MINUTES OF A REGULAR MEETING OF THE GILCHRIST COUNTY BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS HELD MAY 3, 1999.
The Gilchrist County Board of County Commissioners, in and for Gilchrist County, Florida, convened in a regular meeting on Monday, May 3, 1999, at 9:00 a.m., 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
Others in attendance were: Joseph W. Gilliam, Clerk of Circuit Court, Samuel A. Mutch, County Attorney, Ron McQueen, EMA/County Coordinator, Sherree Pitzarell, Deputy Clerk
Commissioner Wilkerson moved to approve the minutes of the meeting held 3-1-99. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Bush. Vote of the Board was unanimous.
Commissioner Wilkerson announced that Mr. & Mrs. Mitchell Gentry are interested in serving on the strategic planning committee.
Mr. Gilliam announced that Johnny Martin is interested in serving on the Code Enforcement Board.
Mr. McQueen updated the Board in regards to the fires in the county, currently near SR 47, south of CR 232. Over 300 acres have burned. A staging area has been set up at Nettles farm. Forestry will have a briefing at 10:00 a.m. this morning and the Sheriff's Department has set up a communications command. There are a few residences located near the fire, however, none are threatened at this time. The fire is moving towards the southeast. If it crosses SR 47, it may burn unchecked. Two forestry tractors were burned over and one stuck. The Sheriff may close SR 47 because of the poor visibility. Planes and helicopters are being committed to the operation today. ITT and Gilchrist Timbers are the two land owners affected by these fires. Arson is suspected as the cause for the fires. Mr. McQueen feels that FEMA may reimburse the county for fire related expenses. Commissioner Wilkerson made a motion to authorize Mr. McQueen and Mr. Ferguson to spend funds as necessary to assist in the containment of fires. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Bush. The motion passed unanimously.
Commissioner Bush made a motion to pay the monthly bills. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Wilkerson and unanimously approved.
Budget entries 99047-99052 approved following a motion by Commissioner Bush, which was seconded by Commissioner Wilkerson. Vote of the Board was unanimous.
Budget entry 99054 was unanimously approved, by resolution, following a motion from Commissioner Wilkerson, which was seconded by Commissioner Thomas. A copy of resolution 99-25 is on file in the Clerk's Office.
The Planning and Zoning Board should have a recommendation to the Board at the next meeting in regards to intensive agriculture.
Mr. Mutch stated that the Board needs to appoint people to the Strategic Planning Committee as soon as possible.
Mr. Mutch stated that he and Commissioner Suggs need to set a date to look at Shady Grove Road. The title search has been ordered, but has not yet been received.
Mr. Mutch has heard from Skip Miller, bond counsel for Tri-County Nursing Home and there has been a delay in financing for the Tri County Nursing home bonds. Commissioner Bush stated that he heard the closing has been set for Wednesday.
Mr. Mutch stated that he met with his partner and Commissioner Suggs and Mr. Gilliam in regards to the Summit contracts. He has not heard from Summit and a memo has been sent to them.
A check has been received from John Landers, developer of Santa Fe Landing, satisfying a judgement against him which was placed by the Board of County Commissioners. Commissioner Wilkerson made a motion to authorize the chairman to execute a satisfaction of judgement on the Landers property. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Thomas and unanimously approved.
Judge Guinta is willing to authorize up to an additional $480 for special public defenders on dependency cases when they have to go to mediation. These additional funds will probably go through the third quarter, and they will probably be out of funds at that time (8th judicial circuit funds). When special public defender contracts were let, they were promised more criminal cases than dependency however, they are actually being assigned more dependency cases. Dependency cases take more attorney time. Mr. Mutch has prepared modifications for the special public defender contracts. Mr. Mutch is concerned that the county will lose the special public defender attorneys and when that happens, the county will have to pay attorneys by the hour. Commissioner Wilkerson made a motion to approve the amendments to the public defender contracts. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Bush. Vote of the Board was unanimous.
Mr. Gilliam and Mr. Yozgat met with Mr. Reeves and he gave them information regarding the space needs. The process will continue and contracts will be discussed at the mid month meeting.
A draft ordinance amending the animal control ordinance has been prepared, which will make it much more user friendly to the Sheriff's Office. Chairman Durden would like to have a meeting with the animal control committee before advertising the ordinance for public hearing before the Board of County Commissioners. Following discussion, it was agreed that the committee will meet May 10th at 6:00 p.m.
Mr. Mutch reported that he has requested a copy of the FFA Alumni by-laws from Michele Crawford.
Commissioner Wilkerson made a motion to adopt a proclamation declaring a state of emergency due to the drought and fire hazards existing in this county. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Thomas. The motion passed unanimously.
The survey reference monuments ordinance has been submitted to Mr. Harrison and will be ready for public hearing soon.
A draft ordinance for the pre-inspection of used mobile homes has been prepared and given to Mr. McQueen for his review, prior to public hearing.
Mr. Gilliam reported that his office has been involved with surveys on Article IV costs. It appears that there will be no additional funds appropriated by the legislature for these expenses.
The annual financial audit has recently been completed. Comments were received on the fixed assets program, which is a recurring finding. One major contributory to problems with fixed assets is constitutional officers purchasing or deleting property without notifying the property control person.
Another recurring finding is the lack of segregation of duties, which is a typical finding for a small county. There were findings in the EMS billing department regarding collections and adjustments. In addition, comments were made regarding the tracking of grant expenditures.
Steve Kattell & Robert Beauchamp- Davis, Monk & Company:
Mr. Kattell reviewed the audit with the Board. Mr. Kattell reviewed the findings: general fixed assets, which includes buildings and equipment. According to Mr. Kattell, the records have fallen behind a little, however, this is not uncommon with many governmental units. The second finding is separation of duties, which is a common finding as well. The third finding deals with the EMS billing department. Training has already been provided to the EMS billing clerk since the auditors finished their audit. The fourth finding was the discovery that the general fund budget was out of balance at the end of the fiscal year. The last finding is grant expenditures being clearly defined. Mr. Gilliam reviewed his responses to the audit with the Board. Commissioner Bush made a motion to approve the responses to the audit provided by the Clerk. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Thomas. Vote of the Board was unanimous.
Mr. Gilliam reminded the Board that this was the final year of the 6 year contract with Davis, Monk & Company. The Board asked Mr. Kattell to bring back some cost estimates for continuing a contract with them.
Clerk's Report (cont.):
The North Central Florida Regional Planning Council has vacancies on the Transportation for Disadvantaged Program. The Board needs to think of someone to fill these vacancies.
The Sheriff has provided information regarding a work release program, which will require a county ordinance. Chairman Durden asked if this would involve more personnel to be hired. The Board will review the information and ask the Sheriff about the cost.
Mr. Gilliam stated that Solis Evangelista Rivera received a special assessment bill on a parcel of vacant property. The bill should be directed to the person owning lot 8 and has not been paid. Commissioner Thomas made a motion to have the bill corrected and mailed to the proper person. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Wilkerson and unanimously approved.
Following discussion, Commissioner Wilkerson moved to authorize Chairman Durden, Mr. Gilliam and Mr. McQueen to proceed with getting the deeds signed on the landfill road. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Thomas. Vote of the Board was unanimous.
Chairman Durden read a letter from the city of Trenton regarding annexing the jail property into the city of Trenton. This would save approximately 25% of the cost of the sewer installation. Commissioner Bush made a motion to have the county property where the jail and road department are located annexed by the city. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Thomas. Vote of the Board was unanimous.
At a recent DOT meeting regarding the closing of CR 340 (during the construction of the bridge), it was reported that if the road is closed, the bridge could be constructed in five months, however, it CR 340 is not closed, it could take up to two years to complete. Bids on this project will be let in October, with construction beginning in December or January.
Gilchrist County Public Health Unit- Sable Bolling:
Ms. Bolling spoke to the Board about the Outreach for the Kid Care Program. Ms. Bolling introduced the two project managers for the eleven county area. Lucy Ankin and Neil Rainford have been presenting information to various boards and community groups to educate the public about this program. According to Ms. Bolling, funding for this program was received last month. Approximately 2000 applications were circulated in Gilchrist County. These services must be bid by an HMO and PPO insurance company. This is a 9 county project and in this county there are between 500-600 children with no health insurance. Neil Rainford presented a slide presentation to the Board. Kid Care is Florida's child health insurance program under Title XXI, a new initiative to get all the kids, throughout the state covered by health insurance. This is an inter-agency effort with the Department of Health, the Department of Children & Family Services, Healthy Kids Inc., and the Agency for Health Care Administration. Children under the 200% federal poverty level and those receiving medicaid are eligible for the program.
Commissioner Suggs arrived at 11:00 a.m.
As of 2/1/99, there are 842 medicaid recipients aged 0-18, living in Gilchrist County. Applications for Kid Care are available at the Health Department and the Department of Children & Family Services, along with the Trenton Medical Center and Shands at Fanning Springs.
EMA/County Coordinator's Report:
Ms. Latner, assistant to the EMA/County Coordinator, presented a letter to the Board from Mr. Carl Rehberg, stating that Mr. Dale Lindsey has expressed a desire to serve on the Competency Board. There are currently two vacancies. Commissioner Suggs made a motion to appoint Mr. Lindsey to the Competency Board. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Wilkerson and unanimously approved.
The Department of Juvenile Justice has requested permission to hang a plaque in the courthouse. Commissioner Wilkerson moved to approve their request. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Suggs. Vote of the Board was unanimous.
A request has been received from Mr. & Mrs. McDonald for an extension of time to move the Roberts house to August 30th. Commissioner Suggs made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Thomas to approve their request. The motion passed unanimously.
Residents have requested that speed limits signs be posted on NE 50th Avenue Road. Commissioner Thomas will check on it prior to the Board taking action.
Gardnyr Michael Capital, Inc.- Will Weathers:
Mr. Dewayne Yates, Trenton Medical Center, introduced Mr. Will Weathers to the Board. Mr. Weathers is vice-president of Gardnyr Michael Capital, Inc., financial and investment advisors. Mr. Weathers is assisting Trenton Medical Center with their expansion efforts. They are interested in securing a tax exempt status for approximately $500,000 for a loan or lease purchase. As an investment banker, Gardnyr Michael Capital, Inc. would market the Center's lease purchase or capital improvement bonds which would provide funds for the construction and related expenses for the expansion of the existing health care facility. Ms. Nan Wheeler, Rural Resources was present and she will be looking for any available grants to assist Trenton Medical and Gilchrist County. Mr. Yates explained that this is one option Trenton Medical Center is considering. Once they have more information, they will inform the Board of their intentions.
Mr. McQueen updated the Board on the wild fire situation, explaining that there are over 500 acres currently burning. The humidity has dropped and the wind has shifted slightly. Forestry will have three additional crews arriving this afternoon and they will be committed for 10 days if needed. Forestry reports that the fire is approximately 60% contained. Mr. McQueen stated that he will be back around 4:00 p.m. for an additional update.
The Board recessed for lunch at 12:00 p.m. and reconvened at 1:15 p.m.
Commissioner Wilkerson advised Mr. Martin that there are two dead hogs in or a near a county road that need to be removed before they start stinking. Mr. Martin stated that hopefully the buzzards will remove them and save him the effort.
Mr. Martin reported that the drag line should arrive tomorrow and they are bringing a mechanic to set it up. The Board previously agreed to lease this machine for two months for $7500 per month.
Mr. Martin advised the board that the Road Department is currently keeping a log of the signs being placed throughout the county. The Board discussed keeping a similar log for all the roads being graded in the county. The Board also discussed the possibility of making signs like Levy County, which would cut the cost significantly.
Trenton and Bell Postmasters:
Chairman Durden explained that the postmasters were invited to the meeting to discuss a problem the county is experiencing with mailboxes placed near county roads. Residents and mail carriers alike are damaging the pavement edge on many of the county roads. The Trenton postmaster stated that according to the domestic mail manual, the customer is responsible for keeping the delivery area clear and maintained to allow safe access for delivery. If the customer does not comply, the postmaster may refuse to deliver the mail. The post office is not responsible for the maintenance and they send out notices to their customers when repairs are needed. If it is on a busy road, the box has to be placed far enough from the road for the delivery person to pull off the road. Neither state or federal statute charges anyone with the responsibility of maintaining the roadways near postal boxes. If the post office deems a delivery area as a safety hazard, they can notify the county, the same time they notify the owner. The Board discussed the possibility of grouping mailboxes in some areas. The postmasters expressed concern with security and also stated that some elderly customers would find it difficult if their boxes were moved from their current location. Commissioner Thomas made a motion to repair the road edge, providing notification has been received from the postmaster that a problem exists, confirmed by the road superintendent, on county right-of-way, excluding private property and that any individual may improve their mail delivery area at their own expense, providing it is approved by the road superintendent. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Bush. Vote of the Board was unanimous.
Road Department (cont.):
Ms. Meveree Carlisle asked why CR 340 is being repaired when CR 232 is in such bad condition. The Board advised Ms. Carlisle that DOT determined that CR 340 should be paved, but they would not place CR 232 on the five year work program. The Board will continue to ask for assistance from DOT for CR 232. Additionally, there may be some assistance available from a small county road assistance program.
Commissioner Suggs reported that Jerry Brown called and said Buck Johnson has a new spraying machine for tact and they could spray from SR 26 to the Weeks Flea Market for about $6000. This amount includes the tack and the labor. Chairman Durden stated that if this is the same type of tack, guaranteed for six months, that he recently saw applied, it only lasted one month. Commissioner Suggs stated that Mr. Brown is willing to give the county the dirt and clay needed to build the road up. This needs to be done, however drainage would be needed. It was the county engineer's recommendation to grind up the existing material and re-rock the road.
Commissioner Suggs spoke to Ernie Taylor from Alachua County Public Works and will contact some people to have a meeting regarding the county line road.
Ms. Walker stated that her billing clerk has recently been through a four day training period on a new computer program, which includes an electronic filing system.
Ms. Walker reported that an EMT attending the paramedic program is thinking about dropping out of the program. If he does, he will need to repay the county for the cost of the classes.
Solid Waste Department:
Ms. Latner and Ms. Avery submitted copies of the bids received on the recycling trailer. The bid sheet was very specific and only one bidder, DEPCO, used the sheet. The problem with the bid submitted without the bid sheet, J & M Welding, is that you can not determine if the bid meets all the specifications. The total bid price from DEPCO is $13,105.00. The bid submitted by J & M Welding does not appear to include the plastic trailer lids for the recycling bins. Following discussion, Commissioner Thomas made a motion to purchase the trailer and bins from DEPCO. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Suggs. Vote of the Board was unanimous. Commissioner Suggs moved to reject the bid submitted by J & M Welding because it did not meet bid specifications. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Thomas and unanimously approved.
The current year's contract has not been signed and Summit has been advised to contact Mr. Yozgat. They have not done so at this time. Chairman Durden reviewed a bill submitted by Summit on the Neighborhood Revitalization grant for $35,000. This includes land surveying for $25,000.00, geo-technical soils investigation for $7000.00 and permits for $3000.00. Mr. Gilliam stated that back up data has not been received for this billing. Commissioner Suggs stated that the surveying has not been done on this project yet. Chairman Durden stated that he will not approve the bill without the back up documentation.
Commissioner Thomas stated that the inmates are no longer cleaning the restrooms and other areas at the Recycling Center. A purchase order has been submitted to contract cleaning services for approximately $1400 per year. Commissioner Thomas spoke to Mr. Gilliam and he will contact Lancaster about cleaning once a week.
The Board discussed the mid-month meeting for May, which has been scheduled for May 17th. The moratorium issue will be decided at this meeting. Commissioner Suggs has a conflict and asked if the meeting could be moved. Following considerable discussion, the Board agreed to leave the meeting date as it stands.
Commissioner Suggs reported the paramedic/EMT high risk retirement bill passed by the legislature and will become law if it's not vetoed by the Governor and the small county roads assistance bill also passed the legislature for approximately $50,000,000. This too will become law if the Governor does not veto it.
Commissioner Suggs stated the first fire truck will be picked up tomorrow and they will give the county a 30 day warranty in writing. The other fire trucks will be checked out at that time.
Commissioner Suggs invited the Board to a barbeque for the EMS and fire departments the third week in June.
Commissioner Suggs spoke to the Board about the park manager's use of a county vehicle. Last week she observed the park vehicle in Newberry and again at Horse Heavan. He was traveling over 65 mph. She followed him to Horse Heavan and asked him to call her at home when he returned to the park. He said he would but did not call her until last night. Commissioner Suggs feels the vehicle use policy is being violated by some employees and would like the Board to reconsider the policy. Specifically, she feels some employees are using the vehicles for personal use and has received calls from the public. Commissioner Bush stated that he spoke to the park manager and he was checking on a mower to see if it could be used at the park. Mr. Gilliam reported that the fuel bills for the park department has nearly tripled. The Board reviewed the travel long maintained by the County Agent. The Board advised Commissioner Thomas and Commissioner Bush to request a vehicle log from the park manager and the Solid Waste supervisor.
Mr. Luzader updated the Board, reporting that another fire has started three miles north of county road 232 and they feel they may have a handle on this one.
The Board advised Commissioner Bush to assist the park manager in locating a lawn mower for the park. Board members will meet with their department heads to discuss vehicle use.
Commissioner Bush reported that the bid specs for the building at Hart Springs is prepared and ready to be advertised.
Mr. Mutch reported that Summit will meet with Mr. Gilliam and a commissioner next Wednesday to review the new year contract. Mr. Mutch also spoke to Susan Cook, DCA about the request for funds submitted by Summit.
The Board discussed appointment to the Strategic Planning Committee, recommending the following: Dewayne Spears, Carol McQueen, Mitchell Gentry, Howard Corbett, Dewayne Yates, Roy Wilson, Derrick Sanders, Robert Rankin, Ron Mills, John Ayers, Ray Thomas, Brad Smith, Billy Rogers, Rachelle Martin, Charlie Smith, Jeff Jones, John Ferguson, Scott Guthrie, Chaille Wilson, Ted Henley and Iva Lee White.
Commissioner Suggs moved to recess at 4:55 p.m. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Wilkerson and unanimously approved.
The Board reconvened at 6:35 p.m.
Mr. McQueen reported that 80 acres north of CR 232 burned this afternoon, however, it is now under control. The original fire has been officially named "bay watch". There are 52 total personnel on site. Of that total, 24 are from the Division of Forestry.
Mr. Mutch presented two proposed ordinances for the Board's consideration, along with a chart that indicates various classifications. One ordinance considers impact fees for road improvements and the other considers impact fees for capital improvements. The costs were developed for each type of residential unit and businesses of various sizes, along with discounts which the Board could use. Mr. Mutch would like to add the classifications of convenience stores and fast food restaurants. This information is based upon the number of miles the Board would like to pave and the number of capital improvements (buildings) the Board would like constructed. The Board must determine the dollar amount of the road construction and building construction. Additionally, the Board must determine the discount amount they would like to apply to the level of impact fee. The Board discussed a possible classification for camp grounds and RV parks. Mr. Mutch stated that this issue will need to go before the Planning and Zoning Board before the Board can take action. The Board of County Commissioners will need to hold two hearings after the Planning and Zoning Board makes a recommendation. The Board agreed they would like to hold a workshop for public input and to consider some of the additions recommended in today's meeting. The Board agreed to hold a workshop at 5:00 p.m. on May 13th.
The Board adjourned at 8:05 p.m., following a motion by Commissioner Wilkerson, which was seconded by Commissioner Bush. The motion passed unanimously.
RANDY DURDEN, CHAIR
JOSEPH W. GILLIAM, CLERK