MINUTES OF A REGULAR MEETING OF THE GILCHRIST COUNTY BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS HELD MARCH 2, 1998.
The Gilchrist County Board of County Commissioners, in and for Gilchrist County, Florida, convened in a regular meeting on March 2, 1998, at 9:00 a.m., in the County Commissioner's Meeting Room, located in the Gilchrist County Courthouse, Trenton, Florida, with the following members present to-wit:
Jimmie Sheffield, Chair
Others in attendance were: Joseph W. Gilliam, Clerk of Court, Ron McQueen, EMA/County Coordinator, Sherree Pitzarell, Deputy Clerk, Theron Hudson, county resident.
Commissioner Durden made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Wilkerson to approve the minutes of the meetings held in February 2nd, February 16th and February 25th, 1998. The motion carried unanimously.
Commissioner Durden made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Bush to approve the bills and budget transfers numbered 98036-98045 and budget amendment 98047, by resolution. The motion carried unanimously. A copy of resolution 98-06 is on file in the Clerk's office.
Mr. Mutch was unable to attend today's meeting, however, he faxed his report, along with a letter regarding the Alachua County workshop on the Watson Dairy DEP permit. In his report, Mr. Mutch recommends that the Board adopt a resolution which states that the Board of County Commissioners will adopt the proclamation issued by the Chairman February 27, 1998.
The attorney's report indicates that he and Mr. McQueen have discussed the issue of the recommendation concerning dairies from the planning commission. It is his understanding that on February 26, 1998, the planning commission decided to recommend that they hold hearings on two of the three alternatives for handling dairies within the county. If the planning commission holds hearings on only two of the three alternatives for handling dairies, the Board of County Commissioners will be restricted to holding its hearings on only those two proposals. It is Mr. Mutch's recommendation that the Board of County Commissioners direct the Planning Commission to hold public hearings on all three proposals and give the BoCC a recommendation on those three proposals. The Planning Commission would recommend denial, approval, or approval with modifications.
Commissioner Durden made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Bush to adopt a resolution which endorses the chairs proclamation on 2/27/98. The motion carried unanimously. A copy of resolution 98-07 is filed in the Clerk's Office.
Mr. Gilliam distributed copies of a draft fire safety standards report by David Huffman. There are recommendations for specific violations such as the open stairwell, fire alarm system and sprinkler system. The total to correct those three items are about $160,000. The balance of the violations, which are included in the state fire marshals report can be accomplished in-house. Another item, which is not in this report is exterior fire escapes. Also not included is the installation of an elevator, which would bring the cost up to $250,000. The county can either make these corrections or not use the 2nd and 3rd floors. Some of the minor recommendations are being addressed in-house and a response is needed to the fire marshall's report. The chief judge of the eight judicial circuit may issue an order based on these reports. According to Mr. McQueen, whether or not the 2nd floor is used, the stairwell will need to be enclosed. The second floor may be used for storage.
The funds that may be available for courthouse renovation ($400,000) may not be available for building another annex if the second floor is abandoned. Mr. Gilliam added that he will be meeting with Judge Cates on Thursday.
Mr. Gilliam has received a request from Sheriff to draw $5000 from state LETF funds to donate to the Educational Foundation for scholarships for Trenton and Bell High Schools. Lake City Community College and Santa Fe Community College are willing to provide a match, raising the total scholarships to $10,000. The funds are to be used for law enforcement educational programs. Commissioner Wilkerson made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Bush to approve the request. The motion carried unanimously.
The Sheriff has submitted a request to draw $1000 from state LETF funds to fund the Prom Promise Program for both Trenton and Bell High Schools. Commissioner Durden made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Wilkerson to approve the request. The motion carried unanimously.
Finally, the Sheriff has submitted a request of $88.50 from state LETF to pay the Clerk for a forfeiture proceeding (filing fees). Commissioner Durden made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Bush to approve the request. The motion carried unanimously.
Summit Professional Services faxed Mr. Gilliam a letter indicating the documents needed in order to submit the grant application by the deadline (3-31-98). The first resolution provides for the chairman to have the authority to sign the grant application. Another resolution provides for a match of county funds for the CDBG application ($100,000 local government revenues and/or SHIP funds). One alternative would be to require the successful bidder to purchase rock from the county at the prevailing rate. Commissioner Durden made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Wilkerson, to adopt a resolution authorizing the chairman to sign the CDBG grant application. The motion carried unanimously. A copy of resolution 98-08 is on file in the Clerk's Office. Commissioner Durden made a motion to use up to $100,000 from SHIP as a match for the CDBG Neighborhood Revitalization Program, by resolution. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Wilkerson and unanimously approved. A copy of resolution 98-09 is on file in the Clerk's Office.
In Summit's contract, there was an exhibit B, which provides the engineering fees. The Board approved their contract, however, exhibit B was blank. There is a place for the Chairman's signature on exhibit B, however, the Chairman was advised not to sign that page until the fees were supplied by Summit. The fee schedule reflects the program guidelines for those fees. Commissioner Bush made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Durden to approve the engineering fees for Summit, subject to the county attorney's review. The motion carried unanimously.
Mr. McQueen explained the WAGES program, which means that the county would hire someone to come off welfare. Participation in the WAGES program could provide the county with extra grant points. The Board would be incurring full time wages for a permanent position. The County currently has a full time employee that receives welfare.
Mr. Gilliam spoke to the Board about records destruction. The Department of State has approved the list, which was provided in the Board's agenda package. This action also requires Board approval. Commissioner Durden made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Wilkerson, to approve the destruction of records as outlined on Records Disposition Request # 97-001. The motion carried unanimously.
The Board asked Mr. Gilliam to contact SREC about adding the persons name and the dollar amount spent on each person included in the monthly reports. SREC has requested a letter from the Board confirming the county's representative on their Board of Directors. Commissioner Durden made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Wilkerson to reappoint Commissioner Suggs to represent Gilchrist County on the SREC Board of Directors. The motion carried unanimously.
Chairman Sheffield stated that anyone interested in the dairy issue should return or wait until 1:15 p.m., at which time discussion will be held in conjunction with Mr. McQueen's report.
Mr. Bill Suggs spoke briefly to the Board about approximately 200 million viewers who will be watching a program on A&E scheduled for March 5th regarding pollution. The program is entitled "Polluting the Fountain of Youth". Mr. Suggs asked if each elected official took an oath of office which includes protection of the welfare and health of county citizens. Each commissioner responded affirmatively. He stated that this was not the case with the Planning and Zoning Board, as they disregarded the public's input during public workshops. The Planning and Zoning Board recently decided to totally disregard and censure the public's input to the LDR workshop. It was the Board of County Commissioners decree that the workshop be held and the workshop was funded by taxpayers monies. Their action was appalling. Mr. Suggs reminded the Board that they responded to public outcry regarding the Land Development Regulations by setting forth the current moratorium and the hiring of a special attorney and the North Central Florida Regional Planning Council. He requests the Board reprimand the Planning and Zoning Board and initiate a letter of apology to Mr. Goldberg and Mr. Koons and accept the draft report, which was drafted by the public with the assistance of the special legal counsel. One of the recommendations they are considering is sole submission of a special interest group and the other is drafted by an individual member of the Planning and Zoning Board. Mr. Suggs further stated that the Board is on notice that across the county, citizens are asking the federal courts to force the EPA to intervene, where local governments have not acted to meet broader pollution standards.
Public Hearing- Budget Amendment for Law Enforcement Trust Fund:
Mr. Gilliam presented budget entry 98046 to amend the state and federal LETF budgets. It is proposed that the state LETF budget be increased by $106,085.04 which represents the Sheriff's carry-over from last year, plus interest. The balance of the amendment is for the federal LETF budget, which represents the amount not spent last fiscal year for engineering, plus interest ($78,464.53). Commissioner Durden made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Bush, to amend the budget by resolution. The motion carried unanimously. A copy of resolution 98-10 is on file in the Clerk's Office.
Chairman Sheffield stated that Mr. Mutch called earlier in the meeting and he recommends that the Board advise the Planning and Zoning Board to recommend all three proposals to the BoCC for consideration.
The Board discussed the flooding problems at Water's Lake. According to Commissioner Bush, Theron Hudson suggested that a road be cut to redirect some standing water. Commissioner Durden commented that he spoke to the Road Superintendent and he does not feel that cutting the road will alleviate the problems. Sheriff Turner stated that road closed signs need to be put up at Hart Springs road.
Tourism Task Force- The Board spoke to Mr. Ferguson about the Tourism Task Force. According to Mr. Ferguson, if you have someone actively involved with the Task Force, you get more than the $1000 contribution out of the program. Mr. Ferguson added that it is his understanding that if the Tourism program is established as a separate entity, away from the Planning Council, they will be eligible for more grant funds.
Charlie Justice- NCFRPC Original Florida Tourism Task Force Interlocal Agreement:
Mr. Justice spoke to the Board about the Original Florida Tourism Task Force and the proposed interlocal agreement. Currently the dues are $1000 per year and they do not expect it to change. Only the counties that have tourist development councils are being asked for an increase. They have entered into an agreement with Florida Living Magazine for a publication that is just for this area. According to Mr. Justice, these changes are needed to make the task force more identifiable, as well as increase the availability of grant funding. Commissioner Durden made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Bush to enter into an interlocal agreement creating the Original Florida Tourism Task Force. The motion carried unanimously.
Mr. Martin reported that his department is trying to respond to calls for road repairs, however, some roads are still covered with water and therefore unable to be repaired. They have been hauling sand to some areas, however, the rock at the pit is extremely wet.
Commissioner Wilkerson received a petition from residents living on 80th Street requesting that it be paved. Mr. Martin stated that 80th Street is in good condition, compared to other graded roads in the county.
Mr. Martin reported that one of the used trucks the county recently purchased had bad injectors (fuel truck). They took it to Ring Power in Lake City and they worked on it. When they got the truck back, it was still running rough, so they took it back to Ring Power in Lake City. They kept the truck for three weeks. When they got the truck back the second time, it was still running bad. They called Ring Power back and they said to bring it back and they would try to work on it within the next 2 to 3 weeks. They then took the truck to the Diesel Doctor and were advised that someone set the injectors too low on it, which causes the pistons to go bad. They called Ring Power in Gainesville and they repaired it. Mr. Martin has a detailed bill of approximately $9000. The Board instructed Mr. McQueen to call John Duncan, Ring Power representative during the lunch break to discuss the situation.
The Board recessed for lunch at 12:15 p.m. and reconvened at 1:15 p.m.
EMA/County Coordinator's Report:
Mr. McQueen submitted two recommendations from the Planning and Zoning Board regarding the moratorium issue at it relates to dairies (intensive agricultural uses). They will advertise for public hearing to make a formal recommendation. They submitted two proposals; one from Farm Bureau and one drafted by Jerry Wright, a member of the Zoning and Planning Board. These proposals will be on the agenda at their next meeting. This Board can wait for their recommendation, or conduct workshops which would run concurrently with the Zoning and Planning Board hearings, however, this Board can not take any official actions until the Zoning and Planning Board makes their recommendations. Chairman Sheffield stated that the county attorney recommends that the Zoning and Planning Board send all three proposals to this Board for consideration. Craig Watson stated that he feels the third recommendation was not considered is because it strayed from the original purpose, and greatly inhibits agriculture. Several residents spoke in favor of the recommendation not being considered. Additionally, several residents voiced their opposition to the third recommendation. Following discussion, Commissioner Durden made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Bush, to accept the two proposals submitted by the Planning and Zoning Board. The motion passed unanimously.
Animal Control Services and Shelter:
The Animal Control Committee met and opened bids for animal services and shelter. The first bid was for a full time position submitted by Dennis Smith @ $25,000 per year, including high risk retirement benefits, which would put him under the direction and control of the sheriff. The second bid was for a part time position submitted by Dennis Smith @ $25.00 per hour for the first two hours and $15.00 per hour for additional hours. The county should furnish all equipment. The committee had questions regarding these quotes for Mr. Smith, however, he was called out of the meeting. The third proposal was submitted by Jim Zeigler, for full time services @ $24,500 per year for the first year and $22,000 for each additional year. The committee felt it was not in the county's interest to hire a full time position at this time, and recommended hiring Dennis Smith on a part-time basis, and continue to use Doyle Frierson in his current capacity because of the use of his pens. The committee also recommended building pens on the Board's property located near Walker Curve as soon as possible.
Commissioner Bush made a motion to accept the proposal from Dennis Smith for part time services. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Wilkerson and unanimously approved. There was discussion regarding insurance of his vehicle to pick up the animals. The county may need to lease Mr. Smith's truck in order to cover it under their insurance. Mr. Gilliam asked what services the part time proposal included. Mr. Frierson is paid $25 per pick up and receives $25 per week for sheltering the animal. Mr. Frierson will not address strays, however, Mr. Smith will handle those calls. Mr. Gilliam asked for clarification of the county furnishing all equipment. Mr. Smith stated that a dart gun is needed, as well as nets and traps. The cost could be as much as $2000 for all equipment needed. The Animal Control Committee had also asked that these items be identified, and this information could be presented to the Board at their next meeting. Mr. Gilliam asked if this part time position would be a contract or a part time employee. One committee member responded that it would need to be covered by the county's worker's compensation. The Board asked the Animal Control Committee to address these concerns at their next meeting and bring back a recommendation at the next meeting.
Commissioner Durden spoke to the Board about the budget for special attorney's fees. There is approximately $10,600 available to expend on special land use attorney fees for the remainder of the fiscal year. Mr. Gilliam stated that $20,000 was budgeted in general revenue fund and $15,000 in solid waste. A total of $24,400 has been spent so far. Commissioner Wilkerson asked why Mr. Mutch could not represent the Planning and Zoning Board. Commissioner Durden made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Wilkerson, that this topic be placed on the agenda for the Board's next meeting scheduled for March 16th. The motion carried unanimously. Mr. McQueen stated that he would ask Mr. Pelham to be here as well.
Gerald Roberts spoke to the Board about the requirement for portable toilets to be placed on construction sites. Mr. Roberts stated that he is aware of five residential construction sites that currently do not have portable toilets. Chairman Sheffield stated that it was his understanding that the Building Inspector was to enforce this requirement. Mr. McQueen stated that it is part of the permit application. Mr. McQueen stated that they are not required if they have access to a toilet (public facility) within 300 feet of the job site. If the homeowner grants the contractors use of their restroom, should they be required to rent a portable toilet.
Mr. Thomas reported that the School Board has been recommended to receive $13,000,000 to construct a new elementary school in Trenton. The construction of a new elementary school would free up space in the old elementary school to house the School Board administrative offices. Approximately $9,500,000 will be dedicated to the new elementary school and the remainder will be for the high school, such as remodeling and air-conditioning the gymnasium and enlarging the media center. The construction would not be complete until December 1999. In planning on the location for the new school, they are contemplating construction behind or west of the current location. They would like to have access to SR 26 to reduce some of the traffic congestion.
He also spoke about building an alternative school at Walker curve for disciplinary problem students.
Mr. McQueen introduced Ms. Miller from FEMA. Ms. Miller advised the Board about the assistance available through FEMA and the application process. Assistance requests are accepted by telephone by calling 800-462-9029. They have individual and public assistance available. Some people have flood insurance but it does not pay for alternate housing. There does not appear to be a great deal of alternate housing for rent in this area. At this time, one month assistance is available for renters and three months assistance is available for homeowners.
The Board asked Mr. Rehberg about the portable toilets for construction sites. Mr. Rehberg replied that every job he has been on for inspection has had a portable toilet. Mr. Roberts stated it is his understanding that the law requires a public facility to be available within 300 feet of the construction site, or a portable toilet must be used. Mr. Rehberg stated that if the homeowner is willing to allow the contractor to use their restroom, he does not require them to rent a portable toilet. Mr. McQueen will bring back the ordinance or statute for portable toilets. The Board asked Mr. McQueen to check the statute to determine if it requires a public facility or toilet.
Mr. Brideson narrated a tape played for the Board which showed some of the flooded areas of the county. Mr. Brideson and Ms. Latner were responsible for filming the flood damage. The Levy County Sheriff's Department allowed Gilchrist County to use their helicopter. Commissioner Bush made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Wilkerson, to send a letter of appreciation to the Levy County Sheriff. The motion passed unanimously.
Bailey, Bishop & Lane:
Preliminary drawings of the new law enforcement administrative offices were presented and reviewed by the Board and Mr. Bishop. The new building will be approximately 6000 square feet with a metal roof. A canopy will connect the new building with the existing training room building. The new building will include a self-contained evidence vault. The total cost of the building, including all plumbing, mechanical and electrical systems, communications, well and treatment system is $386,000. The site improvements for access roads and parking areas total $151,000 and the total engineering fees will be $47,000. The total cost is $584,000. The cost does not include relocation of the current computer and communications systems to the new building. Mr. McQueen stated that there is an independent fibre optic provider that is interested in securing rights-of-way in the county and may be willing to work out a deal with the county. The engineers should be able to finish their plans in about five more weeks. The Board advised Mr. McQueen and Sheriff Turner to get together and agree on what they need for an Emergency Operations Center. Commissioner Bush made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Durden to approve the plans, subject to the Sheriff and Mr. McQueen agreeing on the EOC portion. The motion carried unanimously. Commissioner Durden made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Bush, to approve the recent payment submitted by Bailey, Bishop & Lane of $5250, as well as the next billing for approximately $10,000. The motion carried unanimously.
Commissioner Durden reported that he spoke to Mr. Duncan from Ring Power about the problems recently encountered in repairing the fuel truck. Mr. Duncan stated that he will check into the situation either this afternoon or in the morning and will report back as soon as possible.
Mr. McQueen stated that the declaration of emergency previously adopted by the Board was only good for seven days and needs to be extended. Commissioner Bush made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Wilkerson to declare a state of emergency, by resolution, for the next 7 days. The motion carried unanimously. A copy of resolution 98-11 is on file in the Clerk's Office.
Mr. McQueen stated that Southeast Title has sent a subordination agreement for Reva Barker to refinance her home. She has a 3 year deferred payment loan for the CDBG program. Commissioner Bush made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Wilkerson to approve the subordination agreement. The motion carried unanimously.
The Board took action in a previous meeting to require homeowners living in flood plain areas to move their electrical service boxes high enough to prevent infiltration of flood waters. The cost of moving these electrical services cost approximately $600-$900. Central Florida Electric had requested this action from the Board, and the Board took that action, however, at the time, the Board did not know the cost involved. Commissioner Durden made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Bush to rescind their previous action requiring electrical services to be moved. The motion carried unanimously.
Mr. McQueen presented a draft of economic development needs, which was requested by the North Central Florida Regional Planning Council. Items 24-27 were added to the previous year's list, which was updated.
Mr. McQueen requested that the Board amend their personnel policy in regards to overtime. According to Mr. McQueen, FEMA will reimburse overtime during disasters. Mr. McQueen asked that the Board include a statement which authorizes overtime payment for both exempt and nonexempt employee, during declared emergencies. Commissioner Wilkerson made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Durden to amend the personnel policy as requested. The motion carried unanimously.
Mr. McQueen reviewed a survey with the Board regarding the right-of-way acquisitions from property owners on the landfill road. There are more property owners willing to deed some right-of-way property than those opposed. Some are willing to sell the property to the county. The next step would be to prepare right-of-way deeds.
Mr. McQueen submitted a report of Mr. Lewis' time, which indicates where he is working and what type of work is being performed.
Mr. Rehberg has recommended that the Board consider training a replacement for his position. According to Mr. McQueen the cities of Trenton and Fanning Springs are leaning toward having the county do their mitigation strategy and these funds could be used for hiring a person for planning and zoning and building inspections. A survey of other county building inspectors was made and Mr. Rehberg's salary is drastically below others. Mr. McQueen stated that there are funds in the Building Department's budget to accommodate an increase for Mr. Rehberg. Commissioner Wilkerson made a motion to increase Mr. Rehberg's hourly rate to $11.40 per hour and hire someone to begin training. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Durden and unanimously approved. The new position will be paid from the mitigation strategy grant funds.
Theron Hudson spoke to the Board about his flooding problems at Water's Lake. There used to be a bridge but it was removed and two culverts were installed. There is only one culvert remaining and he is currently flooded out. He would like the Board to consider some sort of corrective action. Commissioner Bush stated that the county should address the problem as soon as the water recedes.
There being no further business to come before the Board, Commissioner Durden made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Wilkerson to adjourn at 5:55 p.m. The motion carried unanimously.
JIMMIE SHEFFIELD, CHAIR
JOSEPH W. GILLIAM, CLERK