MINUTES OF A REGULAR MEETING OF THE GILCHRIST COUNTY BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS HELD MAY 17, 1999.
The Gilchrist County Board of County Commissioners, in and for Gilchrist County, Florida, convened in a regular meeting on Monday, May 17, 1999, at 5:15 p.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, Sam Mutch, County Attorney, Ron McQueen, EMA/County Coordinator, Sherree Pitzarell, Deputy Clerk, Paul Redd and Steven Hendrix, county residents.
Commissioner Wilkerson made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Thomas to approve the minutes of the meetings held March 4th and March 15th. Vote of the Board was unanimous.
Mr. Paul Redd spoke to the Board about problems he's experiencing at the Hart Springs boat ramp area. Mr. Redd and Mr. Hendrix live near the boat ramp and have experienced problems with people driving too fast and recklessly. According to Mr. Redd, during the evenings, there are a lot of people congregated at the boat ramps drinking and partying and he is tired of people driving in his yard and throwing beer bottles on his property. He would like the Board to install some posts, along the right-of-way to keep cars out of his yard. Mr. McQueen submitted some pictures showing damage that has occurred at or near the boat ramp. According to Mr. Redd, the county road joins his property and there is no easement. Ultimately, he would like to have the road closed, explaining that he, Mr. Hendrix and one other property owner owns the land on all sides of that area of the road. Mr. Redd added that he feels the park manager is doing a good job keeping the boat ramp area picked up, but it is a continuous job. Sheriff Turner stated that a year ago there was similar discussion and the Board was supposed to amend its ordinance to make it stricter and more enforceable, however, that never occurred. Sheriff Turner stated that Ginnie Springs hires an off-duty deputies to work their boat ramps after hours. The Board reviewed their current ordinance and agreed to address it at next Monday's meeting.
Mr. Gilliam stated that all the funds except two have been amended for the carry forward. He presented budget entry 99055, which amends the Law Enforcement Trust Fund, in an increased amount of $19,133.06. Commissioner Bush moved to approve the amendment by resolution. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Wilkerson, and unanimously approved. A copy of Resolution 99-27 is on file in the Clerk's Office.
Budget entry 99056 was presented to the Board to amend the Transportation Trust fund by $9939. This amount represents the total paid by the developer of Santa Fe Landing subdivision to satisfy a lien. Commissioner Wilkerson moved to approve the amendment, by resolution. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Thomas, and unanimously approved. A copy of Resolution 99-28 is on file in the Clerk's Office.
Public Hearing CPA Amendment 99-01:
Mr. McQueen presented a resolution from the Planning and Zoning Board, approving CPA amendment 99-01. This amendment relates to the location of schools in Gilchrist County, which is an element passed down from the state and required in the County's Comprehensive Plan. This is a transmittal hearing, which means the amendment must be transmitted to the Department of Community Affairs for review and comment, prior to adoption by the Board of County Commissioners. Commissioner Wilkerson made a motion to approve the first reading and transmit the document to the Department of Community Affairs. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Thomas. Vote of the Board was unanimous.
Mr. Mutch presented Proclamation 99-04, which extends the state of emergency in Gilchrist County, recognizing drought conditions and prohibiting burning in the County. This proclamation will extend the state of emergency until Monday, May 24th. Commissioner Wilkerson made a motion to adopt the proclamation. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Thomas, and unanimously approved. Mr. McQueen stated that the Governor's statewide ban is still in effect and fires are still active in Gilchrist County.
Mr. Mutch submitted a resolution for the Board's consideration, supporting the position of the Wakulla County Board of County Commissioner's stand concerning the net ban within the waters of the state of Florida. Commissioner Bush moved to adopt the resolution. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Thomas and unanimously approved. A copy of Resolution 99-29 is on file in the Clerk's Office.
Mr. Mutch presented a resolution for the Board's consideration and upon the request of the Sheriff, establishing a work release program for county inmates. The judge would have to declare an inmate eligible for the work release program. Commissioner Wilkerson made a motion to adopt the work release program by resolution. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Thomas. Vote of the Board was unanimous. A copy of Resolution 99-30 is on file in the Clerk's Office.
Mr. Mutch presented an emergency Ordinance regulating the use of county boat ramps and properties for the use of harvesting logs from waterways. This ordinance would require that a license be secured through the County Coordinator's Office prior to harvesting logs. Proof of general liability insurance in the amount of at least $1,000,000 naming the county as a co-insured would be required. The insurance would also provide payment to the county should any boat ramp or facility be damaged as a result of the harvest operation. This ordinance provides a resolution to set a fee for the licenses. Additionally, this ordinance also sets a schedule for when this type of operation would be allowed, and specifies the type and size of loading equipment allowed. Commissioner Bush made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Thomas to adopt the ordinance by title only. Mr. Richard Bennett, Alachua County resident, was present and stated that he has been working the river between Wannee and Rock Bluff areas. He has received his state permit and makes a living harvesting logs from the rivers in Georgia (8 years) and Florida. They have been working 7 days a week and have pulled over 120 logs out of the river. Mr. Bennett contends that logging equipment is needed to remove these logs because it would take a considerable amount of time to harvest them otherwise. Mr. Bennett further explained that he was very concerned about not inconveniencing anyone trying to use the ramp. Mr. Bennett is requesting to use logging equipment at the boat ramps. Mr. Bennett stated that he thought the boat ramps were owned by the state. It was pointed out that the boat ramps are owned by the county. Mr. Gilliam stated that he and Mr. McQueen went to Log Landing on Friday and a person would have a hard time getting to the boat ramp with the way the logs were stacked. The Board asked Mr. Bennett why he didn't use the ramps on the Dixie County side. Mr. Bennett stated that the Dixie County Commission would not allow logs to be removed from their ramps. Following discussion, the Chair called for vote of the Board. The motion passed unanimously. A copy of Ordinance 99-02 is on file in the Clerk's Office.
Mr. Mutch presented a resolution which sets a fee for the county license to harvest logs from the rivers and waterways. Commissioner Thomas voted to establish a license fee of $200 by resolution. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Bush. Vote of the Board was unanimous. A copy of Resolution 99-31 is on file in the Clerk's Office.
Public Hearing- LDR 99-01 Intensive Agriculture:
Mr. McQueen advised the Board that this will be the first of two public hearings on the proposed LDR amendment 99-01 regarding Intensive Agriculture. The short title of the proposed ordinance was read aloud.
Patrice Boyse, attorney for Ginnie Springs, Inc., stated that the proposed ordinance does not address the mandate the Board gave the Planning and Zoning Board in June 1997. It is her recommendation that the Board return to the Apgar & Pelham document. Ms. Portell, Ms. Boyse' expert witness stated the documents continue to lack a definition of intensive agriculture. According to Ms. Portell, the proposed changes to the LDR's will not be consistent with the comprehensive plan. She pointed out item C-3 states promoting compatibility, rather than achieving compatibility.
Phil Leary, Director of Government and Community Affairs for the Florida Farm Bureau proposed that item C-10 be eliminated or made the same as item B-8. They recommend that the second sentence of section E be eliminated.
Ken Frey asked who's topographical map is referred to in sections B-6 and B-7, and stated that if it is the applicant's it may not portray an accurate depiction of the location. Mr. Frey stated that in regards to dairies, the number of cows should be specified; the size of the facility and the number of animals should be considered in the permit (item C-4). Mr. Frey questioned the inspection and compliance section (C-5) and asked what would be the enforcement mechanism. Mr. Frey added that item C-8 refers to scientific methodology, which is subjective and item D states "protect the health, safety and general welfare of the public", which is also subjective.
Howard Corbett urged the Board to further define some of the issues Mr. Frey pointed out and encouraged the Board to adopt regulations for pollution enforcement.
Commissioner Bush asked Ms. Portell to give her definition of intensive agriculture. Ms. Portell stated that the draft prepared by Pelham and Apgar, which defines intensive agriculture by its impacts, such as odor, run-off impacts, slaughter houses, and operations housing more than 70 animal units is similar to her definition. Additionally, it includes anything which requires an industrial waste permits.
Mr. Leary provided the following definition of intensive agriculture: any agricultural use requiring an industrial waste permit from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection or any permit from the Department of Agriculture required for the operation of dairy farms. Intensive agricultural uses shall only be allowed in A-2 to A-5 land use classifications, inclusive and shall be contingent upon first obtaining a special exception from the county for the proposed use.
Commissioner Wilkerson made a recommendation to eliminate the second sentence of Item E.
Chairman Durden announced that the final public hearing on this issue will be held June 1st.
Mr. Mutch is still waiting on the supreme court's ruling on privilege fees. Mr. Gilliam stated that he spoke to Mr. Branson, Florida Power's district manager and he has not seen the official ruling either.
Mr. Gilliam stated that in regards to the privilege fee issue with Florida Power, only Gilchrist and Wakulla counties will be affected by the ruling. Since the county has been using these fees to fund fire services, the Board needs to look at another revenue source to fund this service.
A grant application from the Department of Health has been received. According to Sable Bolling, Health Department administrator, this is an on-going grant and she is requesting a letter of support from the Board. Commissioner Bush made a motion to authorize a letter of support. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Thomas. Vote of the Board was unanimous.
The Governor's recommendation for raises are 2.6% (for state employees). Mr. Gilliam has met with the constitutional officers and they request a 2.6% or $1000, not to exceed $1000. Commissioner Wilkerson made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Thomas to use 2.6% or $1000 for budgeting purposes. The motion passed unanimously.
The Board discussed a proposed resolution authorizing a transfer of funds from the Federal LETF. These funds will need to be transferred back to the Board's account in order to begin capital improvements. The Sheriff has received an invoice from Bailey, Bishop & Lane which can not be paid until the funds are moved. The Board agreed to wait until the June 1st meeting before taking action on the resolution.
Mr. Gilliam spoke to the Board about bidding audit services after meeting with the Finance Department. The contract with Davis, Monk & Company expired after the audit for the fiscal year ending 9-30-99 was completed. It is the recommendation of Mr. Gilliam and the Finance Department to solicit proposals for audit services. Commissioner Bush moved to authorize a request for proposal for auditing services. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Thomas. The motion passed unanimously.
Following discussion, the Board unanimously agreed to solicit bids for property, automobile, and liability insurance coverage, following a motion by Commissioner Bush, which was seconded by Commissioner Thomas.
According to Mr. Gilliam, it is anticipated that health insurance rates are going to rise again this year. The rating will be in July or August. For budgetary purposes, a 15% increase can be used until the final rates are available.
Green & Son House Movers have submitted a request to extend the time to August 31st for moving the house from the Roberts property. Commissioner Thomas moved to extend the deadline to August 31st. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Wilkerson and unanimously approved.
Mr. Gilliam met with Summit, along with Mr. McQueen, and Chairman Durden. Following discussion, Commissioner Bush made a motion to accept the preliminary drawings for the economic development grant project (left and right hand turn lanes on state road 26 at Overstreet's Mulch). Construction is expected to begin in July. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Wilkerson, and unanimously approved. Commissioner Bush moved to authorize Summit to bid the project. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Wilkerson. Vote of the Board was unanimous.
Lee Mills, county engineer, asked Mr. Gilliam to speak to the Board about CR 340. Bid requirements should be finalized by the end of October with construction beginning in January 2000. Construction should take approximately 8 months, with CR 340 closed for approximately 5 months. One of the alternate routes to be used during that time will be CR 232 and Mr. Mills is concerned that CR 232 will be under construction at the same time. He anticipates that CR 232 will be ready to bid around June 15th, with construction beginning around September. There is a possibility that both roads would be closed and feels that CR 232 should be postponed. DOT had previously agreed to postpone construction of CR 340, however, the latest information from DOT is that they do not want to postpone construction. Chairman Durden will contract Huey Hawkins and discuss the matter.
The Board discussed uniforms for the road department. According to Commissioner Wilkerson, there are 13 employees that do not want uniforms and 5 that do want them. Chairman Durden stated that he polled the department and 11 wanted uniforms. Commissioner Thomas stated that it is his understanding that the Board already made a decision that uniforms would be mandatory, with the Board paying half the cost. The Board agreed not to take further action and let their previous action stand.
Mr. McQueen stated that grass and shrubs at the Roberts property could be used at Hart Springs. The sod is needed to stabilize the area where seawall construction has occurred.
Mr. McQueen submitted the Building Department report for the month of April. There were 14 new construction permits issued. Mr. McQueen has reviewed the draft of the used mobile home inspection ordinance. The Board discussed how old a used mobile home can be that would require an inspection. Mobile homes used for storage are becoming a problem. When people purchase a new mobile home, they want to use their old mobile homes for storage. Chairman Durden recommends that this topic be discussed at the June 1st meeting.
A request for speed limit on a road N. E. 50th Avenue Road has been received. This is near Ginnie Springs. The Board discussed criteria for posting speed limits on county roads. Mr. Mutch stated that a basis could be the number of residences on the road.
Mr. McQueen distributed photos of Hart Springs, showing the construction of the seawall project. The project should be finished at the end of this month.
A notice has been received from DEP regarding the water treatment plant at the transfer station. A test was performed that did not pass inspection, due to the area being under the direct influence of surface water. This is the well that supplies the public water at the facility.
Commissioner Bush received a call from DOC in Cross City, requesting that their employees be admitted at a reduced rate of $1 each for their annual picnic. The 4th grade class in Bell has requested the same reduction in fees for a special day. A policy has already been established to allow a reduced rate for school groups. Commissioner Bush made a motion to allow DOC to have a reduced rate of $1 each for their annual picnic and to allow the Suwannee River Shrine Club to use the boat ramp on the 1st Saturday in June for their annual fishing tournament. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Wilkerson. The motion passed unanimously.
Mr. Sifferlin, park manager, stated that he received one bid on the portable pavilion building from the same company he originally received the information on. They did reduce their price on their bid. The Board agreed to postpone any decision regarding a portable building until the June 1st meeting.
Commissioner Thomas received a call from John Elton about Mr. Royster digging in the pit. Mr. Elton is concerned about the status of the permit. Commissioner Thomas advised him that he is not aware of SRWMD issuing a permit for the new pit and that Mr. Royster can still use the old one at this time. Mr. McQueen will contact Mr. Elton tomorrow.
Commissioner Thomas stated that Don Mills asked him about the agreement for the Spring Ridge Fire Department building lease. Mr. Mutch recommends a 25 year lease agreement, rather than the five years proposed by the fire department. The Board agreed to further discuss the issue at the June 1st meeting.
Mr. Howard Corbitt stated that the road department did put the signs up that he requested and appreciates their response to his request.
Commissioner Wilkerson reported that people are blocking the road near Sun Springs and the residents would like to have three no parking signs.
There being no further business to discuss, Commissioner Thomas moved to adjourn at 9:35 p.m. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Wilkerson and unanimously approved.
RANDY DURDEN, CHAIR
JOSEPH W. GILLIAM, CLERK