carried unanimously.
Chairman Suggs stated that the Clerk's office is in the process of assisting the Board to secure a credit card for the Board's travel. This would eliminate the problem of charging rooms on personal credit cards, which would be subject to tax.
Chairman Suggs stated that a conference entitled "State of the Land and Water" is scheduled at the end of next week and announced that she and Commissioner Durden are attending. Commissioner Durden stated that he will not be able to attend and Chairman Suggs urged other Board members to attend. Mr. Gilliam stated that he would try to attend after the other Board members expressed that they could not. Commissioner Durden made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Sheffield, to approve travel expenses for two people to attend the conference. The motion carried unanimously.
The FAC annual summer conference is scheduled for the last week of June in Ft. Lauderdale. Commissioners Durden and Suggs expressed an interest in attending. Commissioner Sheffield stated that he may be able to attend a portion of the conference. Commissioner Bush made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Sheffield, to approve travel expenses for three people to attend the conference. The motion carried unanimously.
Mr. Gilliam spoke to Mr. Pelham about scheduling a workshop with Chambers Waste. Mr. Pelham suggests the 4th, 5th or 10th of June, with the 10th as his first choice. Commissioner Durden made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Wilkerson, to hold a workshop on June 10th from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. The motion carried unanimously.
The Board unanimously agreed to divide and pay Mr. Pelham's fees 60% from general revenue and 40% from solid waste, following a motion from Commissioner Durden, which was seconded by Commissioner Bush.
Commissioner Sheffield made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Durden to transfer $4300 from general MIS line item to professional services line item to pay the special attorney fees. The motion carried unanimously.
The Board agreed to transfer $3200 from general fund reserve to the accounting line item, to pay for the two stub audits performed for the Clerk and Sheriff, following a motion from Commissioner Wilkerson, which was seconded by Commissioner Bush.
Chairman Suggs stated that she and Mr. Gilliam met with Mr. McQueen Friday afternoon regarding some purchase orders that she questioned. They discussed lowering the amount that each department head can spend without Board approval and agreed that $500 would be adequate. Since commissioners have recently been assigned to department committees, it is their suggestion that anything over $500 would require the approval of the department committee, which consists of the department head, county coordinator, and one county commissioner. Anything over $2000 will require the prior approval of the full Board. Commissioner Durden stated that he does not believe Mr. McQueen should be making purchases for the road department, or any other department without the department head's knowledge. Mr. Ferguson, deputy clerk, asked if the $500 limit is for each purchase order or each item. Following discussion, Commissioner Durden made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Wilkerson to adopt the following purchasing policy: effectively immediately, department heads may make purchases up to $500 per item, without departmental committee approval; any item over $500 requires the prior approval of the departmental committee; any item over $2000 requires the prior approval of the full Board; and no purchase orders will be issued without the department head's approval. The motion carried unanimously. There followed discussion regarding Mr. McQueen's authority and Commissioner Sheffield asked that this topic be placed on the agenda at the June 2nd meeting, since Mr. McQueen is not present today.
There followed discussion, initiated by Mr. Burt, regarding the Board's appointment of Jimmy Shepherd to the Zoning Board and the Board of Adjustment, and the need to reaffirm the members of the Planning and Zoning Board as the Board of Adjustment. According to Mr. Burt, the appointment of Mr. Shepherd would need to be done by resolution, in accordance with the county's Land Development Regulations. The appointment would be for a three year period of time. Chairman Suggs stated that the Board appointed Mr. Shepherd to serve on an interim basis until the position could be advertised and filled, earlier today. She asked how the Board could advertise for a vacancy if they reappoint Mr. Shepherd by resolution, to a three year term. Mr. Burt replied that he could be appointed and serve until the Board reviewed its policy and he could be terminated if the Board desired, following policy review. Commissioner Durden stated that he does not feel comfortable with the Board's appointment earlier this evening, appointing Mr. Shepherd to continue serving on the Zoning Board and Board of Adjustment on an interim term, since the term expired 4-19-97 and the vacancy was not advertised. Commissioner Durden added that he would rather see the position vacant and the Board of Adjustment convene as a four member board. Commissioner Durden made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Sheffield, to leave the Board of Adjustment as a four member board and advertise the vacancy upon completion of the review of requirements. Commissioners Bush and Wilkerson voted in opposition of the motion and Chairman Suggs voted in favor of the motion. The motion passed by split vote.
Following discussion, Commissioner Durden made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Wilkerson, to reaffirm the membership of the Board of Adjustment, by resolution. The motion carried unanimously.
A RESOLUTION OF THE GILCHRIST COUNTY BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS CONFIRMING MEMBERSHIP OF THE BOARD OF ADJUSTMENT.
WHEREAS, the County has adopted Land Development Regulations pursuant to the Local Government Comprehensive Planning and Land Development Regulation Act; and
WHEREAS, the Land Development Regulations adopted by the County requires the appointment of members of the Planning and Zoning Board, and appointment of members of the Board of Adjustment;
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OF GILCHRIST COUNTY, FLORIDA, that the members of the Planning and Zoning Board are hereby confirmed as being members of the Board of Adjustment as provided by previous resolutions.
RESOLVED this 19th day of May, 1997.
BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
ATTEST: GILCHRIST COUNTY, FLORIDA:
/s/Joseph W. Gilliam, Clerk /s/Sue B. Suggs, Chair
There being no further business to discuss, Commissioner Sheffield made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Durden, to adjourn at 8:55 p.m. The motion carried unanimously.
SUE B. SUGGS, CHAIR
JOSEPH W. GILLIAM, CLERK