MINUTES OF A REGULAR MEETING OF THE GILCHRIST COUNTY BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS HELD AUGUST 2, 1999.
The Gilchrist County Board of County Commissioners, in and for Gilchrist County, Florida, convened in a regular meeting on Monday, August 2, 1999, at 9:00 a.m., in the County Commissioners meeting room, located in the Gilchrist County Courthouse, 112 South Main Street, Trenton, Florida, with the following members present:
Randy Durden, Chair
John Rance Thomas
Others in attendance were: Joseph W. Gilliam, Clerk of Circuit Court, Kim Yozgat, County Attorney, Ron McQueen, EMA/County Coordinator, Sherree Pitzarell, Deputy Clerk
Mr. Yozgat informed the Board that the agenda item concerning Mary Johnson is a Board of Adjustment issue and can not be heard by this Board.
Commissioner Wilkerson made a motion to approve the minutes of the meetings held May 3rd, May 10th, and May 13th. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Bush and unanimously approved.
Commissioner Bush made a motion to approve payment of the bills. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Wilkerson and unanimously approved.
Commissioner Bush moved to approve budget entries 99077-88085. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Wilkerson and unanimously approved.
Mr. Yozgat spoke to the Board about a title loan ordinance recently adopted by the Alachua County Board of County Commissioners. Even though there are no title loan organizations in the county, the Board may want to consider establishing an ordinance. The Florida legislature has not limited the amount that title loan companies can charge in interest rates and in some cases it has been as high as 240%. Alachua County has limited the interest rates to 30%.
The Planning and Zoning Board has made a recommendation to the Board in regards to impact fees. They recommend a lower percentage of discount than what the County Commission had been considering.
The next hearing on the Ginnie Springs vs. Gilchrist County case will be September 27th. A motion to dismiss will be filed by the county attorney.
Chairman Durden stated that it will probably take one more meeting of the animal control committee before a draft ordinance will be ready for the Board.
Signs are being ordered for the county parks, which reflect the regulations adopted in the new ordinance. Chairman Durden stated there is a problem with trucks parked over night at Rock Bluff park. Mr. McQueen will have a cost for the signs today. Mr. McQueen stated that the Board needs to appoint a parks advisory committee, which will be a requirement for applying for certain grants. The Board discussed the problems with boats in the spring run at Hart Springs park. There are so many boats in the run that a safety hazard has been created. A workshop for park discussion will be held from 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. on August 16th. The Sheriff and the park manager need to be present for the workshop.
The Board discussed the implementation of the mobile home pre-inspection ordinance. Mr. McQueen stated that there will be feedback from the mobile home dealers. The Board discussed the pre-inspection procedure and who is qualified to do the inspections.
Mr. Yozgat reported that the county attorney's office has recently completed some work for the Sheriff regarding abandoned property. The Board may want to establish a line item in his budget for those expenses. Mr. Gilliam stated that he spoke to the Sheriff and since the funds the Sheriff receives comes back to the Board, this may not be necessary. The Board may want to discuss this with the Sheriff.
Mr. Yozgat stated it is his understanding that the Board would have to sign an indemnity agreement releasing the state from liability, if the Board establishes idle speed/no wake zones. Chairman Durden spoke to Toby Weeks, a Game and Freshwater Fish officer. Mr. Weeks spoke to his supervisor and she told him we would not have to do that. She will be sending Mr. Weeks paperwork that he will bring to the Board. Mr. McQueen pointed out that the area where the request for idle speed/no wake designation has been requested falls within the city limits of Fanning Springs. The Board may want to consider placing these zones near the county boat ramps.
Mr. Gilliam spoke to the Board about the purchase of a dragline. In a previous discussion, the use of impact fees was considered as a method of payment for the dragline, however, Mr. Mutch's opinion is that those fees can not be used. In light of Mr. Mutch's opinion, he would like the Board to consider alternative methods of financing the dragline. Mr. Gilliam is currently getting quotes from the local banks to finance the purchase. Commissioner Thomas moved to amend the previous motion from purchasing the dragline with impact fees, to purchasing it from the Transportation Trust Fund. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Wilkerson and unanimously approved.
SHIP loan applications:
A SHIP loan application has been recommended for approval by the Loan Review Committee. This is an application for the purchase of an existing home submitted by John Deen for $17,500. Commissioner Wilkerson moved to approve the application, subject to the appraisal. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Bush and unanimously approved.
A SHIP loan application has been submitted by Tri-County Bank, on behalf of Lorraine Lightner for the purchase and rehab of an existing home. This application for $17,500 has been recommended for approval by the SHIP Loan Review Committee. Commissioner Wilkerson moved to approve the application, subject to an appraisal and identification of construction costs. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Thomas. Commissioner Bush filed a Form 8A Memorandum of Voting Conflict and abstained from voting because he is a member of the Board of Directors for Tri-County Bank. The motion passed by majority vote with Commissioners Wilkerson, Thomas and Durden voting in favor of the motion and Commissioner Bush abstaining.
Mr. Gilliam stated that the Board had previously agreed to allow Wacasassa VFD to pay for the cost of painting the entire fire truck from their budget, however, it was not decided who was going to pay for the approximate $4000 repair cost. The actual cost after the insurance deductible will be approximately $3000. Two separate purchase orders were prepared for the repairs and the painting. Commissioner Suggs signed the purchase order for the painting because it was approximately $900, however, since the repairs total more than $2000, it must come before the Board. Mr. Gilliam recommends this be paid from district wide funds because to charge it to their budget would deplete their funds. Commissioner Bush moved to pay the repairs and paint from the district wide budget. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Wilkerson. Vote of the Board was unanimous.
The Tax Collector's office submitted a report whereby every seven years after a tax certificate has been sold but not redeemed, the Board must write off the charges. This report shows a total of $1312.04 for unredeemed certificates. Commissioner Wilkerson made a motion to approve the report. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Thomas. Vote of the Board was unanimous.
The Clerk remitted a total of $20,114.79 to the Board for fees collected for the month of June 1999.
A bill has been received for the dragline from M. D. Moody. It reflects a credit for two months lease payments and the balance is $135,000. It is Mr. Gilliam's understanding that $10,000 will be paid down on the balance from FEMA funds and the remainder will be financed for five years. Additionally, approximately $16,000 is owed on the old dragline.
September 9th and 10th will be the annual business meeting of the Small County Coalition to discuss legislative issues.
Previously, the Board agreed to pay a portion of the cost for employee uniforms, however, no provision was made for the start up cost for new employees. The start up cost for each new employee is $55. Commissioner Wilkerson made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Thomas to pay the start up cost. The motion passed unanimously.
Lee Schaltenbrand, resident of the Spring Ridge community, spoke to the Board about the roads in their subdivision. Chairman Durden stated that the Board is looking at some paving projects once the impact fees have been raised.
Commissioner's Committee Reports:
Commissioner Wilkerson stated he is pulling the road department to do work on CR 232 for the next couple of days.
Commissioner Wilkerson stated that one of the mechanics has spoke to him about the oldest road grader in the department. It is not on a lease program and the pump went out and they no longer make pumps for this model. There are funds in next year's budget to do a lease/purchase for another grader. Chairman Durden pointed out that since the county went on the lease/purchase program, maintenance cost has been cut in half.
Chairman Durden stated that he advised Mr. Martin to rock the county line road. There are several residents on that road that have indicated that they are not willing to give any right-of-ways.
Commissioner Thomas spoke to the Board about cleaning services for the transfer station and recycling facility. Ms. Avery has submitted a requisition for cleaning services, at an annual cost of $1400. The inmate crews are no longer providing those services. Chairman Durden stated he knows someone who may be willing to do it for less.
Commissioner Thomas has received several requests from landowners concerned about drainage ditches being cut on graded roads. This is causing water to be drained onto private property. It is the county's policy to do this when water is standing on the grade.
Commissioner Bush stated that he is working with the park manager on several issues. He received a request from Herbie Brown for widening a road. It would cause a need for a tower line to be moved. He will contact the electric company and see what needs to be done.
Several commissioners have received requests to have roads limbed. There followed discussion regarding who is trained to operate the limber and who is certified to work the inmate crews. The Board agreed to discuss this issue with the road superintendent.
Mr. Gilliam stated that five property owners have not signed ROW deeds on the landfill road. Two are opposed to signing, one has been out of town and one has been busy with his farming operation.
EMA/County Coordinator's Report:
Mr. McQueen submitted the Building Department report for the month of July, which indicates a decrease in permits issued. A total of $6000 was collected in impact fees.
Mr. McQueen stated that the Board previously approved the modification agreement with the North Central Florida Regional Planning Council for the local mitigation strategy and the dates of deliverables were changes. This action can not be found in the minutes and Mr. McQueen requests that the Board take action today approving the modification, changing the dates of the deliverables to August 31st and October 31st. Commissioner Thomas moved to approve the modification. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Wilkerson and unanimously approved.
The FERDAP project at Hart Springs has been extended until July 31st, 2000. This is the last extension allowed.
Appraisals are being done through the Suwannee River Water Management District on the Lindsey property near Hart Springs. This parcel is currently being leased by Kelly Philman. There are five years remaining on his seven year lease on this 180 acre parcel. SRWMD may offer to purchase his interest in the property.
The Department of Emergency Management has granted an extension for the completion of repairing N. W. 82nd Terrace (Suwannee Landing Road), which is a FEMA project. The project was bid and only one bid was received. V. E. Whitehurst submitted a bid of $50,356.25. This project will include stabilizing the base approximately 3200 feet and mix in place repave with 1 ½ inches of asphalt. This bid is approximately $3000 more than the amount of FEMA funds allocated for this project. The Board has the option of paying the additional amount or asking the contractor if he will reduce his bid by $3000. The Board also has the option of doing the job in house. Commissioner Thomas moved to accept the bid submitted by V. E. Whitehurst, if he will reduce the bid to $46,958. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Bush. Vote of the Board was unanimous. Mr. McQueen added that the deadline for this project was extended to October 31st. This is the last FEMA project to be completed. DCA has no record for our request for them to pay the 12% match. The request has been resubmitted.
Florida Power wants to survey the courthouse for lightning protection (voltage surges) and equipment reliability. The cost for this survey would be $20,068 and would cover approximately 14 panel boxes, phone boxes and computer terminals. Chairman Durden suggested that this be reviewed with the architects when they meet tomorrow. The Sheriff is having this survey done on his buildings. With the battery back ups in the courthouse, this service may not be needed.
Sheriff Turner submitted a check for $800, a refund for officer training which was not completed. He also submitted checks totaling $22,861.55 as follows: housing of federal inmates @ $9,037.82, reimbursement of medical expenses for inmate George Myers @ $12,391.00, and reimbursement from inmates for prescriptions and doctors visits @ $1411.75 and $20.98.
The Sheriff reported that he is currently housing 12 federal inmates.
Mr. Gilliam reported that the county is involved in a foreclosure action for court costs. It is Mr. Yozgat's opinion that the amount involved is not worth the county pursuing.
Ms. Pizarell reported that all former claims with the insurance company, including the cases involving the Taylors and Harry Chope have been settled and closed.
The Board adjourned at 11:30 a.m. and reconvened at 1:15 p.m.
Dewayne Munday- Hazardous Material Response Plan:
Mr. Munday, North Central Florida Regional Planning Council spoke to the Board about the Hazardous Materials Response Team with Alachua County. Mr. Munday presented an interlocal agreement, establishing a five county entity which would enable them to apply for grants. Eventually, they would like to expand to the 11 counties within the regional planning district. This response plan will allow Alachua County to respond to other counties hazardous waste needs. This interlocal agreement will require no commitment of funds. Mr. McQueen and Mr. Mutch have already reviewed the plan and recommend approval. Commissioner Thomas moved to enter into an interlocal agreement, creating the North Central Florida Regional Hazardous Materials Response Team. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Wilkerson and unanimously approved.
Mr. Carlon spoke to the Board about a culvert placed on S. E. 46th Way. According to Mr. Carlon, his neighbors did not request the culvert to be installed. This road is the southern boundary of his property and when El-Nino occurred in March of 98, the water overflowed somewhat on his property, however, it was not severe enough to damage the building site on his property. He has $19,000 of materials on his property, awaiting to begin construction. During that time, the water never flowed over the south side of his property. Since the culvert has been installed, the water floods his property, specifically the building site area. He would like the Board to remove the culvert or to show him documentation where the state mandated that the culvert be placed there. Mr. McQueen stated that the placement of this culvert was one of the FEMA projects and is in a location where there previously was a culvert. Prior to that time, there was a box bridge in that area. Currently no water flows through the culvert. It was hoped that by relieving the impact of rains, flooding would be prevented. There is an individual in that area who has done work on his property, causing water to be diverted onto others' property. Chairman Durden stated that he does not understand why a second culvert is causing a problem. Mr. McQueen stated that Mr. Carlon has purchased 5 acres of property where a natural drain is located. Mr. Carlon stated that he was aware of that condition when he purchased the property and does not have a problem with that. FEMA and state engineers recommended the second culvert be installed after a site visit, according to Mr. McQueen. Mr. Carlon stated that the old culvert is causing a hazard and the road could possibly collapse in that area. Mr. Carlon feels the culvert was placed there to save one individuals property at the expense of his and others. If the culvert is to remain, he would like the county to bring a back hoe in so he can dig a ditch out and give him a chance to save his property. Chairman Durden stated that the Board did not decide to put a culvert in to save anyone's property. The decision to install a culvert was made by the FEMA engineers. Commissioner Bush will visit the property and report back to the Board.
Mr. Harrison presented each Board member a copy of the 911 directory, which will be used by EMS, fire and law enforcement agencies. Mr. Harrison asked the Board to review and critique the directories and added that these directories are available for sale to the public.
Road Department Report:
Mr. Martin reported that his department has hauled 285 loads of road material this past month. Commissioner Wilkerson advised Mr. Martin to have his department rock the sides of the road on CR 232 at the worst places. Mr. Martin stated that there are a lot of trucks hauling logs on CR 232 and this is affecting the condition of the road. Chairman Durden advised Mr. Martin to rock the county line road. Mr. Martin estimates it will take 500 loads of rock for that road.
The Board discussed the possibility of purchasing another grader on the lease purchase program. The oldest grader (1972) is in need of repairs and Mr. Martin feels it will cost at least $20,000 to repair it.
Mr. Martin reported his department has spent a week grading at the rodeo arena site and feels it will take another week. The Board advised him to stop working there and focus on grading roads.
Mr. Martin stated the drag line mechanic should be here tomorrow. They have mined plenty of rock and are trying to get as much as possible prior to the expiration of the rental period.
Mr. Martin stated the limber has not been operating because his crew has been working on CR 232. They have placed 18 tons of cold mix on that road over the last two weeks and they are continuously placing rock on it. The Board advised Mr. Martin to have the limber operating. Mr. Martin stated he will place someone on the limber until another position can be hired.
Mr. Martin reported that caution lights are being shot out and the repairs run about $300 each.
Mr. Gilliam advised the Board that a new grader could be purchased out of the current year's budget, reducing the amount of carry-forward for next year's reserve. There are no funds budgeted in next year's budget for the purchase of a new grader. There are funds budgeted next year for a new dump truck. Commissioner Bush asked Mr. Martin if Ring Power would take the old grader as a trade in. Mr. Martin will contact Ring Power.
Ms. Walker submitted the EMS report for the month of July, indicating a total of 151 calls, with charges totaling $67,277.50. The total collected for the month of July, including adjustments, was $22,703.13. Of that amount, actual cash collected was $20,619.49.
Ms. Walker submitted a request to write off charges totaling $18,966.58 for the quarter. Following discussion, Commissioner Wilkerson moved to write off $18,966.58. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Thomas. Vote of the Board was unanimous.
Solid Waste Department:
Ms. Avery reported that proposals were requested for the construction of a pole barn at the Solid Waste Transfer Station and Recycling Center. Woodrow Smith was the only contractor that submitted a bid. There is a tree that needs to be removed and if the county removes the tree, the cost will be less. This bid is for the construction of a 20 x 48 building, 12 feet high with a 6 inch concrete floor and footer and a metal roof. The total bid price is $8720. The building will be used to store recyclables, keeping them dry until they are picked up by the contractor. Commissioner Thomas moved to accept the bid submitted by Smith Construction. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Bush and unanimously approved.
Sam Ferguson- Finance:
Mr. Ferguson submitted an invoice from Summit Professional Services for engineering for the Neighborhood Revitalization Grant totaling $13,331.25. Commissioner Bush made a motion to approve the invoice. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Thomas and unanimously approved.
Mr. Ferguson submitted invoices for Administration for the Neighborhood Revitalization and Economic Development Grants for $1500 and $2000 respectively. Commissioner Thomas moved to approve these invoices. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Bush and unanimously approved.
Mr. Ferguson submitted an invoice for engineering services for the Economic Development Grant for $2400. Commissioner Thomas made a motion to approve the invoice. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Bush and unanimously approved.
EMA/County Coordinator's Report (cont.):
Mr. McQueen submitted a report by the Small County Technical Assistance Program regarding classification and pay grade studies.
The city of Trenton has noticed the Board with a code violation on the small piece of property occupied by Johnnie Lee McGee. According to Mr. McQueen, Mr. McGee is attempting to clean the property.
Mr. McQueen submitted a quote from Woodland Craft Signs for the construction of signs for parks and boat ramps. The quote is for signs 18" x 24" or 36" x 48". Mr. McQueen recommends the larger signs because they will be more noticeable. Twelve signs are needed in order to place one at each boat ramp. Commissioner Thomas made a motion to purchase twelve 36" x 48" signs for $86 each. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Wilkerson and unanimously approved.
Bids for Surplus Property:
Mr. Luzader opened the sealed bids for the 1986 Dodge Van and the 1990 Chevy Corsica. Only one bid was received for the 1986 Dodge Van. Mr. Wayne Spears submitted a bid of $150 for the van. The following bids were received for the 1990 Chevy Corsica:
Carl Rehberg $200.00
Thomas Mathis $800.00
James Wiggins $501.01
Charles Risk $600.00
Commissioner Thomas made a motion to accept the bid of $800 from Thomas Mathis for the 1990 Chevy Corsica. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Wilkerson and unanimously approved. Commissioner Wilkerson made a motion to accept the bid submitted by Wayne Spears for the 1986 Dodge Van. The motion was second by Commissioner Thomas and unanimously approved.
Mr. Luzader opened sealed bids for a new pick up for the Building Department. White Ford submitted a bid for a 2000 Ford Ranger (4 doors) for $18,754. Mr. Gilliam advised Mr. Luzader that before he opens anymore bids, some discussion needs to occur. Mr. Gilliam pointed out that there was no date and time in the advertisement for the bids to be received. In addition, the bid notice must be specific so that each bid is based on the same specifications. Bids must be date stamped when received. The Board agreed to re-advertise for bids.
Mr. McQueen met with representatives from DCA regarding the reimbursement for the cost of fighting wild fires during the period of time the Governor declared a disaster. The total cost was just under $60,000. He is waiting to hear how much the county will be reimbursed. Mr. McQueen also met with the person in charge of the Local Mitigation Grants. The Local Mitigation Grant is the grant put together by Summit Professional Services. Six applications will need to be re-written for a reasonable amount. Apparently the grant submitted by Summit was for an amount far higher than the funding allowed. Mr. McQueen has identified the following projects for possible funding: park restroom retrofit, relocation of the caretakers home, and electrical system retrofit at Hart Springs Park, and shutters for the EOC building. The last project is for the improvements of the bridge at Bell Springs, located within the city limits of Fanning Springs. This project was submitted by the city of Fanning Springs, but listed by the state under Levy County. The county is eligible for $190,000 and Mr. McQueen will be completing the applications for this funding. Commissioner Thomas made a motion to authorize the chair to sign the grant applications. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Bush. Vote of the Board was unanimous.
Mr. McQueen advised the Board that appointing a park advisory board would assist the county in securing additional points on grant applications. Commissioner Wilkerson made a motion to appoint Commissioner Bush, Mr. McQueen, Mr. Al Sifferlin, Ms. Sherree Pitzarell and Ms. Debbie Gainey to serve as the park advisory board. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Thomas and unanimously approved.
Commissioner Bush led discussion with the Board regarding the county medical director. There followed discussion regarding the manner in which the medical director was hired and Commissioner Bush stated a local doctor is interested in the position. When the current medical director was hired, he was working full time in this county, however, he now lives in Melrose. Chairman Durden asked if the EMS Department is pleased with Dr. Cox's service. Mr. Yozgat reviewed the contract, stating that it is a year to year contract, automatically renewable. Thirty days written notice is needed to terminate the contract. Mr. Yozgat stated that if the EMS Department has a good rapport with Dr. Cox, the Board may want to consider keeping him on staff. The Board agreed to discuss the issue with the EMS director.
The Board recessed and reconvened at 5:00 p.m.
Mr. Gilliam reported that he has met with all the departments to work on their budgets. The Solid Waste Fund reserve has been about $500,000 for the past several years, however, next year it is proposed to be $359,257. This amount may not be adequate if there are bad tests results on the monitoring wells.
The EMS Fund is balanced without a reserve. EMS collections have not been as high this year as in past years. Mr. Gilliam feels this budget has been trimmed as much as possible.
MSTU Fire Fund budget is presented with millage proposed at .50 mil, .70 mil and one mil. There followed discussion of the amount of increase, if any, the millage rate should be. The Board discussed the imposition of a special assessment for fire services, however, due to time constraints, the assessment can not be imposed for the next fiscal year.
The Board discussed tipping fees currently charges at the Alachua County Solid Waste Transfer Station. Alachua County charges $37 per ton for all solid waste from Gilchrist County. Gilchrist County charges $44 per ton, and bears the cost of hauling it to Alachua County. To recoup the cost of hauling the garbage to Alachua County, our tipping fee would need to be raised to $63 per ton. The cost of recouping recyclables is less, however, if you average the recyclables with other garbage, the break even cost would be approximately $46 per ton, if an equal amount of garbage and recyclable are received. Commissioner Thomas stated he will meet with Ms. Avery, Solid Waste Department Supervisor and bring back a recommendation to the Board.
Chairman Durden reported that he invited Dewayne Yates, Vice-President of the Gilchrist County Chamber of Commerce to the meeting. The Chairman met with Mr. Yates and representatives from the Chamber and Development Authority regarding their budget requests and discussed their functions. He feels the two organizations are doing a lot of the same activities and questions whether two organizations are needed. Currently both organizations are budgeted at $7500 per year, however the Development Authority has spent very little this fiscal year. The main difference is that the Development Authority is a special district and can issue bonds. Last year two sub-committees of the two organizations were formed and they agreed to enter into an agreement to use the same staff, office space, etc.
The Solid Waste supervisor has submitted a request to be changed from an hourly to a salaried employee, with the salary increased to $25,000. The previous supervisor was a salaried employee making approximately $21,000 per year. According to Commissioner Thomas, Ms. Avery is now responsible for writing the solid waste grants which was previously done by Mills Engineering for approximately $5000 per year. Commissioner Thomas recommends that her position be changed to a salaried position at an annual rate of $24,400.00. Each board member agreed that this would be their recommendation for budgeting purposes.
The Board discussed the Sheriff's budget request and even after cuts, his budget reflects an increase to hire one new dispatcher, one new bailiff, purchase three new cars and raises for all staff at approximately 4.6%.
Mr. Gilliam reported that he received a request for funding, after the deadline from "Another Way" for $1000. The Board took no action.
There being no further business to discuss, a motion was made by Commissioner Wilkerson to adjourn at 7:30 p.m. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Bush and unanimously approved.
RANDY DURDEN, CHAIR
JOSEPH W. GILLIAM, CLERK