MINUTES OF A REGULAR MEETING OF THE GILCHRIST COUNTY BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS HELD MARCH 15, 1999.
The Gilchrist County Board of County Commissioners, in and for Gilchrist County, Florida, convened in a regular meeting on Monday, March 15, 1999, at 5:00 p.m., in the courtroom, located in the Gilchrist County Courthouse, 112 South Main Street, Trenton, Florida, with the following members present to-wit:
Randy Durden, Chair
John Rance Thomas
Others in attendance were: Joseph W. Gilliam, Clerk of Circuit Court, Samuel A. Mutch, County Attorney, Sam Ferguson, Finance Director
Commissioner Wilkerson advised the chair that he told Mr. Paul Martin to be here around 4:30 p.m. He would like to talk to the Board about a survey he had done on his property, which he feels was not needed.
Commissioner Bush moved to approve the minutes of the meeting held January 8, 1999. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Wilkerson. The motion passed unanimously.
Mr. Gilliam provided the Board with a budget entry, 99036 in the amount of $1850. This will establish a line item in the budget to pay Municipal Code for their codification of county ordinances. Commissioner Wilkerson made motion to approve the budget transfer. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Bush and unanimously approved.
Mr. Mutch reminded the Board that at this time, they are considering impact fees for road improvements and new buildings. The estimated cost for the new buildings is approximately $4,500,000. It is anticipated that approximately 2000 new dwelling units may be established in Gilchrist County over the next 5-10 years. Paving could include new paved roads and widening of existing paved roads. The Board could establish a combined impact fee for a total of approximately $1400 based on anticipated growth. Categories could be established beyond the current residential and commercial, to include mobile homes, multi-family, single family residences and commercial based on square footage and/or types of commercial businesses. The Board asked Mr. Mutch to bring back the multi-categories so that the Board can determine a fee for each type of structure.
Mr. Paul Martin spoke to the Board concerning the Building Department requiring him to have his property surveyed, prior to placing a mobile home on the parcel. There is a total of 39 acres on the parcel. Mr. Martin pointed out the proposed location for the mobile home on an old survey (of 19 acres) he took to the Building Department, along with the proposed location of a septic tank and well. According to Mr. Martin, he should not have to have a survey done in order to have the mobile home, septic tank or well located more than 25 feet from the boundary line. He was not able to get a permit for the mobile home without the survey and feels it was an unnecessary cost for him to bear. Mr. Mutch stated that the LDR's require a survey of the lot to be submitted along with the application for a building permit. The building official does not know where someone's property begins and ends, unless the survey stakes are present. Mr. Martin contends that other people are able to get permits without surveys. Following further discussion, the Board agreed that Mr. Martin should not have been required to provide a second survey. Mr. Mutch stated that he would meet with Mr. Luzader and if the survey was not needed, the Board could refund a portion of the unnecessary costs.
Chairman Durden announced that Commissioner Suggs was unable to attend the meeting this evening due to recent surgery. In order for Commissioner Suggs to be a part of the next agenda item, the Board placed a call to her and put her on speaker so that she could hear the conversations and also be heard.
Chairman Durden announced that it is his understanding that the School Board has experienced some problems with the Department of Environmental Protection in securing permission to cross the greenways to place a proposed access road.
Sheree Lancaster, School Board Attorney, stated that the School Board purchased a 40 acre tract from Piedmont Farms, west of Trenton, to build a new elementary school. They would like to access the property from SR 26, which would entail crossing the greenways. She spoke to Mr. Paul Paris, the managing agent for the greenways. According to Ms. Lancaster, Mr. Paris has been very helpful and mailed her an application, which must be filed with DEP. A survey or legal description is required with the application, however, the School Board is not certain where they want the access road located and are in the process of having soil tests performed. The application must be filed with the Division of State Lands, and it is her understanding that the process can take 2 months. She filed the application on February 1st and soon afterwards she received a phone call and was told that the managing agent's approval was not on the application. Ms. Lancaster explained that she discussed that issue with Mr. Paris and he confirmed with his supervisor that his signature was not required until after the application was submitted to the state office. Ms. Lancaster is concerned about dealing with two divisions of a larger state agency when they do not appear to understand what is required of each other. She is also concerned about their "net positive requirement", which means if they give you an easement, they must receive a net gain from the transaction. It was suggested that some type of portable toilet could be purchased by the School Board for trail use. The School Board is willing to keep the under brush cleared and trim trees along the trail. They are asking for two easements, one for school buses and one for cars. The state office has indicated that everything appears to be in order to process the application except for the survey, which has been ordered.
Chairman Durden stated that the area between Trenton and Fanning Springs, along state road 26 is prime property for development. He is concerned that if the School Board had this kind of problem with getting an easement, what kind of problem would the individual land owner have. Chairman Durden stated that when he became aware of the problems the School Board is experiencing, he called Al Gregory, Office of Recreation and Parks. Mr. Gregory advised him that if easements are going to be needed, they need to know now. Chairman Durden advised him that it is impossible to know where development is going to occur. Mr. Gregory stated that it they did now know now, they would not get the easements.
Mr. David Pope, representing Piedmont Farms, expressed similar concerns about the inability to predict where easements will be needed in the future.
Mr. Troy Johnson, who works for the state parks system stated they have not had a situation that has not been resolved to everyone's satisfaction.
Robert Moeller, attorney, has been working on the greenways project since 1995. Mr. Moeller reminded the Board that if the state of Florida has not acquired the property (CSX railroad), some other person or company could have purchased it, including a gas transmission line company. The Department of Recreation and Parks have assumed the development and management of this linear park. He feels the state will be flexible in dealing with the county and land owners needs. Mr. Moeller stated that the paving company is scheduled to begin development of the greenway in one week. The majority of the paving will be in Gilchrist County and will be the first county to see some of the benefits from this project. Mr. Moeller reviewed the proposed budget from DOT for this project.
Mr. Cloud Haley, Trenton City Commissioner, stated that he is a member of the greenway committee and is very supportive of the project. He is concerned about the school being able to gain access of their property and feels that the state will be willing to work with the school. Trenton Mayor Billy Rogers stated that he is concerned about the net positive gain criteria.
Mr. Roy Wilson stated that he is not in favor of the greenways project; he does not feel that every person using the greenway will be "good neighbors". Mr. Wilson, representing the Farm Bureau, stated that his board voted to ask the Commission to withdraw from the project.
Mr. Johnson stated that the net positive gain can be very simple, such as installing a water fountain or planting trees. Mr. Parris stated that the approval for the School Board's request for three easements will go before the Division of State Lands. He added that he does not have a problem evaluating the request for a third easement.
Commissioner Bush stated that he understands Mr. Wilson's concerns, however, this type of recreational facility is beneficial to families that enjoy biking. Commissioner Thomas stated that the attitude displayed here tonight is contrary to the comments he heard about previously and he feels comfortable with the state's willingness to assist the county.
Commissioner Suggs made a motion to require the state agencies involved in greenway permitting to provide the county with written assurances that they will cooperate with the county and it's residents in regards to securing greenway easements to access their property or the county will withdraw their support of the project. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Wilkerson. Mr. Moeller stated that since the city commissions of Trenton and Fanning Springs voted to unanimously support the project, it would be his recommendation that this Board allow them the opportunity to give their input. Commissioner Suggs amended her motion to allow the state agency 90 days to respond to the Board's request for assurances. Drive way permits can be issued without involving the Division of State Lands, according to Mr. Parris. The Division of State Lands is involved in approving easements. After further consideration, Commissioner Wilkerson withdrew his second on the motion. The motion died for lack of second. Commissioner Suggs called for point of order, pointing out that the motion was seconded and Commissioner Wilkerson may cast his vote in favor or opposition of the motion. Commissioners Wilkerson, Bush and Thomas voted against the motion. Commissioner Suggs and Chairman Durden voted in favor of the motion. The motion failed.
The Board agreed to discuss the issue again, notifying the cities of Trenton and Fanning Springs, along with Mr. Gregory from the Division of State Lands.
The Board recessed and reconvened at 7:15 p.m.
Preliminary Plat- Gilchrist Ranchettes (minor subdivision):
Mr. McQueen presented a concurrency assessment and plat for a minor subdivision. It is accessed from N.E. 30th Street and has been reviewed by the county engineer. The subdivision consists of five lots. Four lots are 6.91 acres and the fifth lot is 7.12 acres. Commissioner Thomas made a motion to approve the subdivision, providing the developer meets all the state requirements. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Wilkerson. Vote of the Board was unanimous.
Public Hearing- SP 98-01 Royster:
Chairman Durden announced that this public hearing is being held to receive any new information regarding Mr. Royster's special permit application. Upon questioning, Mr. Royster stated that the only new information he has is that he has been watching his hours of operation at the current pit, and he would like to be able to use his personal truck and tractor beyond the hours previously stipulated by the Board and agrees that the 10 wheel trucks coming and going from his pit should cease at the specified time. Mr. Royster stated that he will stop digging out of the current pit, six months following permit approval from SRWMD for the proposed pit. Mr. Lee Schaltenbrand, representing the Spring Ridge Civic Association, asked the Board to consider placing the same restrictions on Mr. Royster's permit as previously contemplated by the Board. Patrice Boyse stated that this bar pit is a type of mine, which changes the Board's criteria. Ms. Boyse stated that she is giving notice that if Mr. Royster does not file his intent to mine they intend to notify the state. Ms. Boyse also reviewed the state's requirements for mine reclamation. Section 14.7 of the LDR's requires a master mining plan, according to Ms. Boyse, which to her knowledge has not been furnished.
Commissioner Suggs made a motion to approve the special permit, with the conditions outlined by the Board at the previous two meetings. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Thomas. Ms. Boyse stated that she wants the record to reflect her opposition of the Board procedure used this evening; this was an advertised quasi-judicial hearing in public and as such it is a de novo proceeding and the evidence from A to Z should be heard again. It is Ms. Boyse's contention that the previous hearings were not advertised properly and therefore, the Board's decision should be based on evidence and testimony received here tonight. Secondly, she has never heard of a commission tabling such an issue. Mr. Mutch stated that the Board was in quasi-judicial hearings when the evidence and testimony was presented previously. Chairman Durden asked if all the members present remember the evidence and testimony submitted during the last public hearings. Each commissioner acknowledged that they do. Commissioner Thomas made a motion tabling any action until the next hearing, which will be held April 5th at 6:00 p.m. The motion to table was seconded by Commissioner Suggs. Vote of the Board was unanimous.
Mr. Mutch distributed material regarding strategic planning and stated that Dr. Carriker would like to begin the week of May 24th. Chairman Durden will meet with Mr. Gilliam and Mr. Mutch to appoint a steering committee.
Mr. Bill Rush spoke to the Board about the "Bean Road". He would like the road closed from CR 340 or for the Board to allow him access down the entire road. It may be a civil matter between Mr. Rush and Mr. Bean since it is a private road. The county has maintained Mr. Rush's end of the road. Several years ago, Mr. Bean approached the Board, asking that the road be closed. The Board did not close the road but declared it a private road and since that time, they have not been maintaining it (on the Bean's end). Mr. Rush maintains that he has been using that road for 52 years. Mr. Mutch stated that this is a private matter between the two landowners. The Board suggested that Mr. Rush install a "private road" sign on his end and to talk to Mr. Bean about the two families using each end of the road to access their properties.
Mr. Gilliam presented a letter on behalf of the Sheriff requesting to spend $1000 from the State Law Enforcement Trust Fund for the Prom Promise campaign ($500 for each school). Commissioner Thomas made a motion to approve the request. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Wilkerson. The motion passed unanimously.
Mr. Gilliam has received a request from DCA, asking if the County is interested participating in the Drug Interdiction Grant. The total grant is $30,539 and this current year, the County chose to work with Levy and Dixie counties. Commissioner Bush moved to approve participation in the grant program. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Wilkerson and unanimously approved.
Mr. Gilliam reported that he has received a request from Brenda Conrad, SHIP recipient, for subordination from the County. The SHIP Loan Committee recommends the subordination, providing that she secure a loan that does not exceed 100% of the appraised value. Mr. Gilliam recommends that the Board approve it, providing the loan does not exceed 100% of the appraised value. Commissioner Wilkerson made a motion to approve the subordination request. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Bush. Vote of the Board was unanimous.
Mr. Gilliam met with Architect Design Group and he and Mr. Mutch negotiated with Keith Reeves for fees related to the current courthouse and proposed judicial facility design costs. Mr. Gilliam would like additional time to further negotiate with Mr. Reeves. If the fee can not be negotiated further, it is his recommendation that the Board re-advertise.
Mr. Gilliam has received two resolutions for the Board to join the Florida Local Government Investment Trust. Mr. Gilliam would like Mr. Mutch to review them before the county decides the join.
Mr. Mutch stated that he is going to meet with Summit in regards to their contracts.
EMA/County Coordinator's Report:
Mr. McQueen stated that Chairman Durden received a letter from M. D. Moody regarding a drag line. They are willing to sale the county a drag line, which is in their rental fleet, for $170,000 with a trade-in for the county's old drag line, reducing the price to $150,000. This is a 1983 American drag line. They will also lease the unit for $7500 per month for a two month period. They will move it here for $2000 and provide a mechanic who will demonstrate how to use it. If the Board decides to purchase it, they will apply the rental fee towards the cost. The Board requested that Mr. McQueen get something in writing which includes down time on the unit during the rental period. The warranty on the purchase is 30 days for parts only.
Three fire departments responded to a fire in the county and they damaged the lawn at the neighbor's property. Mr. McQueen will meet with the property owner to resolve the problem.
Chairman Durden stated that he met with the city of Trenton, along with Mr. Gilliam, Mr. McQueen, Lee Mills and the Sheriff to discuss extending the sewer line to the county jail. The city stated that the county should pay the cost to run the line to the county jail, and the cost is estimated to be around $70,000. Mr. Mills will seek the best route for the county to the jail. Any improvements done for city expansion, will be paid by the city. The city agreed to hire an engineer to protect their interest, since Mr. Mills works for the city and the county. The county's crew can do some of the work, which should reduce the cost. Additional right-of-way may be needed. Mr. Mills will bring back some additional information to the Board.
Chairman Durden spoke to Mr. Mills about paving county road 232 from SR 47 to the county line. The county may be able to save about $150,000 if they do some of the work themselves. Certain segments of the road may need to be closed in order to pave it in a timely manner.
Mr. Mutch stated that he should have the deeds on the landfill road ready by next Wednesday.
Mr. Gilliam stated that the EMS department has received bad fuel from Fuel 24 at the Sprint Station, which damaged one of the EMS units. The EMS director is concerned about using their fuel in the future. Until the problem can be resolved, they can charge at B&J. The Board discussed installing a fueling station or purchasing a tank, and use the School Board's fueling station. Sprint's insurance will pay the repair cost to the EMS unit and so far the problem has only been in the diesel fuel.
Chairman Durden spoke to the Board about uniforms for the Road Department and a company interested in submitting a quote. Associated Uniform Rentals has provided some preliminary costs and Commissioner Wilkerson stated that he will speak to the Road Department employees. The Board agreed to pay half the cost of uniforms.
Mr. Gilliam stated that the Solid Waste Department has inquired about hauling hazardous waste to a facility in Jacksonville. The facility requires a bond or letter of credit. The Board accounts are at Capital City Bank and they require a fee of $150 per $2000, plus 1% interest. Additionally, it must be approved by the main branch in Tallahassee. Tri-County Bank issued a letter of credit at no charge except the 1% interest.
Mr. McQueen stated that the Board has received their first check from the Office of Tourism, Trade & Economic Development for the CR 340 paving grant.
Commissioner Bush made a motion to adjourn. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Wilkerson. Vote of the Board was unanimous.
RANDY DURDEN, CHAIR
JOSEPH W. GILLIAM, CLERK