The Gilchrist County Board of County Commissioners, in and for Gilchrist County, Florida, convened in an emergency meeting at 5:00 p.m., on April 27, 1999, in the County Commissioner's Meeting Room, 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

Sue B. Suggs

Fred Wilkerson

Wilbur Bush

Others in attendance were: Joseph W. Gilliam, Clerk of Circuit Court, Samuel A. Mutch, County Attorney, Sam Ferguson, Finance Director, Sherree Pitzarell, Deputy Clerk, Lee Mills, County Engineer, Ron McQueen, EMA/County Coordinator, Nathan Martin, Road Superintendent, John Ayers, Gilchrist County Journal, David Turner, Sheriff, Grady Jones, Herbie Brown, and Michelle Crawford, FFA Alumni, Wilson Gilliam, Jeff Jordan

The purpose of this emergency meeting is to discuss the purchase of fire trucks and use of county property.

Mr. Mutch reported that due to the drought conditions and the governor's declaration of a state of emergency and ban on fires, a proclamation has been prepared for the Board's consideration. This proclamation would reinforce the state-wide ban on burning and would be in effect for a period of one week. At that time, the state of emergency can be extended if necessary. Commissioner Suggs moved to declare a state of emergency exists in Gilchrist County, banning all burning. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Wilkerson. In conjunction with the state of emergency, and in light of the fact that the Wacasassa Volunteer Fire Department does not have a fire truck at this time, the Board may want to waive the bid requirements and purchase a truck or trucks. Commissioner Suggs reported that one of the fire trucks available through Southern Coach is ready for delivery. There are three other trucks for sale and they will be available within a period of weeks. Commissioner Suggs added that the purchase price for these trucks have been negotiated to $30,000 each. The maintenance records on these trucks may be requested through Orange County. The Board asked if a 30 day warranty could be given. Following discussion, vote of the Board was unanimous to declare a state of emergency for Gilchrist County, banning all burning. Proclamation 99-01 is on file in the Clerk's Office. Chairman Durden stated that the town of Bell would like to purchase one fire truck, paying $5000 down and paying the balance of $25,000 at $5000 per year with the funding coming out of their budget. Commissioner Suggs made a motion to waive the bid requirements, due to the state of emergency, to purchase the fire trucks, providing a 30 day warranty can be secured on these trucks. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Thomas. Vote of the Board was unanimous. Commissioner Suggs made a motion to finance $80,000 after paying a down payment of $40,000. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Thomas. Vote of the Board was unanimous.

At the last meeting, the Board postponed action on the FFA Alumni's request for additional property in order to meet with the county's engineer. Chairman Durden and Mr. Mills toured the Levy County Road Department facilities, along with Mr. Gilliam and Mr. McQueen. Chairman Durden stated that Levy County has 10 acres and they need more. Mr. Mills reported to the Board the types of uses currently at the Levy County Road Department. Commissioner Bush stated that the Board must be accountable to the taxpayers and he has talked to some FFA Alumni members that do not think more property is needed. A site plan was submitted by Mr. Jones and Mr. Brown for the Board's review. Mr. Gilliam submitted surveys of the Walker Curve property and the current road department site. According to the survey, the current road department site consists of 7.42 acres and the available property at the Walker Curve is 10 acres. Mr. Mutch stated that the property was originally purchased with federal drug seizure funds. The Florida legislature agreed that the FFA Alumni could obtain some of the property because they are a non-profit organization. It is Mr. Mutch's understanding that the Alumni is a Florida not-for-profit organization and the legislature's action was based on the facilities being used for youth activities, specifically to deter drug use. It is unclear whether or not a large transfer of property would be appropriate if the Alumni's complete and entire purpose is not to prevent crime. Chairman Durden stated that he is not in favor of giving property away when it basically belongs to the taxpayers, especially when it appears the county will need more property in the future. Commissioner Suggs made a motion to donate 70 feet of property to the FFA Alumni. The motion died for lack of a second. Commissioner Thomas made a motion to donate 60 feet to the FFA Alumni. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Suggs. Herbie Brown stated that if the Board has to reimburse the Law Enforcement Trust Fund, the FFA Alumni will pay the county $1500 for the acre of land. The motion was denied by split vote as follows:

Suggs- Yes

Thomas- Yes

Bush- No

Durden- No

Wilkerson- No

Following discussion, Commissioner Bush made a motion to give the FFA Alumni a 60 foot easement, for access, extending from 50 feet from the south and 50 feet from the north of the building for vehicular and pedestrian access. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Wilkerson. The motion passed unanimously.

Commissioner Durden asked if an individual wanted to use the arena for personal roping, do the same contingencies apply. Mr. Mutch stated that the Alumni should get proof of insurance, holding the county harmless. The by-laws of the FFA Alumni states that there must be some drug education for any event they hold. Private individuals roping for their own pleasure do not participate in drug education. Chairman Durden stated that they are not a 5013C organization, which would require that they give away 51% of the rodeo function funds and the FFA Alumni does not do that. Mr. Mutch recommends that the Board look at the by-laws and the special legislation and possibly an audit of the FFA Alumni. The Board directed Mr. Mutch to request a copy of their by-laws.

Mr. Ferguson reported that the Building Department needs a new cash register. Bids have been received and the lowest is just under $2800. He would like to divide the cost between the Building Department, Road Department and the Board. Commissioner Suggs made a motion to approve the cost of the new cash register. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Wilkerson and unanimously approved.

Mr. McQueen stated that the 1st meeting in June will need to be moved. The Board agreed to move the meeting to Tuesday, June 1st. Chairman Durden stated that he will not be able to attend the Hurricane Conference. Commissioner Suggs stated that she would attend in his place. Commissioner Suggs also reminded the Board that the FAC conference is June 21st thru June 23rd.

There being no further business to discuss, Commissioner Thomas moved to adjourn at 7:10 p.m. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Wilkerson, and unanimously approved.