MINUTES OF A REGULAR MEETING OF THE GILCHRIST COUNTY BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS HELD OCTOBER 20, 1997.
The Gilchrist County Board of County Commissioners, in and for Gilchrist County, Florida, convened in a regular meeting on October 20, 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. Gilliam, Clerk of Circuit Court, Samuel Mutch, County Attorney, Ron McQueen, EMA/County Coordinator, Sherree Pitzarell and Sam Ferguson, Deputy Clerks, Sable Bolling, GCPHU Administrator, Sheriff David Turner, Irene Sweeney, Animal Control.
Minutes of Previous Meeting:
Commissioner Sheffield made a motion to approve the minutes of the meeting held October 6, 1997. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Durden. There followed discussion of those minutes, specifically the action taken authorizing Commissioner Durden to take core samples of rock on Jimmy Shepard's property and negotiate a purchase price for the property. The Board agreed to amend that action by authorizing Commissioner Durden to do a fact finding process on the property, rather than negotiate a purchase price. Commissioner Bush asked about the purchase price for the motorgrader. The cost includes a buy back from Ring Power. Commissioner Sheffield asked Mr. Mutch if he sent a letter to D. J. Daube regarding the CDBG/SHIP project. Mr. Mutch has not sent the letter yet. Commissioner Sheffield asked if the hot water heater for Frankie Thomas was installed through the SHIP or CDBG program. Mr. Gilliam stated that he believes that it was provided through the weatherization program. The motion to approve the 10-6-97 minutes was unanimously approved.
Gilchrist County Public Health Unit- Sable Bolling:
Ms. Sable Bolling spoke to the Board advising them that they were successful with their primary care letter of intent for $125,000. They have been requested to submit an application for primary care. The proposed project is a Dixie, Gilchrist and Levy county effort, which if successful, will provide medical, dental and other services to tri-county citizens living at or below the poverty level and who do not qualify for medicaid or have health insurance. They anticipate approximately 400 enrolles and have identified an extensive network of medical providers through out the tri-county area. When tobacco settlement monies come to Florida, they will be looking at models for systems of health care and this is a network where three counties are collaborating on how to serve its citizens, so they are hoping that even if they are not successful with this application, they may be successful with the next round of funding. Mr. Mutch stated that this is an innovative program and he has an application from Harvard University (School of Government) for innovations in American government. According to Mr. Mutch, this would provide from the Ford Foundation, grant awards up to $100,000 for ten governments and $20,000 for an additional 15 programs. Mr. Mutch gave the information and an application to Ms. Bolling. Commissioner Durden made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Wilkerson to authorize Ms. Bolling to apply for grant funding. The motion carried unanimously.
Ms. Bolling pointed out that the match for the grant is an in-kind match, rather than a cash match. They will be using the cost it takes to deliver the service, minus the actual revenue recouped. The difference is more than enough for a match. Mr. Mutch encouraged Ms. Bolling to apply for the Ford Foundation grant, stating that he has sat on the screening committee for grant applications in the past, and they look for applications submitted by rural governments.
Mr. Mutch reported that there is a problem with a tax deed. In selling the tax deed, the county did not notify the mortgage holder. One of Mr. Mutch's clients is one of the tax deed holders. Mr. Mutch stated that he has spoken to his client, and they are hoping that the problem can be resolved. Mr. Mutch added that he may have to recuse himself at some point. If a problem develops, the Louries will have to find someone else to represent them.
In the Taylor v. Robinson case, Judge Doughtie has permitted Taylor to amend the complaint.
A call has been made to AquaPenn's attorney for a letter from their chief executive officer, because the letter that we thought that they had prepared for us, which we were going to submit with the application for road improvements was not strong enough. Mr. McQueen stated that they have submitted the information requested by Alberta Simmons and she is asking for the information again in another format.
In the Vincent v. Gilchrist County case, it is expected that it will be dismissed in federal court because Mr. Vincent did not mention anything in his amended complaint about Gilchrist County.
Mr. Mutch attended the bond estreature hearing and Judge Philman dismissed the cases brought up by three different bondsmen, because they had not been done correctly. Mr. Mutch and Judge Philman, along with some other attorneys, will come up with a procedure which will assign the Clerk's cost, the county attorney's cost and the Sheriff's cost, so that those costs can be recouped prior to refunding the bondsmen.
A letter has been received from the Department of Environmental Protection, regarding a "fugitive dust problem". Commissioner Durden stated that a resident living near Gro-More complained to DEP about the dust. Commissioner Durden stated that he spoke to the city's attorney, and he was told that the county could be charged with a $10,000 per day fine if they do not respond. Furthermore, they must respond within 10 days. Mr. Mutch stated that the Florida Administrative Code provides for sending water trucks to spray the roads. Commissioner Durden stated that if the county wets one road for dust, they are subject to have to spray other county roads for dust. Unfortunately the county has experienced drought. The road in question may not belong to the county, even though the county maintains it. Chairman Suggs stated that the road is in the city. Mr. Mutch stated that the county will respond to DEP, indicating that the county is making attempts to keep the fugitive dust under control. Commissioner Bush asked if it can be determined which roads belongs to the county and the city. Mr. Mutch replied that this information should be available in the county and city's LDR's. Mr. McQueen suggested that this type of mandate from DEP is a good example of state mandates creating a burden on the county. Mr. Mutch stated that the county has the ability to transfer any roads that were previously the county's annexed by the city to the city for maintenance.
Mr. Mutch reported that by the end of the month, he will no longer be a partner of the firm Lawrence, Mutch & Tetreault. When the county hired an attorney, they hired the firm. This will allow Mr. Mutch to concentrate more on his local government practice. Commissioner Wilkerson made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Bush to retain Sam Mutch as the county attorney. The motion carried unanimously. Mr. Mutch will prepare a contract for the Board's approval.
Mr. Gilliam reminded the Board that at the last meeting, the Board discussed a bill received from Florida West Coast Railroad for the maintenance of a crossing signal. Mr. Forbes forwarded a copy of the maintenance agreement between the county and CSX, the previous owner of the railroad. Mr. Gilliam said the contract did not reflect that the county's portion of maintenance would be $818. He called CSX and they gave him the amount of billing: from 1971 to 1991, the annual cost to the county was $325, from 7/91 to 7/96 the annual cost was $701 and from 7/96 to present, the cost to the county is $818.50. These figures represent 50% of the total cost. The county approved the maintenance in 1981 by resolution. We have a bill for last year and this year for $1637. Commissioner Durden asked if the maintenance fee is renegotiated periodically and if rate increases are addressed in the resolution. Mr. Gilliam replied that the resolution does not address increases and he has not found any other resolution whereby the rate was increased. Commissioner Sheffield stated that at the last meeting, he asked Mr. Mutch to research whether this type of maintenance was a mandate for counties or whether it is the sole responsibility of the railroad or DOT. Mr. Mutch stated that he does not believe that it is a mandate, however, years ago, when the county started paying maintenance, it may have been as a result of an accident. Mr. Mutch feels that the Board should pass a new resolution stating that since the original resolution recognized an annual maintenance fee of $650 per year, and the county agreed to pay 50%, then the county is only responsible for $325 per year. Some influencing factors may be the usage of the tracks, the amount of traffic crossing the tracks and number of accidents. In February 1996, Mr. Burt, former county attorney, sent Mr. Forbes a letter asking for payment of a bill generated by the county for work the county road department performed on behalf of Florida West Coast Railroad. This bill has not been paid and Mr. Forbes has verbally indicated that he should not pay the bill because the county caused one of his trains to derail and he bore the expense of the damages. Mr. Ferguson, deputy clerk, stated that Mr. Forbes contends that the county should pay the signal maintenance bill to him rather than CSX. Mr. Mutch will research to determine how the fee increase came about.
Mr. Gilliam submitted a list of everyone who has pagers paid for by the county. Commissioner Durden made a motion to drop the insurance fee on all pagers and drop the $15 payment for southeastern United States coverage for Mr. Weaver to the $5 rate. The motion died for lack of a second. Following discussion, the Board agreed that Commissioner Bush should ask Mr. Weaver why he needs that type of coverage.
Sheriff Turner submitted a check for interest in the amount of $4623.60 to the Board. In addition, the Sheriff remitted checks to the Board of unspent funds for the fiscal year ending 9-30-97 as follows: $100,843.15 from general operating and $106,085.04 from state Law Enforcement Trust Funds. The Board commended and thanked Sheriff Turner for returning the unspent funds.
Professional Negotiations for Engineering and Administrative Services for a CDBG grant:
The Board met with representatives from Summitt Professional Services. Ms. Lisa Alday asked the Board what they are looking for in regards to administration. The Board voiced their concerns about past consultant's performance and expressed they would expect a penalty clause for failure to administer in a satisfactory manner. Ms. Alday stated that their standard contract provides a termination for convenience clause. Mr. Mutch stated that the issue is that the past two grants were not completed on time because of a lack of diligence on the part of the administrator. Mr. Mutch added that a clause should be added to the contract, whereby the Board may retain a portion of the administration fees, if the grant is not closed out properly and timely. Commissioner Durden made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Wilkerson, to authorize Mr. McQueen to negotiate a contract with Summitt. The motion carried unanimously. Commissioner Durden amended his motion to allow Mr. Gilliam to participate in the negotiation process. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Bush and unanimously approved. Ms. Alday stated that they would like to hold a workshop to discuss various project alternatives and additional grants available, in addition to the CDBG grant. At this time, the Board is interested in applying for a CDBG grant to do road paving. Ms. Alday stated that the Board needs to identify an area where a certain amount of people fall within a low to moderate income level.
Sheriff Turner introduced Irene Sweeney and spoke to the Board about the grant that Ms. Sweeney has been working on for the Animal Control Program. The grant proposal is for the purchase of equipment which will be utilized by the program. The grant and the $10,000 provided by the county does not provide for an animal control officer. Initially a deputy will be responding to animal control requests. A vehicle will also be needed for the animal control officer. Sheriff Turner explained that they would like to incorporate the Humane Society for a pet adoption program, rather than automatically euthanizing unclaimed animals. Ms. Sweeney stated that there are other grants that any 501(c)(3) agency, such as the Humane Society, may apply. Commissioner Sheffield made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Durden to authorize Mr. Mutch to draw up a not-for-profit corporation which would qualify as a 501(c)(3) agency. The motion carried unanimously. Mr. Mutch will also draft a letter stating that the Board has authorized the application of a grant for $10,000. Commissioner Sheffield stated that he spoke to Carl Johnson and he has some kennels that may qualify for animal control. He has asked Mr. Johnson to provide a package deal for housing the animals, as well as feeding and disposal.
Professional Negotiations for Engineering Services- Proposed Jail Complex:
Mr. Phil Bishop, Bailey, Bishop & Lane, appeared before the Board to discuss the proposed project. According to Mr. Bishop, his company has been in the business for 7 years and they are located in Lake City. They are involved with civil engineering and commercial building designs. Mr. Bishop added that the percentage of the estimated construction cost is generally the fee negotiation basis. Mr. Bishop came prepared with a contract for a base fee for the building and landscape design for the administration, plus the master site plan. The master plan would be more preliminary or conceptual for the entire 24 acres. The county engineer has recommended the negotiations be based on phases of the project. Commissioner Durden asked if the Board should hold a public hearing about constructing the facility at the firing range location prior to negotiating contracts. Sheriff Turner commented that he thought that issue was discussed in the public hearing whereby the Board adopted a resolution to approve the project in phases. Commissioner Sheffield made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Durden to authorize Mr. McQueen, Mr. Gilliam and the Sheriff to negotiate with Bailey, Bishop & Lane for the fees for design and engineering services. The motion carried unanimously.
Sheriff Turner spoke to the Board about Mr. Bud Josey's Antique Car Show. Mr. Josey wants to use some off-duty law enforcement and emergency medical staff at the show. The Board agreed that off-duty staff could work for Mr. Josey, however, the main responder EMS units for Trenton and Bell could not be used, as they are needed for on-call situations through out the county.
Denis Riordan- IDA:
Mr. Riordan stated that he has received some applications for the vacancies on the IDA board. Following discussion, Commissioner Bush made a motion to appoint Mr. Ken Clinton. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Wilkerson and unanimously approved. Mr. Riordan submitted information to the Board regarding leads for possible industry and feels that the county needs an industrial site. Mr. Mutch suggested that the county identify a 40 - 50 acre plot of land for industrial usage.
Denise Jackson: Tri-County Foster Parents:
Ms. Jackson, representing the Gilchrist branch of the Tri-County Foster Parents Association, appeared before the Board to request Christmas donations for Gilchrist County foster children. According to Ms. Jackson, the Gilchrist children received very little benefit from last year's donation. The Board asked Ms. Jackson what assurance they would have that the same thing would not happen this year. Ms. Jackson replied that she would provide receipts, indicating the purchases made. Commissioner Wilkerson made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Durden to authorize the Chair and Mr. McQueen to meet with Ms. Jackson to discuss further arrangements. The motion carried unanimously.
Mr. Gilliam spoke to the Board about a 1996 used motorgrader offered by Ring Power, for $99,000.00. Ring Power also offers a lease purchase agreement, with financing at 5.75%, five annual payments at $22,075 (first payment due October 1997) and a guaranteed buy-back of the equipment in four years. They are willing to buy the motorgrader back after four years for $85,000. This would reduce the cost to the county down to $17,500. Mr. Gilliam added that he and Chairman Suggs spoke to each of the local banks about a lease purchase agreement, and Capital Bank offered the lowest interest rate of 5.70% for five years. Commissioner Durden stated that he is interested in the buy back offer from Ring Power, and made a motion to enter into the lease purchase agreement offered by Ring Power. Each commissioner voted in favor of the motion except Chairman Suggs who expressed she would rather do business locally.
The Board previously agreed to purchase a new pick-up truck for Mr. Weaver, county agent. Mr. Weaver had budgeted $6500 in his budget to go toward the purchase of the truck. Scoggins Chevrolet has offered $7000 as a trade in on the old truck, however, before the truck is traded in, Mr. Gilliam wanted to know if the Board would rather keep the truck for another department in the county or proceed with the trade in offer by Scoggins. Following discussion, Commissioner Bush made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Wilkerson, to keep the old pick up for another county department and reimburse Mr. Weaver's budget by $6500 from the general fund reserve. The motion carried unanimously.
In July of 1996, the legislature mandated the counties to the include payment for in-patient days for recipients enrolled HMO's. In 1997, they did not bill the county because of a delay due to problems transferring the hospital in-patient dates from the Florida Medicaid Management Information System to the billing. As a result, we did not have a line item in the budget for 1997. We have just now started receiving the billing for those charges. We should anticipate about $8515 for 1997-98, which represents last year's billing. A line item needs to be established in the budget for HMO/Hospital in general fund. Commissioner Durden made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Wilkerson, to establish a new line item in the general fund budget, moving the funds from reserve. The motion carried unanimously.
Commissioner Durden made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Wilkerson, to transfer the filing of financial information on behalf of the Gilchrist Development Authority to Mr. Mutch. The motion carried unanimously.
The Board discussed the complaint received from Mary Jo Brecht regarding the rest rooms at Hart Springs park and the lack of handicap facilities. Mr. Mutch stated that the Board needs to address the issue by establishing a plan to accommodate handicap needs at the park. The Board agreed that Mr. McQueen and the Chair should draft a letter of response to Ms. Brecht.
The Board unanimously approved budget adjustment number 97171 following a motion from Commissioner Durden, which was seconded by Commissioner Sheffield.
The Board discussed their monthly travel statements and agreed to submit their total monthly mileage at the first monthly meeting of each month.
The Board discussed the lease agreement with the School Board, which expires in April 1998. It appears that the School Board has elected not to purchase the Tri-County Council Senior Citizens building. Commissioner Sheffield made a motion that the Board send the School Board a letter, notifying them that it is not the Board's intention to renew the lease agreement in 1998. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Durden. The motion was unanimously approved.
Commissioner Sheffield requests that a letter be sent to Boone regarding the damage they are causing to the county line road, hauling waste to Watson's landfill. There followed discussion regarding maintenance of the county line road, which is shared with Alachua County. Commissioner Durden will speak to Mr. Culpepper, about maintaining the southern portion of the county line road.
EMA/County Coordinator's Report:
The Board unanimously approved an agreement with the North Central Florida Regional Planning Council for the Evaluation & Appraisal Report services, required for the Comprehensive Plan, following a motion from Commissioner Durden, which was seconded by Commissioner Bush. Funding for these services will be provided through a grant from the Department of Community Affairs, in the amount of $14,069.00. The fee charged by the Planning Council is the same as the grant amount.
Mr. McQueen presented an agreement between the County and the Planning Council for routine services provided in connection to the Comprehensive Plan and Land Development Regulations. These services are general technical assistance, amendment assistance and development and review assistance (which includes research, site development plans, preparation of public notices, ordinances, etc.). The amount budgeted for these services is $13,500.00, which is classified as a Level II service. This agreement is for $20,000.00, for Level III services. Commissioner Durden made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Sheffield, to table any decision regarding the level of services, until Mr. Koons can provide an explanation about the difference in the level of services. The motion carried unanimously.
There are two Land Development Regulation amendments pending for further review by Mr. Pelham, special legal counsel retained by the Board for land use issues. One amendment will give the Board of County Commissioners the option of becoming the Board of Adjustment. The other amendment will redefine the definition of subdivisions. Mr. McQueen asked if it is the Board's intent, when redefining the definition of subdivisions to prevent minor subdivisions from being linked together. The Board stated that is indeed their intent.
The Solid Waste Department has recommended a Saturday garbage and recycling pick up at the Leggett precinct. In addition, they recommend a pick up site to be established at Fanning Springs, near the inspection station. Commissioner Bush made a motion to approve the request. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Wilkerson and unanimously approved.
Mr. McQueen reported that the re-sampling of the wells at the landfill have been completed and are negative for excess chemical samples.
Jim Ivines is acting chief of the Wacasassa VFD and they have five active members. The former chief was suspended and has the option to appeal to the Board within 45 days. The former chief has moved from the county.
Drummond Community Bank called to report that the Tri-County Council for Senior Citizens' building is available. The Board asked Mr. Gilliam to check on the Prime property to see if it is available for purchase.
Universal Testing met with Mr. Martin last Friday and they can provide the Board with some conclusive data on test boring, based on a day's work in the field for $1000. This would include two separate 20 acre tracts. The Board has the option to purchase either of the tracts of property.
The Board directed Mr. McQueen to check state contract prices for a small pick-up truck for Mr. Langford, Deputy Tax Collector.
Mr. Ferguson reminded the Board that Down Home Days, sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce is scheduled for 11-8-97. They would like the county to provide a load of dirt for leveling and fill in purposes at the city park. The Board indicated that they did not have a problem with the request.
Construction plans for the road at Santa Fe Bend subdivision has been submitted, which must be approved, prior to approval of the final plat. Commissioner Durden made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Sheffield, to approve the construction plans. The motion carried unanimously.
Commissioner Durden reported that the Road Department no longer has a fuel truck. He will know by tomorrow morning if one is available at Starke (state surplus property warehouse). Commissioner Wilkerson made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Bush, to authorize Commissioner Durden to purchase a fuel truck, subject to the availability of funds in the Road Department. The motion carried unanimously.
Commissioner Wilkerson reported that there is a hole at Donnie Precinct that needs to be filled so that no one is injured. Commissioner Durden stated that he would have someone fill it.
Chairman Suggs stated that after reading the article in the Gilchrist County Journal, regarding the meeting held at Hart Springs in August, she was concerned about the comments made by Commissioners Durden and Sheffield. The Chair added that two months passed between the time the meeting at Hart Springs occurred and the meeting at which the comments about her were made by both commissioners. She added that if she did not do well conducting the meeting at Hart Springs, she apologizes, and reminded the Board that if any member has a problem with her performance, to please let her know.
There being no further business to come before the Board, a motion to adjourn was made by Commissioner Wilkerson, seconded by Commissioner Bush and unanimously approved.
SUE B. SUGGS, CHAIR
JOSEPH W. GILLIAM, CLERK