MINUTES OF A REGULAR MEETING OF THE GILCHRIST COUNTY BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS HELD APRIL 20, 1998.
The Gilchrist County Board of County Commissioners, in and for Gilchrist County, Florida, held a regular meeting on Monday, April 20, 1998, at 5:00 p.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
Sue B. Suggs
Others in attendance were: Joseph W. Gilliam, Clerk of Circuit Court, Samuel A. Mutch, County Attorney, Ron McQueen, EMA/County Coordinator, Sherree Pitzarell and Sam Ferguson, deputy clerks, John Ayers, Gilchrist County Journal, Delaney Faircloth, Suwannee River Water Management District, and Mitchell Gentry, county resident.
Suwannee River Water Management District:
Mr. Delaney Faircloth presented the annual Land Acquisition and Management report for the SRWMD, reporting that the District currently owns approximately 100,000 acres. According to Mr. Faircloth, all District lands are open to the public, and some tracts are approved for hunting. The acquisition and management funds are provided through the Preservation 2000 Program.
Mr. Gilliam stated that Davis, Monk & Company were unable to come to the meeting and have asked to be rescheduled for the 4th of May. Mr. Gilliam reviewed the findings by the auditor, as well as the responses to those findings. The most significant finding related to property inventory and the auditors have suggested that the Board track those items costing $500 or more. In addition, they recommend that the Board purchase a software program to assist in the tracking of purchases and transfers of property. Commissioner Suggs made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Bush, to raise the minimum amount for tracking property purchases to $500. The motion carried unanimously. Mr. Gilliam stated that he has prepared a response letter for the chairman's signature. Commissioner Suggs made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Wilkerson, to authorize the chairman to sign the letter. The motion carried unanimously.
Adoption of 3 Year SHIP Plan:
Mr. Gilliam reviewed the changes made to the three year SHIP plan, advising the Board that the new plan must be received by Florida Housing Finance Agency no later than May 2, 1998. Most of the changes in the plan provide clarification and definition. Commissioner Suggs made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Wilkerson, to adopt the plan by resolution. The motion passed unanimously. A copy of resolution 98-24 is on file in the Clerk's Office. Mr. Gilliam advised the Board that the Affordable Housing Task Force is no longer needed since their duties consisted of preparing the initial plan in 1992 and the incentive plan. A subcommittee of the Task Force is the Loan Review Committee, and it is his recommendation that the Loan Review Committee be retained by the Board to continue their review and recommendations of SHIP loans. Commissioner Bush made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Wilkerson, to appoint the Loan Review Committee by resolution. The motion passed unanimously and a copy of Resolution 98-25 is on file in the Clerk's Office.
Public Hearing- Ordinance 98-06:
Mr. Mutch presented the proposed ordinance to the Board, explaining that it would amend ordinance 93-02, which established the county's SHIP program. The section of the ordinance being amended will sunset the Affordable Housing Task Force; no other section of the ordinance will be changed. Commissioner Wilkerson made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Bush, to adopt ordinance 98-06. The motion carried unanimously. A copy of ordinance 98-06 is on file in the Clerk's Office.
Mr. Mutch reported that Mrs. Roberts has signed a contract for the sale of the "Roberts" property and presented the contract to the Board. Ms. Roberts will purchase the title insurance and asks for 10% down and the balance is due at closing. The Board discussed the zoning and concluded that the property is probably zoned residential. Commissioner Suggs made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Wilkerson, to authorize the chairman to sign the contract, providing that the following be completed: a termite inspection, a property survey, building inspection, and check of the zoning requirements. The motion carried unanimously.
Mr. Mutch stated that he received notification from the FCC regarding the application filed by WDJY, the local radio station. According to FCC, the application is acceptable, provided that the height is not exceeded.
Mr. Gilliam read a letter from Pat Callahan, Court Administrator's Office, stating that Judge Cates will not issue an order in regards to the use of the second floor of the courthouse. Mr. Gilliam stated that he will be responding to Mr. Callahan, informing him that the state fire marshal is available to meet with him if needed.
Mr. Gilliam reported that the "Prime" property has been reduced to $45,000, which is the appraised price. The property consists of two lots for a total of .43 acres. Commissioner Bush made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Suggs, to purchase the property for $45,000. The motion carried unanimously.
EMA/County Coordinator's Report:
Mr. McQueen announced that May 6th is the deadline to apply for individual assistance from FEMA.
Mr. McQueen advised the Board that before the county can apply for reimbursement of expenditures connected with the flooding, an agreement with DCA needs to be executed. DCA will be disbursing the FEMA funds. Mr. McQueen added that he and Mr. Mutch attended the meeting where these forms were distributed and Mr. Mutch has reviewed the agreement. Commissioner Suggs made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Wilkerson, to approve the agreement, designating Mr. McQueen as the contact person and Mr. Ferguson as the person authorized to sign the reimbursement requests. The motion carried unanimously.
Mr. McQueen reported that the county's application to have the 12% match waived has been received and is being reviewed (match for FEMA funds).
Mr. McQueen stated that he has received many calls regarding wakes on the Santa Fe and Suwannee Rivers; the threshold of the wakes have gone below that level and the Game and Fish Commission are not going to enforce the wake rule. If the counties want to enforce the wakes, they will need the cooperation of all the bordering counties. Commissioner Wilkerson made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Suggs, to extend the emergency status due to flooding, removing the no wake on rivers. The motion carried unanimously.
Mr. McQueen discussed the overtime policy in regards to emergencies. Previously, the Board adopted a policy stating that overtime can be paid at the discretion of the Board during states of emergencies. According to FEMA, they require that the policy state that overtime will be paid without discretion to exempt and non-exempt employees, during a state of emergency. This is required in order for FEMA to reimburse the county for overtime paid. Commissioner Wilkerson made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Suggs, to adopt policy providing that overtime be paid to exempt and non-exempt employees, during a state of emergency. The motion carried unanimously.
Mr. McQueen reported that the Suwannee River Water Management District has informed the county engineer, Lee Mills, that they will install erosion control at Hart Springs and bear the cost of approximately $5999.95. Mr. McQueen added that Mr. Mills is working on a cost estimate for resurfacing CR 340, CR 232 and the road to the Solid Waste Facility. Mr. Mills also looked at the roads in the Spring Ridge area, and they will be included in the cost estimates. It is Mr. Mills recommendation that the roads be bid as a package. The Board instructed Mr. McQueen to have Mr. Mills include the county line road (90th Avenue) and the "Tom Scott" road. The Board asked Mr. McQueen to invite Mr. Mills to speak to them whenever he has the estimates ready.
Chairman Sheffield stated that a contractor living in the Spring Ridge subdivision is tearing up the roads by bringing in heavy equipment on a lowboy. Chairman Sheffield asked Mr. McQueen to check the county's ordinances for weight restrictions.
Mr. McQueen updated the Board on the right-of-way acquisition process for the road leading to the Solid Waste Facility. Mr. Mills suggests that the Board authorize him to get with Parrish Surveyors, to do a survey. What the county would need to purchase is the property on the existing right-of-way. Mr. Mills will define the property in its entirety and have a signing space for every landowner. A signing fee of $100 will be paid to each property owner willing to deed the county right-of-way. Commissioner Wilkerson made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Bush to authorize Mr. McQueen and Mr. Mills to proceed with the ROW acquisition. The motion carried unanimously.
A request from the Spring House Quilt Club has been received for the use of the Donnie Community Center the first and third Thursdays of each month. Commissioner Wilkerson made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Bush to waive the rental fee. The motion carried unanimously.
Notification from the Governor's Office has been received, appointing Eva Fontinou to the Gilchrist County Housing Authority.
The Board unanimously agreed to solicit bids for a recycling conveyor belt, following a motion from Commissioner Bush, which was seconded by Commissioner Wilkerson.
The Board discussed the discharge of firearms on private ranges. According to Sheriff Turner, there is no statute that prevents an individual from having a firing range. Mr. Mutch stated that the LDR's provide that a special exception must be obtained if the primary use of the property is a firing range, however, if it is an accessory use, such as tennis courts, stables, pools, etc., a special exception is not needed. The issue here is whether or not a firing range is allowed in a subdivision, most of which are zoned agriculture in Gilchrist County. Chairman Sheffield stated that it was his understanding that you could not discharge a firearm in a subdivision. Mr. Mutch stated that the statute provides a loop hole, stating that a firearm can not be discharged near or over a paved road, but does not prohibit it on or near an unpaved road.
Commissioner Wilkerson made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Bush to extend the deadline for applications for the building inspector position by one week. The motion carried unanimously.
Sheriff Turner spoke to the Board about establishing the tipping fees at the Solid Waste Facility by ordinance. Recently an individual refused to pay the fees and an ordinance is needed for the Sheriff's Department to issue citations. The Board instructed Mr. Mutch to prepare an ordinance establishing the tipping fees.
Sheriff Turner submitted checks totaling $3250, representing outstanding checks. He would like the Board to return the funds to his budget.
Sheriff Turner informed the Board that an accident occurred recently at the Sheriff's Administration building, where an individual's car collided with the building, causing over $900 in damages to the building. No one was hurt and a claim has been filed with the insurance company.
The annual Florida Association of Counties conference is scheduled for June 17th thru June 19th. Commissioner Suggs stated that she would like to attend.
There being no further business to discuss, a motion to adjourn at 9:00 p.m. was made by Commissioner Suggs, seconded by Commissioner Bush, and unanimously approved.
JIMMIE SHEFFIELD, CHAIR
JOSEPH W. GILLIAM, CLERK