MINUTES OF A REGULAR MEETING OF THE GILCHRIST COUNTY BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS HELD OCTOBER 5, 1998.
The Gilchrist County Board of County Commissioners, in and for Gilchrist County, Florida, convened in a regular meeting on October 5, 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
Sue B. Suggs
Others in attendance were: Joseph W. Gilliam, Clerk of Circuit Court, Samuel A. Mutch, County Attorney, Sherree Pitzarell, Deputy Clerk, Linda Walker, EMS Director, Nathan Martin, Road Superintendent, Diane Avery, Marvin Weaver, Sheriff Turner
Commissioner Durden made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Suggs, to approve the minutes of the meeting held 8-17-98, the bills and journal entries numbered 98142-98148. The motion passed unanimously.
Special Public Defenders- Arrangements are being made to advertise the request for proposals this week. This year, two of the three attorneys contracting with the county gave notice that they would no longer be available after September 30th.
Ginnie Springs v. Watson Dairy & Florida DEP- A motion to intervene has been made and Mr. Mutch received a letter yesterday from Patrice Boyes, objecting to the Board's intervention. Ms. Boyes claims that the Board does not have sufficient interest to intervene. Intervention is normally very liberal. The hearings are scheduled beginning on the 12th of this month. Any and all of the Board members may attend the hearings and Mr. Mutch may call the Board to attend certain portions of the hearings. Ms. Boyce has on one occasion contacted Mr. McQueen about some of these proceedings, rather than Mr. Mutch. He wrote her a letter, asking that she call him, but so far she has not. Mr. Mutch directed the Board and Mr. McQueen not to speak with Ms. Boyce about this issue, but rather advise her to contact Mr. Mutch. Ms. Boyce is aware that Mr. Mutch represents the county on this issue and she should contact him. Mr. Mutch added that he may report her to the Florida Bar.
Impact Fees- The Board agreed to set a workshop on impact fees for 10-19-98, from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Commissioner Durden stated that the committee established to meet with the city of Trenton needs to have an agenda set.
Forfeiture Funds- The Sheriff has questioned the legality of forfeiture funds spent at the Walker Curve property and according to Mr. Mutch, that expenditure is legal. Mr. McQueen asked if the Road Department could purchase a portion of that property and Mr. Mutch stated that they could, however, the road department would have to reimburse the forfeiture fund. Commissioner Durden stated at the time of the purchase, no one knew whether it was state or federal funds used to purchase the property because the funds were co-mingled. Commissioners Suggs, Durden and Wilkerson indicated that they do not feel the property should be used to construct a jail complex and administration building. At the jail's current location, there is water available and the capability of a sewer connection. In addition, running the fiber optic cable would be less expensive. Commissioner Suggs stated that arrangements are being made to tour the Columbia County jail this Thursday at 1:00 p.m.
Mr. McQueen contacted a house moving company regarding moving the Roberts house and received an estimate of $22,000 and recommended that the house not be moved at this time. If it is moved, the brick facade will not remain intact.
Mr. Mutch reviewed the surplus auction bid request. Philman Custom Services submitted a bid at 3:30 p.m. last Friday and the deadline for receiving bids was 12:00 noon. Mr. Mutch advised the Board that the late bid must be rejected.
Mr. Mutch stated that Summit Professional Services presented him and Mr. McQueen a contract and asked for it to be signed, indicating they would seek additional funds for the county. Mr. Mutch is not comfortable with this method and feels these services need to be bid. This work would not be covered under the original request for proposals and the subsequent acceptance by Summitt. This is almost a contingency contract. Mr. Mutch will check with Summitt and report back at the next meeting.
Commissioner Suggs asked Mr. Mutch if he had a chance to research the issue of tax exemption for not for profit organizations (i.e. FFA Alumni). Mr. Mutch replied that he had not. Commissioner Suggs also asked if he researched the issue of closing the Philpot Memorial Park. Mr. Mutch replied that he looked into the issue but would need to refer to his notes at the office. Mr. Mutch added that he feels the county's actions thus far are okay. Commissioner Durden stated that he was at the meeting the FFA Alumni had with the Suwannee River Water Management District and their representative stated that the county has liability in regards to the retention pond if the county applies for the permit. Mr. Mutch stated that the county could enter into an agreement with the FFA Alumni, whereby the Alumni assumes the liability. Commissioner Durden stated that according to SRWMD, the liability is not transferable. Mr. Gilliam cautioned the Board that they could be setting precedence for other organizations to seek assistance from the Board in the future.
Mr. Mutch reported that Mr. Pickles, from Representative Allen Boyd's office, made contact with Jerry Scarborough of the Suwannee River Water Management District, and they are trying to set up a workshop with IFAS, through the university of Florida.
Commissioner Suggs stated that the last correspondence to the state regarding the grant from Agriculture and Consumer Services, listed the FFA Alumni as the grant recipient.
Mr. Gilliam suggested that the second meeting of the month be held November 17th, rather than the 16th, because that will be the effective date of the new commissioner(s). Commissioner Suggs made a motion to hold the mid-month meeting on the 17th of November and to approve the bonds for the two commissioners. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Durden and unanimously approved.
The Property Appraiser has remitted $1200.21 to the Board, which represents interest for the previous fiscal year.
The Development Authority unanimously voted to fill their two vacancies with the Bell Chamber of Commerce president and the Gilchrist County Chamber of Commerce president. Commissioner Suggs made a motion to approve their recommendation. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Durden and unanimously approved.
According to Commissioner Suggs, there is a meeting on the 10th and 11th of December in Orlando, the Foundation for Florida's Future and they encourage Development Authorities and Chamber of Commerces throughout the state to attend. Commissioner Suggs stated that if our local organizations can send a representative, it would be good, however, if they can not, she will attend to represent Gilchrist County.
Chairman Sheffield stated that he received an invitation to attend a reception at Poe Springs on the 29th of October, as well as a meeting on the 30th in Gainesville. Chairman Sheffield stated that he would like to see a representative from the Board attend. Supreme Court Justice Harding will be the guest of honor.
Summit has notified Mr. Gilliam that there will be a site visit on the 19th of October for the economic development grant. Mr. McQueen will be attending.
Mr. Gilliam spoke to the Board about a problem with special assessments. A fair formula needs to be established for people who have businesses at their homes. Some are assessed for one unit and some are assessed for two. The assessments need to be applied uniformly.
There followed discussion between the Clerk and the Board regarding special assessments and homestead property.
Mr. Gilliam stated that the Sheriff presented documents for the Marine Grant, and the Board will need to refund, out of state law enforcement trust a total of $78.72. Commissioner Suggs made a motion to approve the close-out report and refund. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Durden and unanimously approved.
Surplus Property Bids:
Commissioner Durden made a motion to award items to the second highest bidder if they are not picked up and paid for by the successful bidder within ten days from the date the bids are awarded. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Suggs and unanimously approved.
Mr. McQueen announced that all bids were received by the 12:00 noon deadline last Friday with the exception of one, which was clocked in at 3:39 p.m. Upon recommendation by the attorney, the bid was returned unopened to Philman's Custom Services.
Each bid was opened by Mr. McQueen and the bid amount read aloud and recorded by the Clerk. Commissioner Suggs made a motion to reject bids that were not whole dollar amounts. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Durden. The motion passed unanimously.
The Board recessed for lunch and placed the remaining six unopened bids into the Finance Office vault, at 12:00 noon. The Board reconvened at 1:15 p.m.
The remaining six unopened bids were opened by Mr. McQueen and read aloud. Due to the large number of bids submitted, the Board directed Mr. Luzader and Ms. Strickland to tally the bids and bring the results back to the Board later during the meeting.
Bid for Hydraulic Rescue Tools:
Mr. McQueen announced that only one bid was received. This bid was opened before the Board. Elite Fire and Safety Equipment submitted a bid for four phoenix spreader cutters, four power units and 4 thirty-two feet extension hoses (twin line) for $26,111.08. The accompanying maxi-force 48 ton air bag, 17 ton air bag, 16 feet air hose, controls, valves, and control by-passes are bid at $1542.75. Even though EMS will own these tools, they will be assigned to four fire departments. Commissioner Suggs made a motion to approve the bid. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Durden and vote of the Board was unanimous. These items will be purchased with grant funds.
County Vehicle Use Policy:
Mr. Yozgat spoke to the Board about the draft policy that he, Mr. McQueen, Mr. Gilliam, and Commissioner Durden proposed. Each department head has been invited to attend this portion of the meeting today. Mr. Gilliam reported that the tax collector and property appraiser's employees will use their county vehicles to commute to and from work. This policy addresses several different types of use. The policy also states that each county vehicle should be marked with the county seal unless the Board deems it unnecessary on a case by case basis. Commissioner Suggs made a motion to adopt the policy as presented. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Durden and unanimously approved.
The Board asked Mr. Martin how many employees in his department use county vehicles. Commissioner Durden feels that the only people in that department that need to drive county vehicles are Mr. Martin, Billy Cannon and Paul Fuller. They will be subject to paying $3 per day and it will be a taxable benefit. No unauthorized persons will be allowed to ride in county vehicles, without Board approval. There followed discussion regarding the other mechanic driving his vehicle home. Commissioner Durden stated that if the second mechanic, Mr. Meece is willing to respond on call, he can continue to drive the vehicle home, however, if he is not willing to be on call, he will not be able to drive the vehicle home. Commissioner Durden made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Wilkerson, to declare the use by Mr. Martin, Mr. Cannon and Mr. Fuller as long term status and the use by Mr. Meece as short term status. Each of the employees are deriving a taxable benefit of $3.00 per day and they will be responsible for the taxes on that amount. The motion passed unanimously.
Only one EMS employee, the supervisor will be affected by the policy. Ms. Walker, the EMS director, when on call, must respond in emergency situations, therefore, her use of the county vehicle is not subject to a taxable benefit. Commissioner Suggs made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Durden to approve her use as stated. The motion passed unanimously.
Mr. Walker reported that she has received an offer of $1375 for the chassis trade-in from Jacksonville. Commissioner Durden made a motion to accept the offer. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Wilkerson and unanimously approved.
Commissioner Durden made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Wilkerson, to approve the Solid Waste supervisor's vehicle use as a taxable benefit of $3.00 per day. She will drive the vehicle to and from work each day. The motion passed unanimously.
The county agent currently has an agreement to use the county vehicle (lease agreement) for personal use for an annual payment. Under the proposed policy, the lease is not applicable and the personal use would have to follow IRS guidelines. Mr. Weaver currently pays $125 per month. Mr. Yozgat stated that allowing Mr. Weaver to travel to Mississippi in the county vehicle for personal use subjects the Board to a liability situation. His personal use of the vehicle should be documented by a milage log. According to Mr. Weaver, of the 29,000 annual miles placed on the vehicle, about 7000 are for personal use. Commissioner Durden stated that in order to be fair, he feels the lease needs to be revoked. He does not mind allowing personal use of the vehicle, providing Mr. Weaver provides an insurance rider. However Commissioner Durden added that if Mr. Weaver gets into an accident, the county would be liable. Mr. Yozgat suggested that he be given a car allowance as part of his fringe benefit. Commissioner Durden made a motion to cancel the lease and place the vehicle on a limited personal use basis, with a new use policy instated within the next 30 days. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Suggs and unanimously approved. The Board suggested that Mr. Weaver meet with Commissioner Bush, since he is the commissioner over Mr. Weaver's department and is not present today.
Commissioner Suggs made a motion to declare the deputy tax collector and deputy tax appraiser's use of county vehicles as those deriving a taxable benefit of $3.00 per day. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Durden and unanimously approved.
Following discussion, Commissioner Wilkerson made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Durden to designate the Park's department truck as a no personal use vehicle. The motion passed unanimously.
The Board unanimously agreed that Mr. Brideson's use is a clearly marked emergency vehicle that does not derive a taxable benefit, and is not subject to the taxable benefit, following a motion by Commissioner Durden, which was seconded by Commissioner Wilkerson. The Board added that there will be no personal use of the vehicle outside of commuting to and from work.
Mr. McQueen stated that Mr. Rehberg is currently using his personal vehicle and Mr. Luzader is using the county vehicle. The Board agreed to pay Mr. Rehberg .29 per mile from Trenton to the inspection sites and back, but not from Trenton to home or from his home to Trenton. Mr. Luzader will use the county vehicle to commute to work and back, which will derive a taxable benefit of $3.00 per day and will be considered de minimis use. Mr. Luzader asked the Board if he is allowed to drop his kids off at school or pick them up after practice on his way home. Following discussion, Commissioner Durden made a motion to declare the building department vehicle as a taxable benefit with de minimis use. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Suggs and unanimously approved.
The Board declared that in order for a spouse to attend an out of town conference, traveling in the county owned vehicle, prior permission from the Board must be granted.
The Judge spoke to the Board about replacing the carpet in the courtroom, his offices, the judge's chambers, and the hallway on the north side of the courthouse. The Judge received quotes from Gainesville Carpet and Henley Carpet. The difference in cost is $56.57 between the two quotes. Henley was slightly lower. The total cost is $8146 for the judge's offices, courtroom, judge's chambers and jury room and $1465 for the hallway. A machine will be needed to vacuum the floor once the old carpet is removed. Commissioner Durden made a motion to approve the request, paying the cost from Court Facility Trust Fund, and if possible, replace the carpet in the rest of the hall areas, using the $42,500 for courthouse renovations. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Wilkerson and unanimously approved.
Vehicle Policy (cont.):
The Board agreed that Mr. McQueen's vehicle qualifies under emergency use, however, it needs to be marked. This vehicle is exempt from the $3 taxable benefit. Commissioner Suggs made a motion to declare his vehicle as emergency use, exempt from the taxable benefit, allowing de minimus use. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Durden and unanimously approved.
Following discussion, Commissioner Durden made a motion, second by Commissioner Suggs to adopt the EEO policy by resolution and strongly recommend that the Sheriff adopt the same policy. Vote of the Board was unanimous. A copy of resolution 98-56 is on file in the Clerk's Office.
Surplus Property Bids:
High bids were tallied and reported back to the Board. There was only one item where the bids submitted were the same from two individuals. A coin was flipped to determine the successful bidder. The Board unanimously approved the bids, following a motion from Commissioner Durden, which was seconded by Commissioner Wilkerson. Commissioner
Durden made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Wilkerson to establish a sinking fund and deposit the total for the bids ($15,791) for the purchase of a dragline. The motion passed unanimously.
Commissioner Durden made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Suggs, to allow the balance of the items where no bids were submitted to be purchased in bulk. The motion passed unanimously.
FERDAP Grant Application:
Representatives from Summitt appeared before the Board to assist in conducting a public hearing for a FERDAP grant application. The proposed project is for the renovations and additions to the Waters Lake Park. The grant amount is $50,000 and requires no match from the county.
Mr. Mutch stated that in July, Mr. McQueen received two copies of a contract from Summitt for additional services to be provided by them. Mr. Mutch asked Mr. Alday what those services were for. Mr. Alday replied that the services were for a hazard mitigation grant and the FERDAP grant application currently being considered by the Board. According to Mr. Mutch, he questions whether this contract for services was under the original scope of the CDBG planning, administration and engineering RFP, which the county put forward and under which Summitt was hired. Mr. Mutch feels that Summitt has done a good job and has diligently tried to secure grant funds for the county, however, does not feel that these services are under the original RFP. The RFP states that, "planning services will include identifying needs and appropriate solutions, providing the county guidance in the selection of the appropriate category of suitable financing to meet the identified needs and to develop grant applications. Additional similar services may be included in an overall community development project, at the discretion of the county commission. That may also include funds from other grants and similar sources obtained by the consultant." The issue here, according to Mr. Mutch is whether the FERDAP and hazmat issue fall within the scope of services. This is an RFP which made Summitt the exclusive grant contractor for the county.
Commissioner Durden made a motion to do an RFP for grant writing, to authorize the FERDAP grant application, and to set a workshop to meet with Summit to go over the contracts and status of projects. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Suggs and unanimously approved.
The site visit for the CDBG Neighborhood Revitalization has been completed. According to Mr. Alday, they expect the Economic Development grant to be funded. The hazard mitigation grant has not yet been reviewed by DCA. The Board agreed to hold a workshop with Summitt on the 19th of October at 1:00 p.m.
Notice of Public Workshop:
Chairman Sheffield announced that there will be a public workshop regarding the Fanning Springs and Nature Coast Greenways on October 12th.
Dianne Pierson- Livestock Auction:
Ms. Dianne Pierson stated that she has property west of Trenton on S.W. 19th Circle. Cauldwell's Livestock Auction closed about two months ago and Flying Hawk Auction in Old Town will be closing this week. Because these auctions created an outlet for people to sale their excess livestock, she feels a livestock auction serves the community in a positive manner. The property she has is zoned agricultural and currently they have a few goats and chickens. There are approximately 6.25 acres of property with one vacant barn, which she would like to use. Ms. Pierson stated that according to the zoning department, this use could be permitted with a special exception. Mr. Mutch stated that it is inappropriate for this request to be heard because a special exception must be reviewed by the Planning and Zoning Board first, with a recommendation to the Board of County Commissioners. Mr. McQueen stated that Ms. Pierson would need to make an application to the Planning and Zoning Board and provide a site plan. The Board advised Ms. Pierson to apply through the Planning and Zoning Board, and further advised Mr. McQueen to assist Ms. Pierson if necessary.
EMA/County Coordinator's Report:
Mr. McQueen met with DOT last Thursday in Bell regarding the CR 340 project, along with Lee Mills. DOT agreed that closing the road as the Board previously agreed to do for the bridge construction, will shorten the project by two months. DOT predicts that it will not take longer than 6 months to complete the bridge construction. Construction will begin in December 1999 or January 2000. The project also includes widening of the road for a distance of 11 feet per travel lane, plus an additional two feet on each side. At the same time, DOT will install left turn lanes at Lancaster Correctional Facility.
The Secretary of DOT is working out a formula and sponsoring a special bill to allow DOT excess funds to be set aside for rural roads (formerly state roads that were turned over to the counties).
Commissioner Suggs suggested that some alterations be done where U.S. 129 splits at the jail, adding that this may be an area to be included in DOT's five year work plan.
The city of Chiefland is relinquishing 4 of their animal control pens and they are available for $10 each per month. These could be used until an agreement can be reached with the city of Trenton. Commissioner Wilkerson made a motion to approve the rental of these pens. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Durden and unanimously approved.
Mr. McQueen submitted the building department report for the month of September, as well as the annual report. The annual report indicates a decrease in impact fees and an increase in building permit fees.
A request has been received from Ted Burt, on behalf of David McCloud. Mr. McCloud appeared before the Board on February 3, 1997 and received approval for a preliminary plat on Foothill Farms Subdivision. They are requesting an extension of 12 months. The current preliminary plat will expire February 3, 1999. Commissioner Wilkerson made a motion to extend the preliminary plat until February 3, 2000. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Durden and unanimously approved.
The Evaluation and Appraisal Report is now in a staff level review.
Florida Association of Counties' 1999 legislative conference will be held November 18th - 21st.
A request from Lee Mills to renew the continuing contract for engineering has been received. The rates are the same as the current contract. Commissioner Suggs made a motion to approve the contract. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Durden and unanimously approved.
Following discussion, Commissioner Durden made a motion to move the benches from the south entrance of the courthouse to another area, in order to cut down on the noise level outside the building. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Suggs and unanimously approved.
Mr. Ferguson, finance director, spoke to the Board about the state's guidelines regarding inventorying property. The state requires all items costing $500 or more to be included in a property inventory. In the past, the county raised the amount to $500, which is consistent with the state's policy. According to Mr. Ferguson, the auditors have requested that all items currently on record costing less than $500 be removed. There are 427 items, totaling over $139,938.37. Commissioner Durden made a motion to delete those items from the property inventory. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Suggs and unanimously approved.
Commissioner Suggs made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Durden to recess at 5:50 p.m. The Board reconvened at 7:00 p.m.
Commissioner Durden stated that earlier in the meeting the road superintendent made a comment about his employees working on call, over 40 hours per week. Commissioner Durden wants the record to reflect that those employees receive comp time at the rate of 1 ½ hours per hour worked.
Public Hearing- CPA 98-03 & 98-04 Small Scale Amendments (Post):
Mr. McQueen reminded the Board that the concurrency assessments were reviewed and found to be in compliance at the last meeting. The Zoning Board has recommended that the Commission deny the request for rezoning of the property from Agricultural to Industrial use. Commissioner Suggs stated that she was contacted by Mr. Derber and Mr. McWilliams, and both are against the zoning change.
Mr. McQueen read the short title of proposed Ordinance 98-15 (for CPA 98-03) and reviewed the concurrency assessment. Based on the location, the Planning and Zoning Board recommends denial. The father of Pat Post, was in attendance to represent his son, the petitioner. Mr. Mutch asked if Mr. Post was an authorized agent of the petitioner. He stated that he was not. Mr. Mutch asked if anyone here was a beneficiary of the property. The Board agreed to hear Don M. Post. It is their desire to change the agricultural classification to industrial for development purposes. Mr. Post stated that if industrial is not satisfactory, they would be willing to accept commercial. Mr. Mutch advised the Board that the application is for industrial and can not be changed by the Board.
Several residents living near the property re-zoning site, voiced their opposition to the change.
Commissioner Suggs stated that this particular area of the county has experienced growth, causing an increase in traffic and congestion. Understanding that population growth increases development, she does not feel that spot zoning is needed and subsequently made a motion to deny the request to amend the comprehensive plan, adding that this proposed amendment (98-03) does not conform with the goals and objectives of the current plan. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Durden. Following discussion, vote of the Board was unanimous to deny CPA amendment 98-03. Commissioner Suggs made a motion to deny the re-zoning issue involved with the application. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Durden and vote of the Board was unanimous.
Mr. McQueen reviewed the concurrency assessment for CPA 98-04 and read the short title of proposed Ordinance 98-16. This amendment involves re-zoning 6.98 acres from agricultural land to commercial (353 feet by 890 feet), bordering SR 26 and Rolling Oaks. The Planning and Zoning Board recommends denial because it does not comply with the comprehensive plan at this time.
Again, several area residents spoke in opposition to this proposed amendment.
Commissioner Suggs made a motion to deny the application CPA 98-04, because it does not comply with the comprehensive plan and creates a safety and traffic hazard for the area. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Durden and vote of the Board was unanimous. Commissioner Suggs made a motion to deny the re-zoning request related to this proposed amendment. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Durden and vote of the Board was unanimous.
Commissioner Suggs made a motion to direct the Planning and Zoning Board to study the corridor of S.R. 26 to determine what is feasible for development, utilizing the Planning Council, to make a recommendation back to the commission. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Durden and unanimously approved.
Public Hearing- LDR 98-06 regarding Bed & Breakfasts.
Mr. McQueen announced that this is the first of two public hearings and read the short title of the proposed ordinance. The final public hearing will be November 2nd at 5:15 p.m.
There being no further business to discuss, Commissioner Suggs made a motion to adjourn at 8:10 p.m. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Durden and unanimously approved.
JIMMIE SHEFFIELD, CHAIR
JOSEPH W. GILLIAM, CLERK