The Gilchrist County Board of County Commissioners, in and for Gilchrist County, Florida, held a regular meeting on Monday, July 20, 1998, at 5:00 p.m., in the County Commissioner's Meeting Room, Gilchrist County Courthouse, Trenton, Florida, with the following members present to-wit:

Jimmie Sheffield, Chair

Fred Wilkerson

Wilbur Bush

Randy Durden

Sue B. Suggs

Others in attendance were: Joseph W. Gilliam, Clerk of Circuit Court, Samuel A. Mutch, County Attorney, Sherree Pitzarell, Deputy Clerk, Beth Latner, Administrative Assistant, Harvey Montgomery, Chief Deputy, John Ayers, Gilchrist County Journal, John Smith, Florida Association of Counties, Corbett Alday, Summit Professional Services, and Sam Ferguson, Finance Director

John Smith- Florida Association of Counties:

Mr. Smith has been speaking to counties throughout the state about the constitutional revision process. This process only occurs once every twenty years. The Florida Association of Counties have been working on reducing the cost for counties for court expenses. The county is responsible for some costs, however, they hope to reduce the county's cost by one third, which would equate to about $200,000 for Gilchrist County. Mr. Smith urged the Board to educate the public to vote yes on amendment seven. FAC will conduct a statewide campaign to educate the public as well.

Public Hearing- CDBG Grant Application:

This is the first public hearing to approve an application for the CDBG Disaster Recovery Grant for $350,000. Mr. Corbett Alday explained that these funds can be used for buyouts for low to moderate income residences and businesses that experience flood damage, improvements for elevations for those residences and businesses, job retention activities, health/safety repairs to public facilities and mitigation for health/safety conditions created by septic systems. A second and final public hearing is scheduled for Thursday, July 30th at 5:00 p.m.

Mr. Alday stated that In regards to the CDBG Hazard Mitigation grant application, they have looked at several areas in the county to include for consideration. This grant would allow the county to improve bridges, culverts, drainage, etc.

Commissioner Wilkerson made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Bush to begin placing rock at the site of the new peanut plant, in preparation of paving the access road, which will be funded through the CDBG economic development grant. Commissioner Durden filed Form 8B, Memorandum of Voting Conflict and abstained from voting. Commissioners Wilkerson, Bush, Suggs, and Sheffield voted in favor of the motion.

Attorney's Report:

Mr. Mutch distributed a letter from Florida Power Corporation regarding the Utility Privilege Fee. At the time Gilchrist County imposed the fee, FPC stated they would not challenge it if the fee did not exceed 1%. Commissioner Bush made a motion to continue to collect the fees until a decision is reached in the appeals court on the Alachua county case. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Suggs and unanimously approved. The Board directed Mr. Mutch to send a letter to FPC advising them of the Board's action.

Mr. Mutch has reviewed the original contract with Caterpillar for the purchase of a motor grader and advised the chairman that it is ready to sign. The guaranteed buy back is $89,000 and the interest rate is 5.75%.

Mr. Mutch stated that the Board needs a written policy for a drug free workplace. Mr. Mutch stressed that when the policy is adopted, a copy needs to be given to every employee. Each employee will need to sign acknowledgment that he has received a copy and the acknowledgment should be placed in their personnel file.

Mr. Mutch asked if the Board wishes to expand their use of impact fees to other areas, or continue to designate their use for road improvements. The funds can be used for capital improvements and must be spent within three years of collection. Commissioner Durden suggested that this discussion be included in the budget process.

Mr. Mutch stated that he needs to get some ordinances about Lakewood subdivision. Mr. Gilliam stated that a couple came in to discuss that subdivision earlier before Mr. Mutch's arrival and Mr. Gilliam advised them that it was not on the agenda for this evening. They are going to contact the Clerk's office to get on the agenda for the next meeting. According to Mr. Mutch, a letter from the former county attorney states that in his opinion the subdivision ordinance (in effect at that time) did not apply to this subdivision.

Mr. Mutch has reviewed the purchase agreement for the Prime property. A check needs to be made to Sheree Lancaster's Trust Account for $45,815.50. Documentary stamps, recording and title insurance total $815.50 and should be included.

The Board discussed the need to fill vacancies on the Code Enforcement Board and the need to replace two members of the Competency Board who wish to be replaced. The Board asked that Mr. McQueen furnish them with the names and terms of those board members.

The Gardner Group- Trace Milam:

Mr. Milam spoke to the Board about the services his company offers. His company will shop the market for health insurance at no charge to the county, as well as review the bids and coordinate the bid process. Mr. Milam stated his company also administers section 125 programs. Commissioner Durden made a motion to allow the Gardner Group to work on behalf of the county. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Wilkerson and unanimously approved.

Clerk's Report:

Mr. Gilliam submitted the Certification of Taxable Value for the Chair's signature.

Following discussion, the Board unanimously agreed to adopt a resolution requesting the Department of Environmental Protection to waive all permit fees higher than $100 for Gilchrist County, based on the 10 mill cap, upon motion from Commissioner Suggs, which was seconded by Commissioner Durden. A copy of resolution 98-35 is on file in the Clerk's Office.

Mr. Gilliam spoke to the Board about the EEO plan for the Sheriff's Department. According to the Sheriff, the Board's EEO plan was not sufficient to meet the requirements for grant funding through the Department of Community Affairs. The Board directed Mr. Mutch to speak to Mr. Grogran, the Board's labor attorney, to determine what the Sheriff needs.

Mr. Gilliam received a purchase order from the Development Authority for $2000, which requires Board approval, to restore the Coca Cola sign at the building across from the train depot. Commissioner Suggs stated that even though the Development Authority is one of her departments, she has no knowledge of this purchase order. The Board asked Commissioner Suggs to speak to the Development Authority because they are of the opinion that it would not serve a public need.

Commissioner Suggs stated that Lewis Overstreet may have a building available for the food bank, but he would like to a letter from the Board for a tax benefit. The Development Authority and Chamber is involved in the project. Mr. Mutch stated that the lessor would need to provide the letter. The Board asked Mr. Mutch contact to Dewayne Yates to get the letter and project underway.

The Development Authority would like the presidents of the Bell and Gilchrist County Chambers of Commerce to be automatic members of the Development Authority. Mr. Mutch stated he would need to look at the ordinance or resolution establishing the Development Authority to determine if it would be possible.

The courthouse space committee met last week, followed by a meeting of the safety committee. The space committee recommended that the state attorney be moved from the second floor as soon as possible, and to study building a court complex building for court related offices. Dean Drummond determined that the newest portion of the courthouse could not be expanded to a second floor. Commissioner Durden made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Suggs to authorize Dean Drummond to proceed with the conceptual plan for a court complex building. The motion passed unanimously.

Mr. Gilliam reported that the Public Safety Coordinating Committee met and made a list of repairs needed at the current jail facility. The committee recommended that the existing facility be repaired if possible. There are a list of items that need attention at the present jail facility. Commissioner Bush made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Wilkerson to proceed with the committee's recommendations for looking at the costs of renovations to the existing jail. Vote of the Board was unanimous.

Mr. Gilliam and Mr. Mutch spoke to the Board about the need for codifying the county's ordinances. One company, Municipal Code Corporation, has codified ordinances for most of the counties in the state of Florida. Codifying ordinances places them in the appropriate format and makes access much easier. The process takes about 12 months and the information is also placed on the internet. The base price is $7450, however, the total cost could be between $10,000-$11,000. Municipal Code Corporation provides a four payment plan, with the initial payment costing $2300. The total cost could be divided between two budget years. Commissioner Durden made a motion to authorize Mr. Gilliam to proceed with the codification of ordinances with Municipal Code Corporation. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Suggs and unanimously approved.

Summit previously presented contracts, which were approved by the Board, subject to Mr. Mutch's review. Mr. Mutch has made some corrections and the contracts are ready for the chair's signature.

Use of county vehicles by employees:

Davis, Monk & Company provided information about use of county vehicles by county employees and Mr. Gilliam would like Mr. Mutch to review the information as well. Mr. Mutch stated that the county needs a written policy for vehicle use. Davis, Monk & Company could review the county's current usage and make recommendations for a fee of $250. Commissioner Suggs made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Durden to hire the audit firm to review the board's current usage of county vehicles. The motion passed unanimously.

Mr. Ferguson submitted a purchase order for 24 culverts, which need to be replaced, due to flood damage. The cost is $5180.66 and is a FEMA expenditure, based on the DSR's. Commissioner Durden made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Suggs to approve the purchase order. Vote of the Board was unanimous.

Mr. Ferguson spoke to the Board about a purchase order issued to Dennis Smith to attend a Florida Animal Disaster Planning Advisory Committee. According to the purchase order, he is charging the county by the hour to attend the meeting, at the rate of $15 per hour. Mr. Smith has not been hired by the county. It was never determined whether Mr. Smith would be a county employee or a contractor. It was Mr. Smith's desire to work on a contract basis, however, he wanted to be covered under the county's workers compensation insurance. Mr. McQueen has signed the bill however, the Board advised Mr. Ferguson they would like to speak to Mr. McQueen prior to approving payment.

Ms. Latner presented a modification to the Local Mitigation Strategy contract in Mr. McQueen's absence. The modification changes the dates of the first period deliverables from June 30th to October 31st. Commissioner Suggs made a motion to approve the modification. Commissioner Durden seconded the motion and vote of the Board was unanimous.

Ms. Latner presented a reimbursement request from Solid Waste for the waste tire grant, for the balance of $2968. Commissioner Suggs made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Durden to approve the reimbursement request. Vote of the Board was unanimous.

Chairman Sheffield spoke to the Board about a Solid Waste employee that he has received a lot of complaints about. He advised the Board that he first spoke to Commissioner Bush since Solid Waste is his committee, however, it is his understanding that the problems persist. The employee, Mr. Hinote is a part time employee, working on Saturdays and according to the complaints received, he goes through residents garbage and fusses at them if something doesn't suit him. Commissioner Bush advised the Board that he would take care of the problem.

Commissioner Sheffield spoke to the Board about closing Waters Lake park or giving it to the surrounding property owners. The county has constantly repaired the bathroom facilities in the past and its current condition is terrible. Commissioner Wilkerson suggested closing the restrooms and renting a portable toilet for the summer months.

Commissioner Durden made a motion to adjourn at 7:40 p.m. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Wilkerson and unanimously approved.