The Gilchrist County Board of County Commissioners, in and for Gilchrist County, Florida, convened in a regular meeting on September 8, 1997, at 9:00 a.m., in the Commissioner's Meeting Room at the Courthouse in Trenton, Florida, with the following members present to-wit:

Sue B. Suggs, Chair

Wilbur Bush

Jimmie Sheffield

Randy Durden

Fred Wilkerson

Other persons in attendance were: Joseph W. Gilliam, Clerk of Circuit Court, Sam Mutch, County Attorney, Sherree Pitzarell, Deputy Clerk, Ted Burt, Attorney, Sybil Downing and John Hadden, Three Rivers Regional Library, Beth Latner, Administrative Assistant, Marianne Bennick, Guardian Ad Litem Program, Ed Philman, County Judge, Pat Callahan, Court Administrator's Office, Carl Rehberg, Building Inspector, Warren Emmenecker, Animal Control Committee, Jeff Jordan, county resident

Approval of Minutes:

Minutes of the meetings held August 4th, August 7th and August 14th were unanimously approved, following a motion from Commissioner Wilkerson, which was seconded by Commissioner Bush.

Ted Burt:

There is a foreclosure against the county, against our note. The county is owed about a $1000. The sale is set for Foreclosure on September 22nd. The original mortgage is for about $25,000. The county holds special assessment liens. The Board indicated they were not interested in participating in the foreclosure.

Ted is representing Kenneth & Essie Jordan and they built their house on two lots (lots 3 and 4) at Lancaster Estates. Because the house is built over the easement that shows up on the plat between those two lots, and we are asking the county to release that easement, so they do not have a title problem. This is a public utility easement. There was never any intention to build a road there. Commissioner Wilkerson made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Bush to release the easement. The motion carried unanimously.

Bills & Journal Entries:

Commissioner Durden made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Wilkerson, to approve the bills as presented, as well as journal entries 97137, 97140-97141, 97143-97144, and 97148-97151. The motion carried unanimously.

The Court Administrator's Office sent a request for a server to hook into our network system so that they can communicate our judge and the state attorney's office. The cost is $2022.00 and there are funds in the judge's budget which can be transferred to make payment. The Board advised Mr. Gilliam that they did not have a problem with the request, provided there are funds available in the budget.

Attorney's Report:

An RFP was prepared for architectural & engineering services for the jail complex and it will be advertised next week.

Drive-way Permit Ordinance: Levy County sent their material to Mr. Mutch and he has prepared an ordinance based on that information. He would like Commissioner Sheffield to review the proposed ordinance. The ordinance establishes fees and other parameters such as how to construct a drive-way, the number of cuts per linear lot, variance procedure in hardship cases, penalties, etc.

In response to the Board's request to research whether or not recycling funds can be used for a recreational facility, Mr. Mutch has not found anything in the statutes or codes which would prohibit such a use. The funds collected from the sale of recyclables, could be placed into the general fund and expended or could be placed in fund by resolution.

Travel expenses for commissioners is covered under two sections of the Florida Statutes, Chapter 112.061 and 145.121. Under 112.061, authority is given to use general funds for travel expenses for officers and employees. It does provide that if you use your private vehicle for travel, you are entitled to reimbursement at .29 per mile. The agency head (the BCC) may grant monthly allowances in fixed amounts for the use of privately owned vehicles on official business in lieu of millage. Such allowance may be changed at any time, and made on the basis of a signed statement from the traveler, filed before the allowance is granted or changed and at least annually thereafter. The statement shall show the places and distances for an average typical month's travel on official business and the amount that would be allowed under the approval rate per mile for the travel shown in the statement. In order to increase the travel amount from $125 per month to $200 per month, the Board members would have to submit a month's statement, showing what the average travel is per month, and it would have to be over $200. If travel for that month is less than $200, you could average it over a period of several months. This applies only to in-county travel. Mr. Mutch suggests setting a policy for in-county travel. The statutes also provide that the chair can be paid an additional $50 per month for expenses related to that position. For IRS purposes, in order that for these funds to not be counted as income, the board members have to actually track those miles to show they are being reimbursed. Mr. Mutch recommends that Board members keep a record of their mileage, regardless of the amount they would like to be reimbursed. Commissioner Durden made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Sheffield, to authorize Mr. Mutch to prepare a resolution, increasing the Board members travel and per diem reimbursement to $200 per month, effective October 1st, stipulating that Board members are to keep track of their expenses through the 30th of September. The motion carried unanimously. Mr. Mutch stated that he would prepare a resolution for the next meeting.

The Salvation Army has submitted a contract for providing offender supervision services within the county. Judge Philman sent the contract to Judge Cates for approval. Mr. Mutch has prepared a motion which would allow the Chair and the Clerk the contract. Commissioner Durden made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Wilkerson, to adopt the contract, by resolution and authorize the Chair and Clerk to execute the contract once it is returned from Judge Cates. The motion carried unanimously. A copy of resolution 97-52 is on file in the Clerk's Office.

Alachua County has approved the interlocal agreement for the collection of hazardous materials in Gilchrist County.

Mr. Mutch reported that he is still working on the Animal Control ordinance with the Sheriff. Commissioner Sheffield stated that at the last Animal Control Committee meeting, they changed the holding period from three days to ten days to allow the owner of the animal more time to locate it.

Following a brief review of the proposed drive-way ordinance, Commissioner Sheffield asked Mr. Mutch if the ordinance addresses existing drive-ways. Commissioner Sheffield is concerned about people purchasing building permits that already have existing drive-ways. He does not feel those people should have to pay for the drive-way permit fee since they already have a drive-way. He also asked if there is a provision for drive-ways on private roads, because the drive-way permits, once purchased and constructed, provides that the county will maintain that drive-way if it is built to county specifications. Since the county does not maintain private roads, they would not maintain drive-ways on private roads. Mr. Mutch stated that the ordinance addresses new drive-ways only, not existing drive-ways. This proposed ordinance only requires drive-way permits where the drive-way will join a county or state road.

Jeff Jordan:

Mr. Jeff Jordan spoke to the Board about a potential safety hazard on Southwest 32th place. According to Mr. Jordan, the school bus makes a pick-up and drop off there near that corner and the growth on both sides needs to be cut back. The bus driver can not see around the growth and a limber is not going to do the job. Most of the growth is on private property. Commissioner Durden stated that he would talk to Mr. Martin, Road Superintendent about trimming and clearing out the corner.

Clerk's Report:

Mr. Gilliam reported that Mr. Langford checked on Rodney Tompkins special assessments. He is being charged with three residential units and one medium commercial unit for his milking barn. By the current guidelines, he is being charged correctly. The Board agreed that the assessment should stay as it is currently being assessed.

Mr. Gilliam reported that Chairman Suggs submitted phone bills for reimbursement, dating from February through July. It is his understanding that the Board took action on expense reimbursement about two years ago, however, he has not found that discussion in the minutes. Mr. Gilliam stated that he is bringing this before the Board for their approval. At one time, the Board members used calling cards but since the county switched to the Essex phone system, the calling cards have not worked. The Board took no action on reimbursing the Chair for the calls, however, they asked the Clerk to check into getting a phone card that will work with the current phone system.

After consultation with the payroll clerk, Mr. Gilliam advised the Board that their travel is not included in their payroll, nor is it reported on 1099's.

Following discussion, the Board agreed to send Ms. Latner to a wage and hour law workshop scheduled for September 25th.

Spring Ridge Fire Department reported that they have not spent all their budget for this fiscal year and would like to carry-over any unspent funds into the next fiscal year. They are anticipating some special needs next fiscal year. Commissioner Durden made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Sheffield, to approve their request. The motion carried unanimously.

Commissioner Sheffield asked Mr. Mutch about the procedure for increasing franchise fees. Mr. Mutch stated that he will check to see if there is a timeframe that the Board must adhere to in order to consider raising the fees.

The following SHIP loans were submitted for the Board's consideration:

Theresa Gee $17,500 Purchase/rehab

Eugene Harrington $22,500 Rehab only

Annette Bagby $17,500 New construction

Mike Sauls $17,500 New construction

Commissioner Wilkerson made a motion to approve the loans. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Durden and unanimously approved.

Mr. Gilliam submitted a report for the reimbursement of special assessment hardship exemptions. Any hardship exemptions granted requires general revenue fund to pay those exemptions to solid waste and EMS. In addition to the hardship exemptions, other exemptions were listed as well, however, they do not require reimbursement from general revenue. Commissioner Durden asked Mr. Mutch if a person can be billed for an exemption granted in error. Mr. Mutch replied that the Board can take action to require exemptions to be billed. The Board agreed to speak to Mr. Langford, Deputy Tax Collector, after lunch before taking action on this report.

Commissioner Wilkerson made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Durden, to adopt a resolution requesting the Suwannee River Water Management District to reduce their permit fees to the county. The motion carried unanimously. A copy of resolution 97-53 is on file in the Clerk's Office.

The Board discussed the cost of printing the minutes in the Gilchrist County Journal. According to Mr. Mutch, there is no requirement that the minutes be published in a newspaper and Gilchrist County may be the only county in the state that still publishes the minutes. The cost to publish the minutes is $250 per month and several Board members expressed that those funds could be used for other purposes. Commissioner Durden made a motion to discontinue publishing the minutes. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Bush, and approved by split vote, with Chairman Suggs being the only member to cast a nay vote. The motion carried. The Board agreed to send a letter of explanation to the editor.

Chairman Suggs reported on the water conference she and Mr. McQueen attended recently. Chairman Suggs stated that it is very important for area counties to be involved and aware of the push by south Florida counties to pipe local water to other areas of the state. One state legislator attending the conference stated that if the northern counties were not willing to pipe water to the southern counties, he would campaign to discontinue certain funding for rural counties.

Commissioner Sheffield stated that he feels one representative from the county is adequate representation for workshops and conferences. He suggested that a commissioner or representative of the county tour the water bottling plant in Milesburg, Pennsylvania, since the company is going to build a water bottling plant in the county. The Board agreed that Commissioner Sheffield would be the appropriate representative, since the plant is going to be located in his district. Commissioner Durden made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Wilkerson, to authorize Commissioner Sheffield to tour the Milesburg plant. The motion carried unanimously. Commissioner Sheffield asked if there has been any progress on obtaining a grant for road improvements, which would assist the bottling plant in their transport operations. Chairman Suggs stated that she and Mr. McQueen are working on the grant and they met last week in Tallahassee. Suwannee County has withdrawn their application for a road enhancement grant and are sending a letter of support for Gilchrist's application.

EMA/County Coordinator's Report:

Ms. Latner presented the information Mr. McQueen prepared for the Board in his absence.

Mr. McQueen recommended approval of the Santa Fe Bend subdivision, with the stipulation that it show the 75 feet setback on the plat.

Mr. McQueen prepared a statement for the Board, expressing concern about the intent of the subdivider of Vargas Woods subdivision, to use his parent tract and create a private road. Mr. McQueen added that it is the developer's intent for the county to accept road maintenance, however, this is a private subdivision.

A holiday pay policy was prepared for the EMS department. The new policy would allow each full time paramedic and EMT to receive 8 hours straight time if they do not work the holiday. If they do work the holiday, they will receive one and a half times the regular rate, in addition to the 8 hours straight pay. Following discussion, Commissioner Durden made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Bush, to approve the policy. The motion carried unanimously.

The grant agreement for Mr. McQueen's position was submitted to the Board for approval. The total grant is $101,936.00, less $6000 for the cost of the state-wide satellite. Commissioner Durden made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Bush to approve the grant agreement. The motion carried unanimously.

Pat Callahan & Judge Philman:

Mr. Callahan, Court Administrator's Office, presented their fiscal plan for 1997-98. Mr. Callahan reported that recent legislative changes established an Article V Trust Fund. Of the total trust fund, 25% has been dedicated to small counties. Beginning in July 1998, counties should be receiving funds.

Mr. Gilliam stated that there has been some discussion regarding the air handling system in the courthouse, specifically in the Judge's office and the courtroom. Two companies have recently evaluated the building's system and submitted quotes for duct cleaning, outside air introduction, filtration, etc. ECT (Environmental Consulting & Technology, Inc.) submitted a quote of $4320. Ductbusters Indoor Pollution Control submitted a quote for $4110. Commissioner Wilkerson made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Bush to accept the quote submitted by Ductbusters, with the cost to be paid from courthouse operations repair and maintenance. The motion carried unanimously.

Three Rivers Regional Library- John Hadden:

Mr. Hadden distributed a Books By Mail catalogue and survey response from library patrons. The Books By Mail program began last April and there are over 300 books available, with an anticipated increase of 200 in 1998. Currently, there are over 600 households utilizing the program. Mr. Hadden reported that he would like to change the library hours. The new schedule, effective October 1, 1997, will allow the library to be open 40 hours per week. The library will be closed on Monday instead of Thursday. Each of the counties in the Three Rivers Regional Library system have expressed a desire to establish branch libraries in various locations. The regional library board has discussed a plan for each county, however, until such a plan is adopted, no other libraries will be established.

EMA/County Coordinator's Report (cont.):

A report was submitted from DOT indicating the number of paved and unpaved miles per county. Gilchrist County has 125.3 paved and 357.2 unpaved miles.

The Building Department report for the month of August indicates a total of 5 permits issued for new construction and 17 permits issued for mobile homes.

The Board reviewed a proposed fee increase for building permits. Following discussion, Commissioner Wilkerson made a motion to table action until the next meeting. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Durden and unanimously approved.

Clerk's Report (cont.):

Mr. Langford, Deputy Tax Collector, appeared before the Board to answer questions some Board members had regarding the exemptions he granted for special assessments. According to Mr. Langford, Michelle Barclay was assessed for two livable units, however, an old travel trailer on the property was not livable and was not connected to electric and water. The other unit was granted an exemption because Ms. Barclay qualified under the hardship criteria.

Mr. Langford approved a vacant commercial exemption for Jackie Barron on the building he owns directly west of the Farmers & Merchants Bank. Upon questioning, Mr. Langford stated that he granted the exemption because Mr. Barron was the assessment coordinator at the time he made application and stated that the building was vacant. It was later pointed out that the building was not vacant for the entire year and the exemption was granted in error. Commissioner Durden made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Wilkerson, to deny the exemption and bill Mr. Barron for the special assessments, totaling $170.38. The motion carried unanimously.

Commissioner Durden made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Sheffield, to approve the exemption report, and subsequent reimbursement from general to solid waste and EMS. The motion carried unanimously.

Ring Power:

Mr. Martin, Road Superintendent, was present, along with Mr. Jim Pelletier and Mr. Harry Davis, from Ring Power. In a previous Board meeting, the Board agreed to authorize the repairs of a bulldozer for approximately $14,000. Since that time, the costs have increased, due to unforseen problems. When Ring Power initially looked at the motor, it was still in the machine and they did not know that the camshaft was bad. In addition, the radiator is leaking. The total cost to repair the dozer has increased to $28,095 less $2000 for the trade in on the surplus machine. The parts and labor are warranted to six months. Following discussion, Commissioner Sheffield made a motion to authorize the repairs. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Bush and unanimously approved.

Mid-Florida Area Agency on Aging- Bill Whitley:

Mr. Bill Whitley, attorney for the Mid-Florida Area Agency on Aging, appeared before the Board on behalf of Mr. Dean LaFrenz, Executive Director of the Agency. Mr. Whitley reported that the Agency receives state and federal funds and services a 23 county area. The Agency is responsible for providing programs for senior citizens; they are an information referral service and contract local provider services and monitor those providers. When the Agency detects a problem, they initiate corrections. The Board of Directors for the Agency is comprised of volunteers and they meet on a quarterly basis. Beginning in January, they anticipate a more competitive basis for contracting services. Mr. Whitley reported that Gilchrist County currently has no representation on the Board of Directors and urged the Board to appoint someone to represent them. Chairman Suggs stated that the Board would inquire, and possibly place a notice in the local paper announcing the vacancy. Mr. Whitley stated that any nomination(s) submitted by the Board must be approved by their Board of Directors.

Suwannee River Economic Council- Frances Terry:

Ms. Terry, Executive Director of the Suwannee River Economic Council, reported that since their agency took over the services formerly provided by the Tri-County Council for Senior Citizens, there has been no gap in services and no programs have been dropped. They picked up the following programs: medicare waiver, home care for the elderly, community care for the elderly, the Alzheimers Disease Initiative Program, the congregate meals, home delivered meals, the three D programs, which provide lawn care, etc., and the transportation coordination program. Many of the employees formerly working for Tri-County Council for Senior Citizens have been employed through SREC.

Commissioner Sheffield reported that he is resigning from the SREC Board of Directors and a letter will be forthcoming. Chairman Suggs stated that she will accept the position on the Board until a replacement can be named.

Commissioner Sheffield stated that when Tri-County Council for Senior Citizens were providing services, a group that met in the Cruise Precinct building, maintained a small fund raised from the sale of quilts and crafts. These funds were deposited with the former director of TCCSC. Commissioner Sheffield asked if there was any problems with the group getting their money back. According to a bank representative, the signatures of Ms. Ellen Baier and Ms. Haddy Johnson are needed and then the funds can be transferred to another account. Mr. Whitley suggested that Commissioner Sheffield call Luther Beauchamp, the attorney for TCCSC.

Commissioner Sheffield stated that some participates at the meal sites were told they could not take anything inside the building nor can they take anything out. It is Commissioner Sheffield's understanding that TCCSC used the building from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. and he asked what jurisdiction SREC had over those buildings. Ms. Terry stated that SREC has no problem with groups in the building when they are not using it. The meals they provide must be consumed at the site.

Solid Waste and Road Departments:

The Solid Waste Department needs rock at the new manned site and the Road Department does not have enough to furnish them. They received an estimate from Limestone Products, in Newberry, which can provide the amount needed for $1300. Commissioner Wilkerson made a motion to purchase the rock from Limestone Products. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Bush, and unanimously approved.

Mr. Gilliam reported that Billy Rogers, Mayor of Trenton, would like to talk to the Board about the recycling program in the city. Originally he wanted to be here at 1:15, but he may not be able to make it. The county is currently providing the recycling containers for city residents, along with the recycling truck and the driver. The city is providing an employee to work on the truck for approximately 5 hours per week.

Constitutional Officers:

Susan Bryant, Supervisor of Election, submitted a request to transfer $2000 from her operating account to her capital outlay account. Commissioner Wilkerson made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Durden to approve the request. The motion carried unanimously.

Sheriff Turner reported that two of the four fans are hooked up and working in the jail facility. This caused the temperature to drop at least 4 degrees in the inmate area. It appears the other two fans will require repairs before they can be used. The new figures submitted for the proposed budget reflects the cuts requested by the Board; one correctional officer, $45,000 for the new vehicles and $5000 for the MIS director position. Mr. Gilliam stated that the Board directed him to eliminate two positions and two vehicles (which totaled about $90,000). When the Sheriff resubmitted his budget recently, they were off by about $21,600. Mr. Gilliam feels the difference is one position. He is funding the one position from the funds received from the School Board ($22,800). If the Board wants to amend or change their previous action, the general fund will be affected. Chairman Suggs stated that she understood he originally wanted three new positions and the Board cut two of them. The Board did not cut the School Resource Officer, but rather suggested that the School Board fund that position. The funds for the School Resource Officer is currently budgeted in general fund reserve. Sheriff Turner stated that Trenton City Commissioner Cloud Haley asked if the Sheriff's Department would assist the city with truck traffic from Lancaster Avenue. Sheriff Turner suggested that the request be made to the Board of County Commissioners. Commissioner Sheffield asked if the Sheriff has any interlocal agreements with the city. Sheriff Turner stated that he has a mutual aid agreement, which provides assistance to the city within the city limits, if needed. There is no agreement for housing city inmates or dispatch services. One city inmate medical bill was over $12,000. Sheriff Turner stated that he has outlined those services and submitted the information to Mr. Gilliam. Commissioner Durden made a motion to hold a meeting on October 2nd at 7:00 p.m. with the city of Trenton. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Wilkerson and unanimously approved.

Sheriff Turner reported that two corrections officers have received notice of a civil action suit. It is a federal action suit. He has sent copies to his attorney and the suit arises from circumstances related to the leaking roof during August through September 1995.

Commissioner Durden made a motion to move the $22,800 from general fund reserve to the Sheriff's budget. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Bush and unanimously approved. This will increase the total Law Enforcement budget to $690,532.

Public Hearing: Santa Fe Bend- Billy Woodington:

Mr. Woodington presented the final plat for Santa Fe Bend, with the revisions recommended by Mr. Mutch at the last Board meeting. The subdivision, consisting of six lots, encompasses a total of 70 acres and is considered a major subdivision. There followed discussion regarding the cul-de-sac. Commissioner Sheffield cautioned the Board about accepting a cul-de-sac because it can present problems for rescue vehicles and school buses. Commissioner Durden made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Wilkerson, to approve the final plat, with the removal of the cul-de-sac. The motion carried unanimously.

Public Hearing: Vargas Woods- John Lane:

Mr. John Lane presented the plat for Vargas Woods subdivision. Mr. Lane is the surveyor for the development. Chairman Suggs stated that it is her understanding that it is the developer's intent to use the easement along side this subdivision to access the subdivision, which is private subdivision. The four lots in the back are going to be private. Mr. Mutch stated that the Board could make it a provision that the roads are not going to be maintained. The front part of Vargas Woods subdivision is okay; the problem lies with the back section. Mr. Lane asked if the county would consider maintaining those roads in the future. Chairman Suggs stated that as long as that section is a private subdivision, the county would not maintain the roads. The county has a provision whereby the developer may post a bond for construction and maintenance of the roads for a period of five years, at which time, if the roads are up to county specifications, the county would maintain the roads. Mr. Lane stated that originally that was their intention. There were going to put the ten acre lots into a subdivision but they encountered a problem with the limitation on the maximum length of the cul-de-sac, which is 1320 feet. They have about 2000 feet of road going to a cul-de-sac. Mr. McQueen had suggested that the best way to resolve the problem would be to record the three five acre parcels in the front as a recorded subdivision and then develop the four ten acre parcels in the back and put the road in back to them because there are no restrictions on the length of road to the cul-de-sac. Chairman Suggs stated that is correct if it is to remain a private road, but if it's a road the county maintains then you have to meet our requirements, which would be exceeded with 2000 feet. Mr. Mutch stated that the developer has the option of changing the point of ingress and egress to the subdivision, since DOT will not allow them to put a road in where they had anticipated, because it is so close to another road. Commissioner Sheffield advised Mr. Land that the developer will abide by the restrictions and subdivision ordinance if he wants the subdivision approved. Following discussion, Commissioner Sheffield made a motion to deny approval of the plat as submitted. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Durden and unanimously approved.

EMA/County Coordinator's Report (cont.):

The Board discussed the need to appoint a committee to evaluate CDBG consultant & engineering proposals. It was agreed that Chairman Suggs, Mr. Gilliam and Mr. McQueen would serve as the evaluating committee.

Old Business:

Commissioner Bush stated that someone told him that Jimmy Sheppard had some property which may have limerock available. Commissioner Durden stated that he would contact Mr. Sheppard. According to Commissioner Durden, the last time he spoke to Mr. Sheppard, he was advised that he had been offered a price for rock, which in Commissioner Durden's opinion was too high.

Animal Control:

Commissioner Sheffield and Sheriff Turner led discussion regarding a proposed Animal Control program. Mr. Emmenecker, member of the Animal Control Committee was also present. Commissioner Sheffield presented some information on costs involved with the program. The cities of Chiefland and Fanning Springs have entered into an agreement to rent dog pens, which are available for $10.00 per pen per month. There are currently 10 pens available and it is anticipated that four will be sufficient. The cities of Fanning and Chiefland pay a person to water and feed the animals on a daily basis, which cost $50 per week, for a total of $2600 per year. The feed would have to be furnished and the cost is estimated to be $520 per year. If the animal is not claimed by a certain number of days, it will be picked up by Levy County, and they charge $25 per animal for disposal. The estimated cost of disposal per year is $2500. There will be veterinarian costs occasionally. The total cost of the program for the first year is estimated to cost $10,000. The cost to pick up the animals is $25 per animal (based on the person Levy County is using). However, since this falls under the Sheriff's jurisdiction, he may want to provide someone to pick the animals up. Sheriff Turner stated that his officers are already responding to these type of calls, however, he needs an ordinance, which would support his efforts. Commissioner Sheffield stated that there are several people in the county involved in researching grants for an animal control program. The Board discussed whether or not the Town of Bell would be interested in participating in the program and if so, how much they would be willing to fund. The cities of Fanning Springs and Trenton have their own programs. Commissioner Durden made a motion to fund 85% ($8500) of the total cost of the program. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Bush and unanimously approved. Mr. Mutch would like to review the section of the proposed ordinance regarding the fines and penalties before advertising for a public hearing. The Board indicated that this program will fall under the County Coordinator's department and funding will come from the reserve.

Clerk's Report (cont.):

A second party has contacted Mr. Gilliam about purchasing the tower north of Bell. There is currently no radio equipment on the tower at this time. Pinnacle Towers would like to bid on the tower if the Board is interested in selling. Commissioner Durden made a motion to advertise for sealed bids for purchasing or leasing the tower. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Wilkerson, and unanimously approved.

Mr. Gilliam spoke to the Board about the continuing need for a MIS Director. He has met with the constitutional officers and they have agreed to commit some of their budget to help fund the position: Sheriff @ $5000, Property Appraiser @ $5000, Tax Collector @ $2000 and the Clerk @ $13,000. In addition, there is about $10,000 throughout the Board's budgets which has been ear-marked for MIS Director services. A total of $35,000 could be made available to fund the position with fringe benefits. Commissioner Durden made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Wilkerson, to advertise for the position. The motion carried unanimously.

Public Hearing- Tentative Budget:

Mr. Gilliam announced that the tentative budget before the Board is result of several workshops that have been held and all funds are balanced. The total of all budgets combined is $9,407,171 for fiscal year 1997-98. There has been no increase in the millage rates. There will be an increase in ad valorem taxes collected due to population growth and property improvements, which were assessed by the Property Appraiser. Mr. Garitt Vanthul spoke to the Board about his property taxes, which increased over $2500. The Board advised Mr. Vanthul that they do not determine property values, but rather the Property Appraiser makes that determination. It a property owner is not satisfied with the Appraiser's assessment, he may petition the Value Adjustment Board. Several other residents voiced similar complaints about their property taxes. One resident stated that he owns property in Dixie County and he received a statement explaining how the property was assessed and why there was an increase. He added that the explanation satisfied any questions he had. Commissioner Wilkerson made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Durden, to adopt a general millage rate of ten mills, by resolution 97-54. The motion carried unanimously and a copy of resolution is on file in the Clerk's Office.

Mr. Mutch announced that the tentative millage under consideration for MSTU (fire services) is .50 mills, which is the same millage rate that has been in effect for many years. Commissioner Bush made a motion to adopt the tentative millage rate of .50 mills by resolution. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Wilkerson and unanimously approved. A copy of resolution 97-55 is on file in the Clerk's office.

Following discussion, the Board unanimously agreed to adopt a budget, by resolution 97-56, for all funds, except the MSTU (fire) fund, following a motion from Commissioner Bush, which was seconded by Commissioner Durden. A copy of the resolution is on file in the Clerk's office.

The Board adopted a tentative budget for the MSTU (fire) fund, by resolution 97-57, following a motion from Commissioner Wilkerson, which was seconded by Commissioner Durden. The motion carried unanimously.

Several residents in attendance complained about having to pay a special assessment for EMS and a bill for actually using the service. The amount collected from the billing for services is not sufficient to cover the cost of providing the service, therefore, the assessment is imposed on all improved parcels of property in the county. Following discussion, Commissioner Sheffield made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Durden, to adopt the annual rates for EMS special assessments by resolution 97-58. The motion carried unanimously and copy of the resolution is on file in the Clerk's Office.

Several residents in attendance complained about paying special assessments for solid waste, indicating that they do not feel they receive a benefit. The assessment is collected to pay for the disposal of solid waste generated in Gilchrist County, which is hauled to Alachua County. In addition, the assessment funds the required monitoring of the closed landfill, now used as a transfer station. The Chair explained that the assessment rates for EMS and solid waste are the same rates adopted in 1994. Following discussion, Commissioner Durden made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Wilkerson, to adopt the special assessment rates for solid waste, by resolution 97-59. The motion carried unanimously. A copy of the resolution is on file in the Clerk's office.

Trenton Mayor, Billy Rogers was in attendance and spoke to the Board about the interlocal recycling agreement between the city and the county. According to Mayor Rogers, providing a city employee on the recycling truck on Fridays causes their city maintenance crew to be short. Mayor Rogers suggested that the county use an inmate to assist the county driver on the recycling truck. Commissioner Bush stated that he would contact Lancaster Correctional and see if it is possible to use an inmate on the recycling truck.

There being no further business to discuss, Commissioner Sheffield made a motion to adjourn at 9:23 p.m. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Durden and unanimously approved.