MINUTES OF A REGULAR MEETING OF THE GILCHRIST COUNTY BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS HELD FEBRUARY 2, 1998.
The Gilchrist County Board of County Commissioners, in and for Gilchrist County, Florida, convened in a regular meeting on February 2, 1998, at 9:00 a.m., in the Commissioner's Meeting Room at the Courthouse in Trenton, Florida, with the following members present to-wit:
Jimmie Sheffield, Chairman
Sue B. Suggs
Other persons in attendance were: Joseph W. Gilliam, Clerk of Court, Samuel A. Mutch, County Attorney, Ron McQueen, EMA/County Coordinator, Sherree Pitzarell, Deputy Clerk.
Commissioner Suggs made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Durden to approve the minutes of December 15th and January 5th board meetings. The motion carried unanimously.
Mr. Mutch spoke to the Board about private individuals cutting county roads. According to Mr. Mutch, if the county does not have a franchise or policy and someone cuts a county road, the Board could be liable. The statute provides that traffic flow must be maintained during any road construction. A bond would be needed to insure that the road is put back in good order. Most communities have permits or licenses for cutting a road. The individual or company would give the county a written bond, insuring they would place the road back in good condition and provide for traffic flow. Mr. Mutch prepared a resolution for the Board's consideration, which provides such assurances to the county. The resolution also provides that the individual or company notify any agency necessary prior to digging to avoid cutting underground cables. The Board tabled discussion until this afternoon when the road superintendent will be present.
Commissioner Durden made a motion to approve advertising an ordinance to set lower speed limits in certain areas of the county where high speeds have been determined to cause a safety hazard, for February 16, 1998, at 5:30 p.m. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Wilkerson, and unanimously approved.
Mr. Mutch advised that he has reviewed the changes to ordinances 98-02 and 98-03 and approved same for the chair's signature.
Mr. Derber and Mr. Bell contacted Commissioner Suggs and stated that they would like to be replaced as soon as possible on the Code Enforcement Board. Commissioner Durden made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Wilkerson to advertise for vacancies. The motion carried unanimously.
Commissioner Suggs spoke to the Board about passing a resolution regarding no-wake zones during the time when the river is flooded. The Board took no action.
Commissioner Suggs stated that the city of Fanning Springs asked if the county would participate with them in a 4th of July celebration by contributing funds. The Board would like to know what the other counties are going to do and would like to speak to Cheryl Nekola, Fanning Springs councilwoman.
Chairman Sheffield asked Mr. Mutch's opinion regarding a purchase order for the replacement of doors at the Wacasassa VFD, since it is not a county owned building. Because the building stores county property, it is a proper expenditure. Commissioner Durden made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Bush to approve the purchase order for the purchase of doors for the Wacasassa VFD. The motion carried unanimously.
The phone bill generated by the former chief of the Wacasassa VFD will be turned over to the Sheriff if it not paid within the 90 days previously set by the Board.
The Board discussed the need to set a policy for the setback of fences in the LDR's.
Commissioner Suggs made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Durden to approve the bills and journal entries (98029-98035). The motion carried unanimously. Commissioner Bush asked about the Pelham & Apgar bill. Mr. Gilliam explained that their bill covers the two zoning board meetings per month. Commissioner Suggs asked if Mr. Mutch could feasibly do the same job as Pelham & Apgar. Mr. Mutch stated that there recently was an opinion handed down by the courts stating that an independent attorney should be making recommendations to the Board on quasi-judicial hearings.
Mr. Gilliam stated that the probation services contract with the Salvation Army needs to be adopted by the Board. Commissioner Suggs made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Durden to approve the contract. The motion carried unanimously.
Mr. Gilliam reported that we received a bill from Bell South for $802.16 where an individual installed a sign on county right-of-way and damaged a phone cable. Mr. Mutch will send a letter, but he needs the name of the individual who installed the sign.
A Water Resource conference will be held in Clearwater on February 12th and 13th. Commissioner Suggs stated that she would attend. Hillsborough, Pasco and Pinellas counties are working hard to get legislation passed to transfer water from the northern counties. Mr. Gilliam stated that he may be able to attend. The Board agreed that Clarence Feagle should be invited to attend.
The SREC has requested a donation of match from the board for space for grant purposes. Commissioner Suggs made a motion to approve the request for space donation. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Durden and unanimously approved. The Board indicated they would like to talk to Ms. Terry about the Transportation for Disadvantaged program.
Mr. Gilliam spoke to the Board about the letter the Board directed him and Mr. McQueen to send to DEP regarding Mr. Watson's request for an expedited permit process. They have spoken to Mr. Pelham and he said it is within the right of the Board to do the letter but does not understand why the Board would want to do it because Mr. Watson could have the dairy constructed prior to the litigation being completed. Commissioner Durden made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Suggs to direct the Planning & Zoning Board to work on the moratorium issue regarding towers. The motion carried unanimously.
Mr. Gilliam reported that the minutes do not indicate that the contract with Summitt was approved. Commissioner Suggs made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Durden to approve the revised contracts. The motion carried unanimously. Mr. Jay Moseley, of Summitt, toured the courthouse and the Church of Christ building and feels the church could be considered an historical building, but not the courthouse. Mr. Gilliam stated that he asked Mr. Moseley to consider upgrading of fire and rescue services in the Wacasassa area for match for a road improvement grant.
Mr. Gilliam contacted the University of Florida School of Architecture and supplied them with the blueprints of the courthouse building. They will be evaluating the building for fire safety and ADA requirements. The total cost should not exceed $3000.
Mr. Gilliam spoke to the Board about the last SHIP meeting, with the state representative. There are three applications being recommended to the Board by the Loan Review Committee:
Applicant SHIP Funds Type Project
Delisa Chubb $22,500 Purchase/Rehab
David Jones $17,500 Purchase/Rehab
Shannon Russum $17,500 New construction
Mr. Gilliam advised the Board that the loans for purchase rehab were approved by the Loan Review Committee subject to a repairs being identified and a termite inspection. Commissioner Suggs made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Durden to approve the loans. The motion carried unanimously.
Mr. Gilliam distributed information about an investment policy for the Board's consideration sponsored by the Florida Association of Counties and the Florida Association of Court Clerks (Florida Local Government Investment Trust). The Board has about $600,000 of funds which could be invested. The Board indicated they would like to look at the information and discuss the topic at the next meeting.
Mr. McQueen asked the Board to consider designating February 22nd thru March 1st as Hazardous Materials Week. Commissioner Bush made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Wilkerson to proclaim a hazardous materials week. The motion carried unanimously. Mr. McQueen announced that April 5th will be the Toxic Waste Collection Day, which the Board provides in conjunction with Alachua county.
Mr. Gilliam stated that the tower storage area has become very crowded with big rolls of insulation and equipment from EMS, the Sheriff's Department and Hart Springs. Many of these items are blocking the records access.
Nathan Martin- Road Department:
Several employees went to the retirement seminar and learned about a program beginning in July called DROP. After 30 years service, an employee can retire, and at the same time, continue working. His retirement check will go to the state, where it will earn interest. The employee can continue to work, however, the county would not have to continue paying retirement benefits. One employee in the road department is interested in participating in the DROP program and he would like to know if he could still draw sick and vacation leave. Mr. Mutch feels that the employee would still be eligible to earn sick and vacation leave at the same rate he was receiving.
Mr. Mutch asked Mr. Martin who installed the sign and cut the phone cable on county ROW. Mr. Martin stated that he does not know who it was but the sign was for the Bell cemetery.
Commissioner Durden asked how much of a set back the county needs in regards to people installing fences near county roads. Mr. Martin replied that two to three feet are needed.
According to Commissioner Durden, Boone Waste is willing to supply rock on the county line road, when the county wants it, however, due to the weather, the department has postponed making a request. The Board discussed having a representative from Alachua County or their board attend a meeting with this board for discussion of maintenance on the county line road. Mr. Gilliam will send a letter and ask them for a date they could meet with the board.
The Board advised Mr. Martin about the policy they discussed this morning regarding the cutting county roads, stating that the county is not to be involved in the work, only the supervision.
Mark Humprey invited the Board to attend a road reclamation demonstration on March 4th, which will be hosted by Ring Power. The demonstration will be held at Ring Power in Ocala and lunch will be provided.
Mr. Martin reported that log trucks are causing problems on road edges, causing water to stand.
The Board recessed for lunch at 12:10 p.m. and reconvened at 1:30 p.m.
The Board discussed the problem of missing petty cash for Wacasassa VFD which disappeared along with the former fire chief. Commissioner Suggs made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Durden to reinstate a $200 petty cash fund to Wacasassa VFD and add the previous $200 that was not returned from Mr. Bivens to the outstanding amount that he owes for phone bills. The motion carried unanimously. The new petty cash funds will come from the district-wide budget.
Mr. McQueen stated that he does not want to pursue the room addition on the Weeks Building at this time. He feels that it could be done using existing staff.
Mr. McQueen distributed a building department report for the month of January, indicating a total of 26 permits issued for mobile homes and three for new residential construction.
Mr. McQueen reported that the Department of Environmental Protection performed MPA's on drinking systems, including Hart Springs. Their report states that the Hart Springs system is under the direct influence of surface water. The county must now provide additional treatment; twelve months to chlorinate it into the well and 18 months from the date of their letter to provide filtration.
Mr. McQueen discussed the Local Mitigation Strategy workshop to be held at Fanning Springs this Wednesday at 5:00 p.m. There are funds available for Gilchrist County (including the cities) for slightly over $40,000. If the cities do not participate with the county, the county's portion would be reduced to about $25,000. The cities have the option of doing their own plans or participating with the counties. The funds are strictly tied to deliverables and there are many contractors eager to assist the counties/municipalities in writing their plans. Mr. McQueen stated that there are graduate students capable of designing plans at a lesser cost.
Commissioner Durden made a motion to adopt a road cutting policy, by resolution, adding that the contractor will provide a bond or letter of credit, for cutting or altering county roads. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Bush. The motion passed by split vote with all commissioners voting in favor of the motion except Commissioner Suggs. A copy of resolution 98-03 is on file in the Clerk's office.
Mr. McQueen reported that there is a serious need for repairs of the facia and soffit at the Health Department. He has received an estimate of over $5000 to take off and replace the facia. Mr. Lewis may be able to repair it with inmate assistance.
Mr. McQueen and Mr. Mutch spoke to the Board about the request the county received for "Stompin 98", a music festival. The Board can not send a letter to Mr. Freise, the property owner and producer of the festival, until the request is heard by the Planning and Zoning Board. Section 14.10 of the LDR's regulate activities such as music festivals. It should also be pointed out that no alcohol may be sold on Sundays. Commissioner Bush asked if this event would benefit the citizens of the county. Mr. Mutch led discussion urging the Board to make sure that the cost associated with this festival is not passed on to the taxpayers. The LDR's need to be revised to provide for security for such events, as well as crowd and noise control.
Mr. Mutch has received several phone calls from the State Attorney's office regarding a bill from Alachua County for the pick-up and disposal of over 400 abused animals in a criminal case in 1996. The bill totals $4779.58. Of that total $540 are for veterinarian services from Country Side Animal Hospital of Alachua. A judgement has been placed against the individual, filed in Levy County and the Board can place a judgement against the individual as well. The state attorney dropped all charges against the individual, even though the charges were a felony.
Don Thomas- School Superintendent:
Mr. Thomas spoke to the Board about the use of office space in the courthouse. The School Board working on a project, to get a new school in Trenton. They have performed a facility survey and must prove to the state that they need a new school. Mr. Thomas continued stating that it is the School Board's desire to build a new elementary school and improve the older sections of the high school. They want to move the administration offices to the old elementary building. If all goes well, the funds would be available 6/30/99 and they could move their offices out of the courthouse in August 2000. In 3 or 4 months a Department of Education team will make a determination. At that time it is usually determined if the funding will be approved. Mr. Gilliam stated that the 2nd and 3rd floors of the building received a bad evaluation in regards to fire safety. Mr. Mutch recommends the School Board provide an indemnification to the county, should someone get injured. Also, the fire marshall could close down the upstairs section. Commissioner Wilkerson made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Bush to extend the lease beyond April 1st for 90 days, requiring an indemnification agreement, at the same rate of rent. Each commissioner voted in favor of the motion except Commissioner Durden. The motion passed by split vote.
State Attorney- Ray Earl Thomas:
The individual in the case involving animal cruelty had a civil judgement entered in favor of the county in the amount of $4779.58 on February 12, 1997, reported Ray Earl Thomas, Assistant State Attorney. Apparently, this was a plea negotiation that encompassed several criminal cases and the State Attorney's Office never filed a criminal charge against her in this particular case. The Board advised Mr. Mutch to try to find out if the individual owns any property. Commissioner Durden made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Bush to pay Country Side Animal Hospital $540. The motion carried unanimously.
Mr. Thomas spoke to the Board about his need for additional office space. Currently, there is one full time attorney, one full time secretary, a part time investigator and a part time victim advocate sharing their portion of the second floor.
Susan Bryant- Supervisor of Elections:
Supervisor of Elections, Susan Bryant, advised the Board that she would like to go on record as to informing the Board that she does not have adequate office space. Ms. Bryant also stated that she needs a fireproof area to store ballots for 2 to 3 years after an election. Ms. Bryant further stated that she is seeking quotes for the installation of an alarm system for her office.
EMA/County Coordinator's Report (cont.):
Mr. McQueen announced that on February 24th there will be a meeting at Ginnie Springs for a water quality (preservation of water quality on the Santa Fe River). They have asked Mr. McQueen to attend and represent the county. The Board agreed to have Mr. McQueen represent them at the meeting.
Mr. McQueen stated that he has received a letter from the Boy Scouts requesting to use the community center building (voting precinct) located on CR 138. They would like to hold their meetings there every Thursday and request that the rental fee be waived. Commissioner Suggs made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Durden to waive the rental fees and allow them to use the building on Thursday evenings. The motion carried unanimously.
Mr. McQueen reminded the Board that the approved a holiday schedule for county employees, however, the scheduled has always been different for the Solid Waste employees. It is their policy to remain open each Saturday that falls after Christmas and Thanksgiving. Commissioner Bush made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Wilkerson to approve the schedule as submitted for the Solid Waste employees. The motion carried unanimously.
The Gilchrist Recreational Authority agreed to provide a trailer to haul clay to their ball field, which the Board previously agreed to provide. The county's insurance will cover the trailer if the Board lease's it for one dollar. Commissioner Durden made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Suggs to approve a lease agreement for the use of their trailer. The motion carried unanimously.
The Road Department has a large accumulation of equipment that needs to be disposed. Mr. McQueen recommends that an ad be placed in the Gilchrist County Journal for sealed bids for one piece or the entire lot. There are several items from the fire departments that need disposal as well. Commissioner Durden asked that the Board declare the water tanker surplus property. Commissioner Durden made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Wilkerson to declare the tanker surplus and authorize Mr. McQueen to solicit sealed bids. The motion carried unanimously. A list of any other items should be submitted to the Board for approval, prior to bidding.
The city of Fanning Springs is applying a neighborhood revitalization CDBG grant for expanded fire services and would like to locate a fire station on US 19. The Board has a piece of property across from the weigh station. The Board stated that the property may be leased to the Department of Motor Vehicles.
Mr. Mutch prepared a resolution providing for the collection of fees by the County for outdoor concerts and other uses requiring a special permit. Commissioner Durden made a motion to adopt the resolution. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Wilkerson and voted in favor by Commissioners Bush and Sheffield. Commissioner Suggs was not in the room at the time of the vote. The motion carried. A copy of resolution 98-04 in on file in the Clerk's office.
David Turner- Sheriff:
Sheriff Turner reported that the grant application submitted by the Gilchrist County Humane Society was not among those selected for funding this year. He added that he would like to re-apply during the next funding cycle.
Sheriff submitted a requisition for funds from the State LETF in the amount of $4,695.84. These funds are to be used to DARE supplies and the advertisement and promotion of the DARE program. Commissioner Durden made a motion to approve the request. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Bush and unanimously approved.
Polk County has contacted the Sheriff about housing some of their inmates at the Gilchrist County jail. Sarasota County has made the same request. The previous agreement for housing federal inmates paid the county $37 per day. Medical expenses would be borne by the originating county. Sheriff Turner estimates he could house 8-12 additional inmates per day. The Board took no action.
Clerk's Report (cont.):
Mr. Gilliam updated that Board, stating that a records search revealed that the County has a special assessment lien placed against the individual charged in the animal cruelty case. Records indicate the individual has a contract for deed on property located in Gilchrist County.
Mr. Gilliam reported that financial records show that the firm of Pelham & Agar has been paid $21,995.26 since they were hired. There may be additional bills that have been submitted to the finance office and not yet paid.
Mr. Bud Riffle, North Gilchrist VFD, stated that he would have the insulation stored in the tower building moved as soon as possible.
Mr. Riffle asked who determines what roads the inmates pick up garbage from. According to Mr. Riffle, sometimes they pick up trash on roads that have been adopted by individual or groups through the adopt-a-road program.
Attorney's Report (cont.):
Mr. Mutch presented a proposed ordinance for the Board's consideration regarding the regulation of speed limits on certain portions of certain county roads within Gilchrist County. The Board identified a portion on Wacasassa Road, a portion of Gay Road and a section of CR 232. Mr. Mutch will prepare a final draft ordinance for public hearing on February 16, 1998, at 5:30 p.m.
Mr. Ferguson, county finance department, reported that the county is doing business with companies that do not have an occupational license in Gilchrist County. Following a brief discussion, Commissioner Durden made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Suggs to require any business conducting business with the county to get an occupational license prior to becoming a vendor. The motion carried unanimously.
There being no further business to discuss, a motion was made by Commissioner Suggs, seconded by Commissioner Durden to adjourn at 5:15 p.m. The motion carried unanimously.
JOSEPH GILLIAM, CLERK JIMMIE SHEFFIELD, CHAIR