MINUTES OF A REGULAR MEETING OF THE GILCHRIST COUNTY BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS HELD NOVEMBER 2, 1998.
The Gilchrist Board of County Commissioners, in and for Gilchrist County Florida, convened in a regular meeting on November 2, 1998, at 9:00 a.m., in the County Commissioner's Meeting Room, located in the Gilchrist County Courthouse, with the following members present to-wit:
Jimmie Sheffield, chair
Sue B. Suggs
Others in attendance were: Joseph W. Gilliam, Clerk of Court, Samuel Mutch, County Attorney, Sherree Pitzarell, Deputy Clerk
Commissioner Durden made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Suggs to approve the minutes of the meetings held August 17th , September 2nd , September 14th , and September 21st. Vote of the Board was unanimous.
Commissioner Suggs made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Durden to approve the bills and journal entries numbered 98149-98152 and 990002. The motion passed unanimously.
Commissioner Suggs made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Durden to approve journal entries 99001 and 99003 by resolution. Vote of the Board was unanimous. A copy of resolutions 98-61 and 98-62 is on file in the Clerk's Office.
Mr. Mutch reported that four proposals have been received for special public defender services and he, along with Mr. McQueen and Mr. Gilliam have reviewed the proposals. He would like to talk to the two attorneys who submitted the highest proposals to determine if they may be willing to reduce their fees. Mr. Gilliam recommends using all four attorneys.
Ginnie Springs v. Watson Dairy- each side has 60 days to get a recommended final order. Even if the judge makes a decision, that decision may be appealed to the first district court of appeals. Mr. Mutch explained the procedure for these type of cases to the Board. Mr. McQueen asked if the Board should set a date for Ginnie Springs to present their expert witnesses on the subject of nitrates. The Board agreed to set a meeting for December 10th at 5:00 p.m., which is prior to the Planning & Zoning Board meeting.
Edwin McGalpin spoke to the Board about placing limerock on S.E. 21st Terrace. This is the private road that was used by the public when CR 232 was flooded. The Board advised Mr. McGalpin that they would speak to the road superintendent about whether or not limerock was placed on the road as previously agreed. Mr. McGalpin also reported that a road sign for S. E. 21st Terrace has been missing for over a year.
More research is being done on impact fees. Mr. Mutch needs to meet with Commissioner Durden, Mr. McQueen, Mr. Gilliam and Mr. Ferguson. They will set a meeting.
Mr. Mutch is waiting to hear from Mr. Lang about setting a meeting to discuss city and county roads. Mr. Gilliam stated that he received a certified copy of the city's ordinance 98-14 regarding Tyler grade road. The minutes will reflect that this ordinance was received and filed in the Clerk's Office.
Mr. Mutch asked if the court facilities plan would be ready by November 17th and asked if the Board still desired Dr. Carriker and Dr. Mulkey's input on a strategic plan. They would probably not have enough time to help with the court facility plan as the deadline is near. Mr. Gilliam stated that the court facility plan will be ready by the 17th of this month.
A request to have an ambulance on site for Down Home Days has been received. This is a public purpose, however the unit is subject to calls from other areas of the county.
Mr. Mutch and Mr. McQueen are going to work on the RFP for professional services for grant agreements.
Mr. Mutch reported that the Sheriff has adopted the county's EEO plan, with modifications.
The Public Service Commission will meet tomorrow to take action to give people in the '935' telephone exchange area the ability to call the southern portion of the county for .10 cents the first minute and .06 cents for each additional minute. Currently these residents are paying long distance charges to call the southern portion of the county.
There will be a reception for Dr. Cunningham of the Education Foundation, on Wednesday at 5:00 p.m. at the Woman's Club.
Mr. Gilliam announced that the meeting on November 17th will begin at 4:00 p.m. Judge Cates will be here to receive a recommendation of the court facilities plan and to install new commissioners.
Courthouse facilities plan: Mr. Gilliam asked for the Board's guidance on delivering the plan to Judge Cates. The Board agreed that any plan will be contingent upon funding. Commissioner Suggs stated that legislative funding could be received more easily if there is a court order from the judge. Commissioner Durden made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Bush to authorize the committee to develop a plan. According to Mr. Gilliam, the committee recommends putting all judicial functions in a new judicial building, including at least part of the Clerk's Office. One bid for $22,000 has been received to move the Roberts building next to the Weeks building, however, 2 or 3 more estimates are expected this week. The committee recommends moving the State Attorney's office to the Roberts building after it is moved and renovated. Putting in a sprinkler system and a fire alarm on the first floor has been recommended by Dean Drummond. He also recommends using the 2nd floor for storage. The fire marshall has stated that if the 2nd floor is used for storage, it will still need to have a sprinkler and fire alarm system installed. The Board commented that if that is the case, then an elevator should also be installed and the 2nd floor used for office space. Mr. Gilliam stated that all minor code violations have been addressed, and recommends that the funds already received for courthouse renovations be used to address the major fire code violations. An RFP for an architectural plan is needed. Mr. McQueen stated that he has received some cost estimates for paving the Prime property with recycled tire material. This can be a demonstration project using recycling funds and a retention pond will not be needed. Vote of the Board to authorize the development of a plan was unanimous.
Commissioner Suggs made a motion , seconded by Commissioner Bush to approve the commission bond for Commissioner Wilkerson. The motion passed unanimously. Commissioner Wilkerson made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Bush to approve the commission bond for the new commissioner, who will be elected tomorrow. Vote of the Board was unanimous.
The surplus trucks from Pinellas county have been purchased and will be picked up tomorrow. Following discussion, Commissioner Wilkerson made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Bush to designate the vehicles to the following departments: 1989 ½ ton GMC pick-up to the Parks department, 1992 ½ ton Ford Ranger pick-up truck and a 1988 3/4 ton GMC pick-up to the Road department, a 1991 Chevy Blazer to the Property Appraiser, a 1991 utility truck will go to the building maintenance department and the truck currently being used by the Parks department (County Agent's old truck) will be transferred to the Building department. The motion passed unanimously.
Mr. Gilliam reported that he has received a second request for payment from BellSouth for a cable they allege was cut by the Road department. Mr. McQueen stated that he will contact them again.
Mr. Langford, Tax Collector's Office spoke to Mr. Gilliam about the special assessment for MacAuthur Park. Even though it is a not-for-profit organization, it is his understanding that the only exemptions are government and church buildings, which does not include parsonages.
Currently the EMS department is paying the monthly utility bill for the old microwave tower, however, they receive no benefit as their radios have been moved to the other tower. Commissioner Suggs made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Durden to pay the utility bill for this tower from the general revenue fund. The motion passed unanimously.
Commissioner Suggs made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Durden to designate two brush trucks from Citrus county to the Fanning Springs and Wacasassa volunteer departments. The motion passed unanimously.
SHIP subordination requests: Juan Henley has submitted a request for subordinator in order to lock in a fixed rate of interest on his first mortgage. The county's position would remain the same. The Loan Review Committee has recommended approval. Commissioner Suggs made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Wilkerson to approve the request. The motion passed unanimously. Mr. & Ms. Howard Blank would like to do a loan consolidation. Commissioner Suggs disclosed that Ms. Blank is her first cousin, filed a memorandum of voting conflict and left the Board room during the discussion and vote. The Associates hold the current mortgage (first) and they are seeking a lower interest rate. This subordination would not change the county's position. The Loan Review Committee recommends approval. Commissioner Durden made a motion to approve the request. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Wilkerson and unanimously approved. Commissioner Suggs disclosed that the next subordination request was filed by her cousins and she filed a memorandum of voting conflict and left the meeting again during the discussion and vote. Mr. & Ms. Todd Smith have submitted a request for subordination. They would like to consolidate and pay off some credit card debts. They have applied for a loan from Lender Direct Mortgage to pay off their current mortgage holder and credit cards totaling $7641. This figure includes $3000 for closing. Mr. Gilliam reported that the Loan Review Committee was not as much in favor of this subordination request as the previous two, however, they voted to recommend approval. Commissioner Durden expressed concern about the cash out portion of $1500 for personal debts and would only consider approval of the request if the lender paid off the creditors directly. The Board expressed concern about the fees charged by this lender as well as the interest rate. This would place the county in an unfavorable position. Commissioner Durden made a motion to deny the subordination request. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Bush and unanimously approved. Teresa Gee has submitted a request for subordination. Her original loan was approved September 1997 and she applied for subordination last December and was denied by the Loan Review committee and this Board. On this request, the Loan Review committee did not make a recommendation. Her income only exceeds the loan payment by $4 per month and the new interest rate will be 10%. Commissioner Durden made a motion to deny the subordination request. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Wilkerson and unanimously approved.
Mr. Gilliam reported that fees remitted to the Board from the Clerk for September 1998 totaled $12,273.63.
Mr. Gilliam stated that the old fiscal year will be closed out soon and he expects to have a report to the Board on the 17th of this month. The Clerk will return approximately $40,000. In order to finalize the Clerk's old budget, the following transfer will be needed: transfer $1850 from reserve to machinery & equipment (dept. 1220) and transfer $1800 from reserve to EDP maintenance (dept. 1650). Commissioner Bush made a motion to approve the transfer. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Wilkerson and unanimously approved.
Sheriff Turner submitted copies of letters of resignation he received from some of his staff. The Sheriff stated that some of his employees are unhappy about the recent change in employee health insurance offered by the county. Several have asked that the county pay them the benefit amount directly so they can purchase insurance from another company. Mr. McQueen reported that only three out of the fifty counties surveyed pay a reimbursement to their employees who elect to not participate in their employer's group plan, however, they require proof that the person is purchasing insurance from another company. The Board took no action, stating that it is not their policy to pay an insurance premium cost directly to an employee opting out of the group plan.
Mr. Don Alexander, Spring Ridge VFD, stated that some roads are not passable with emergency vehicles (private roads) and the public needs to be aware that they may not be able to receive emergency services if their roads are not improved.
The Sheriff submitted a request to transfer the following: $798 from operating to equipment (within the drug grant), $330 from operating to personal services (from the drug grant to COPS Universal) and $3170.25 from operating to personal services (within the COPS Universal budget). Commissioner Suggs made a motion to approve the request as submitted. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Bush and unanimously approved. The Sheriff added that this would allow him to close out his old fiscal year budget
Sheriff submitted the following checks: $13,974.30, which will go back into the state Law Enforcement Trust Fund, $2264.16 which represents interest that accrued to his accounts for last fiscal year, $3641.46 which is a refund which needs to go back into fine & forfeiture, and $8239.45 which is the budget carry-over from Law Enforcement, Communications and Corrections for fiscal year 1998. The Sheriff explained that he has experienced some unusually high cost during the first month in transporting inmates both in and out of state and has had two inmates hospitalized. He may have to ask for some these funds back at a later time.
The Board recessed for lunch at 12:10 p.m. and reconvened at 1:15 p.m.
The Board recognized the services provided by Officer Robbin Lamb, Lancaster Correctional and his inmate squad. Chairman Sheffield presented a plaque to Officer Lamb on behalf of the Board.
Commissioner Bush reported that Mr. Weaver, county agent, hit a deer with a county vehicle. The damage to the vehicle consisted of a slight dent in the bumper, and the cost to repair it is $75.
County Vehicle Policy: Mr. Weaver has elected to purchase a new vehicle (personally) and has asked the Board if they would be willing to reimburse him for milage in conjunction with county business. Commissioner Suggs made a motion to reimburse Mr. Weaver .29 per mile for county business. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Bush and unanimously approved. Mr. Mutch reminded Mr. Weaver that his insurance policy will need to name the Board as an insured. The Board agreed to reimburse his mileage on a monthly basis.
Mr. Weaver announced that there will be an appreciation day for county commissioners on the 16th from IFAS , beginning at 10:30 a.m. The Board needs to determine how many are going to attend. They will travel together in the van, meeting at 9:15 a.m. will need to be advertised as a meeting of the Board.
Mr. Weaver spoke to the Board about requiring people to place a deposit with him when they use his tools or equipment, which belong to the state or county. Mr. Mutch stated that the person would need to sign a statement and leave a deposit, refundable when the item is returned.
Ms. Walker presented the quarterly write-off reports. A total of $35,552.77 is being submitted for the Board's consideration. Of that total $22,107.82 represents bad addresses. These accounts will be turned over to a collection agency, who will retain 35% of any funds collected. Commissioner Suggs made a motion to approve the write-offs. The motion was seconded by Bush and unanimously approved.
Mr. Martin reported that FEMA is placing new culverts on CR 232.
Mr. Tim Lindsey, county resident, reported that a stop sign is missing at the intersection of 82nd Street and 81st Court. Someone just ran through the intersection and hit his truck, causing about $2000 of damage to his truck.
Mr. Martin received a letter of complaint requesting limerock be placed on a graded road, which is the same road that a school bus and postal vehicle recently were recently stuck on. Mr. Martin added that his department is currently repairing the road.
Mr. Martin stated that Mr. Corbin has not responded to his letter requesting that he move his fence on the Shady Grove Road. Without a survey, according to Mr. Mutch, the county can not establish it as a county road. Mr. Lomar Rogers stated that he has lived there since the road was constructed during the late 40's to the early 50's and he believes it was the county that constructed the road. Mr. Mutch stated that he could go to court and use their testimony, however it will be expensive. The Board unanimously agreed to authorize a title search and survey (if there is not one already) and a letter from the attorney to Mr. Corbin, following a motion from Commissioner Suggs, which was seconded by Commissioner Durden.
EMA/County Coordinator's Report:
DOT public hearings will be held November 9th at 5:30 p.m. in Gainesville. A program will be presented at the meeting, which will hopefully speed up the greenways project and give each of the three trailheads $100,000.00, which could greatly assist the city of Trenton. It would be good for some of the Board members to attend this meeting. The five year work plan will also be discussed, and CR 232 needs to be placed on that plan.
Lee Mills, county engineer, will be meeting with Commissioner Durden on Wednesday regarding CR 340.
Mr. McQueen reported that it will take approximately $16,000-$25,000 to complete installation of the fiber optic line. The 911 funding carried over from last year for the fiber optic line will cover that cost and there should be funds remaining, which he would like to use to hire someone temporarily to completely install the 911 street address signs.
The Building department report indicates a total of 48 permits issued for the month of October. A total of $6400 was collected in impact fees.
Mr. McQueen stated that Gilchrist County was one of the few counties that prepared their own EMA plan and it passed DCA's approval. Most counties paid consultants to prepare their plans.
There will be a Florida Rural Development Conference in Gainesville on November 30th. .
The annual legislative conference, which offers an excellent program for new commissioners will be held November 18th-20th in Tallahassee.
Commissioner Durden stated that he has been requested to have the Road department assist in the preparation of a basketball court at the alternative school site. Chairman Sheffield stated that he is against the school board continuing to add more and more to that property. Commissioner Durden made a motion to deny the request to prepare the property for a basketball court. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Suggs. The motion passed by a 3-2 vote as follows:
There were four bids received for special public defender services, ranging from $385 to $425 per case. The firm of Thomas and Buchanan submitted one bid and the firms of Diane Elizabeth See and Evelyn Sapp submitted the other bids. Mr. Mutch would like to ask Thomas and Buchanan to lower their fee to $400 per case. Commissioner Durden made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Suggs to authorize Mr. Mutch to negotiate with Thomas and Buchanan and accept the bids that were received from See and Sapp, further authorizing the contract to be prepared and executed by the chair. The motion passed unanimously.
Mr. Gilliam reported that some of the constitutional officers are using the old school board offices for storage.
Commissioner Suggs asked if quotes for replacing the carpets in the courthouse have been received. Mr. Gilliam stated that he and the constitutional officers have discussed replacing the carpet and Susan Bryant has been asked to check for prices.
Reorganization of the Board:
Commissioner Bush nominated Commissioner Durden to serve as chairman and Commissioner Wilkerson to serve as vice-chairman. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Suggs. Motion of the Board was unanimous.
There being no further business to discuss, Commissioner Durden made a motion to adjourn at 3:45 p.m. The motion was seconded by commissioner Wilkerson and unanimously approved.
JIMMIE SHEFFIELD, CHAIR
JOSEPH W. GILLIAM, CLERK