MINUTES OF A REGULAR MEETING OF THE GILCHRIST COUNTY BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS HELD AUGUST 16, 1999.
The Gilchrist County Board of County Commissioners, in and for Gilchrist County, Florida, convened in a regular meeting on Monday, August 16, 1999, at 1:00 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
Sue B. Suggs
Others in attendance were: Sam Ferguson, Finance Director, Sherree Pitzarell, Deputy Clerk, Ron McQueen, EMA/County Coordinator.
Iris Roberts- Bell Library:
Mr. Roberts introduced some of the volunteers of the Bell Library. The library has been in operation for three years with volunteers. The Town of Bell provides them with a building, utilities and maintenance. They have a membership of 627. Over 2083 books were checked out during the first six months of the year. They are requesting a copy machine and two computers installed, with the monthly fee for maintenance and network service. Commissioner Suggs stated that she was able to secure four computers (2 for Trenton and 2 for Bell). The only charge the county will have to pay is the shipping, which should be around $300. Commissioner Suggs made a motion to fund the Bell Library next fiscal year at a rate of $5000. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Bush. Vote of the Board was unanimous. The program Commissioner Suggs was able to get the computers from is called "Gifts In Kind International". Commissioner Suggs added she may be able to get a copy machine and more computers, for just the shipping charges.
Jimmie Downing- Soil & Water Conservation:
Mr. Downing reported that the local Soil & Water Conservation office has been moved from Gilchrist County to Bronson. Their budget request for next fiscal year includes 34% of the salary for the secretary in the Bronson office ($6654). Their total budget request is $9950, which is an increase over last year's budget of $8950. This request includes a new line item for county map storage. Mr. Downing explained that their office does planning stages and assistance in development of practices in farming.
Commissioner Thomas arrived at 1:40 p.m.
Mr. Downing reviewed the number of program applications they have received over the last three years. Commissioner Suggs moved to table this item until Mr. Gilliam can be present. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Thomas. Vote of the Board was unanimous.
Approval of Minutes of Previous Meetings:
Minutes of the meetings held May 17th and May 24th were unanimously approved, following a motion from Commissioner Bush, which was seconded by Commissioner Thomas.
A letter has been received from Greene & Son requesting an extension for moving the Roberts house off the county's property. Commissioner Suggs moved to extend the deadline until 9-30-99. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Thomas. Following discussion, Commissioner Suggs amended her motion to contact the McDonalds asking them to request an extension, rather than the house movers by the 20th of August, if they want an extension. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Thomas. Vote of the Board was unanimous.
Chamber of Commerce and Development Authority:
Mr. John Frazier spoke to the Board about the Chamber's budget request for next fiscal year. This request includes an increase in the salary line item. Their current level of funding is $7500 and they are requesting $15,000. Commissioner Suggs asked if the Chamber and Development Authority are in agreement. According to Mr. Frazier, in regards to the paid position and some incidental expenses, they are in agreement. The Development Authority is requesting $7500 separately from the Chamber, according to Mr. John Ferguson. Chairman Durden stated that the Board will set another meeting prior to September 9th, which is the date for the tentative budget hearing. Following discussion, the Board agreed to set a meeting for August 26th at 5:00 p.m.
Kim Yozgat, county attorney, arrived at 2:30 p.m.
Chairman Durden announced he would like the record to reflect that he did not make the statement that the Board had decided to triple impact fees for mobile homes over site built homes. According to Mr. McQueen all five Zoning Board members agreed to increase the impact fees, however, they have not yet agreed to the percentage of discount (3 wanted 25%, 1 wanted 50% and 1 wanted 40%). Following discussion, Commissioner Bush moved to raise the impact fees, to raise $4,500,000 for capital improvements, allowing a 50% discount. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Thomas. The motion passed unanimously. An ordinance amending the impact fees will be advertised for public hearing for September 9, 1999. The Board agreed to discuss special assessments at their August 26th meeting.
Bid Opening for Vehicle for Protective Inspections Department:
Scoggins Chevrolet submitted a bid for a 2000 S-10 extended cab, three door 4 x 4 pick up for $19,498.74.
White Ford submitted a bid for a 2000 Ranger 4 x 4 supercab pick up for $18,754.00. Both bids meet the specifications.
Commissioner Bush made a motion to accept the low bid from White Ford. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Thomas. The motion passed by majority vote with each commissioner voting in favor of the motion except for Commissioner Suggs.
Public Hearing- FRDAP Grant Application for Water's Lake:
The FRDAP grant program is through the Department of Environmental Protection. Summit has prepared a $50,000 grant application with no matching funds required. The project will include the renovation of the existing pavilion and boat ramp and the construction of a new pavilion and playground at Water's Lake Park.
Commissioner Suggs asked Mr. Yogzat to bring information regarding special assessments to the meeting scheduled for August 26th. Commissioner Suggs added that she would like to consider combining EMS and fire services for the purpose of collecting special assessments.
Sheriff Turner submitted a check for $10,136.22 for housing federal inmates during the month of July.
Chairman Durden stated that he and Mr. Gilliam met with the Sheriff for approximately 5 hours to review his budget request for next fiscal year. The Sheriff agreed to reduce his operating expenses to the same level as the current year, however, the request does reflect increases for three new cars, one new dispatch position, one new bailiff and a 4.7% salary increase for staff. This is an overall 11% increase over last year's budget. Sheriff Turner explained that the additional dispatcher will allow him to have two dispatchers during peak call times.
Commissioner Wilkerson arrived at 4:35 p.m.
Following discussion, Commissioner Suggs moved to fund the salary increases and the new dispatch position for the Sheriff's budget. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Wilkerson and unanimously approved.
Park Advisory Board:
Mr. McQueen stated that the Park Advisory Board will hold it's first meeting today, to discuss the FRDAP grant application for Water's Lake Park. The purpose of the Board is advisory in nature and allow for more points on grant applications.
Mr. Yozgat has discussed the use of county inmates for labor with the Sheriff. In their discussions, the Sheriff would like to utilize Mr. Spears to supervise the inmates, who would in turn assist Mr. Spears with various maintenance jobs throughout the county. Mr. Spears is willing to get certification to supervise the inmates. The Sheriff would need a written agreement, with the Board that would acknowledge only sentenced inmates could be used and that their compensation would be 30 cents per day. In addition, the Sheriff would need the agreement to provide Mr. Spears training at Lancaster and compensation for his lunch time when working inmates. The money earned by the inmates would be applied to his expenses, including court costs. This program deals with inmate gain time, allowing inmates to earn up to five days to be deducted from his sentence. This portion of the program would require a county ordinance. The Board the Sheriff that they took action over two years ago to not participation in such a program.
Mr. Yozgat s spoke to the Board about a proposed lease with the Spring Ridge Volunteer Fire Department. The terms of the lease is for 25 years for consideration of an annual payment of $1.00. The Board agreed to postpone their decision until September 9th.
Mr. Ferguson reported that the finance office needs a decision regarding county employee raises for budgeting purposes. Commissioner Suggs made a motion to give each employee a $1000 raise. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Wilkerson. Vote of the Board was unanimous.
Mr. Ferguson spoke to the Board about employee health insurance. According to the information received from Blue Cross, Blue Shield, there will be no premium increase for the C-14 plan, however, the premium for the C-1 plan will increase 3.9%. Commissioner Thomas moved to accept the renewal rates, passing the cost increase along to the employees. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Wilkerson and unanimously approved.
The Board will discuss funding for the fire budget at the August 26th meeting.
Commissioner Suggs reported that the EMS department received a grant for the purchase of an automatic defibulators. The grant requires a $5000 match and since these defibulators are going to be used by the fire departments, the match could come from the district wide fire budget, rather than EMS. Commissioner Suggs moved to pay the $5000 grant match from the district wide fire budget (reserve). The motion was seconded by Commissioner Thomas and unanimously approved.
Mr. Ferguson spoke to the Board about the purchase of the drag line. Chairman Durden will get with Mr. Gilliam and Mr. Ferguson next week to discuss budgeting the annual payment for this item. The annual payments are expected to be about $31,000.
Mr. Ferguson presented a purchase order for signs for the county's parks. The total is $1032 and Mr. Ferguson needs to know where this expense will be paid from. The Board advised him to purchase the signs from the general fund reserve.
A request has been received for the approval of a conflict attorney, Thomas Munkitrick. Commissioner Suggs made a motion to approve the request to appoint Mr. Munkitrick as a special court appointed attorney. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Thomas. Vote of the Board was unanimous.
Commissioner Suggs moved to adopt a resolution requesting a reduction of permit fees from the Suwannee River Water Management District. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Bush. Vote of the Board was unanimous. A copy of resolution 99-37 is on file in the Clerk's Office.
The University of Florida preliminary estimate of population 13,346. Commissioner Suggs moved to approve their estimates. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Wilkerson and unanimously approved.
EMA/County Coordinator's Report:
Mr. McQueen reminded the Board that the Small County Coalition annual meeting will conflict with the September 9th Board meeting. Commissioner Suggs stated she will leave the Board meeting early to attend the Coalition's meeting to receive a legislative award.
Mr. McQueen stated he met with Mr. Yozgat to review Lee Mills contract to ensure that the requirements for engineering in regards to the FEMA and FRDAP projects at Hart Springs park are being met. The Board needs to take action designating him to be the engineer for these projects. Commissioner Bush made a motion to designate Mr. Mills, the county engineer, as the engineer for the Hart Springs project(s). The motion was seconded by Commissioner Wilkerson and unanimously approved.
Mr. McQueen has written letters to our legislators about county road 232, requesting that the repair of that road be included on either the DOT Five Year Work Plan or the Small County Road Assistance Program. The list for our district is complete in regards to the later program, however, he does not know how the county was ranked.
Chairman Durden reported that a pre-construction meeting was held recently with Whitehurst Construction regarding the Economic Development grant project involving Overstreet Mulch.
Commissioner Suggs stated that she and Mr. McQueen met with Levy County regarding the Shady Grove Road. Levy County can do the paving, if the Board will purchase the materials. The cost of the materials will be $17,074 to pave approximately 3900 feet. The Board took no action.
The Board recessed at 6:00 p.m. for a Board of Adjustment meeting and reconvened as the Board of County Commissioners at 7:30 p.m.
Rob Ayers- DOT Five Year Work Program:
Mr. Ayers spoke to the Board about DOT's Five Year Work Program. This program includes widening and resurfacing county road 340 from U.S. 129 to state road 47. Mr. Ayers reported that the legislature approve the Small County Road Assistance Program, and he feels county road 232 would be better placed in this program than the Five Year Work Program. Funding through the Small County Road Assistance Program should be available sooner. Mr. Ayer reminded the Board to submit their priority list for the next five year program by October 1st. Chairman Durden asked the Board to think about their priorities and to agenda this item for the September 9th meeting.
Karl Thorne- Architects:
Mr. Thorne presented the preliminary proposal for the renovation of the existing courthouse building. Karl Thorne Associates is in association with Architect Design Group. This proposal addresses the life safety and ADA issues. Following discussion, the Board agreed to postpone any decision until the September 9th meeting, which would allow them more time to review the plans.
Commissioner's Committee Report:
Commissioner Thomas reported that the tires on the bobcat at the landfill are lasting about four months and Ms. Avery would like the Board to consider a new kind of tire. This is due to increased usage. They have looked at a brochure advertising tires that are guaranteed to last at least six months. These are solid rubber compound tires. The initial cost is high compared to the tires they have been using, however, the replacement cost is about the same. There followed discussion about what type of surface these tires will perform on. Chairman Durden stated that these tires will not work off asphalt. The current tires are filled with a material, but the outsides are not holding up under the increased loads. Ms. Avery stated another alternative would be to use a thicker ply. There followed discussion about purchasing a second set of tires and rims so that the loader will not be down for long periods of time. Commissioner Suggs made a motion to authorize Commissioner Thomas, Mr. McQueen and Ms. Avery to secure a second set of tires and rims for the loader. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Thomas. The motion passed unanimously.
Commissioner Suggs stated that she wants the record to reflect that she is not in favor of the amount tentatively approved for Ms. Avery's salary increase.
Commissioner Suggs distributed a draft copy of the proposed education policy for employees and volunteers. The Board agreed to review the policy and take action at the next meeting. Commissioner Suggs asked if it could be discussed at the mid month meeting in September because she will be out for a portion of the next meeting. Commissioner Suggs spoke to the Board about a Fanning Springs Volunteer Fireman who recently attended EMT school. She would like the Board to consider reimbursing him for his tuition and books. There followed discussion as to whether or not the Board's previous action to allow three volunteer firemen to attend school set policy. Chairman Durden stated that the Board agreed to consider each request when submitted and this Mr. James did not submit a request. Commissioner Suggs made a motion to reimburse Mr. James for books and tuition. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Thomas. The motion failed by majority vote, with Commissioner Suggs being the only Commissioner to cast a vote in favor of the motion.
Commissioner Bush reported that the Rails for Trails will have a grand opening in October at Fanning Springs.
Commissioner Bush stated that the Florida Crown Workforce is in need of members from the private sector and asked Board members to think about people that may be willing to serve.
Chairman Durden reported that the new grader from Ring Power will be delivered in eight weeks.
Chairman Durden reminded the Board that they took action to require county employees to wear uniforms, however, only half of the road department staff are wearing them. The Board advised Mr. McQueen to send notices to each employee that uniforms are mandatory and if not worn, the employee(s) may be fired.
There being no further business to discuss, Commissioner Suggs made a motion to adjourn at 9:00 p.m. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Thomas and unanimously approved.
RANDY DURDEN, CHAIR
JOSEPH W. GILLIAM, CLERK