The Gilchrist County Board of County Commissioners, in and for Gilchrist County Florida, convened in a regular meeting on Monday, March 20, 2000, at 5:00 p.m. in Bell City Hall, located in the Bell Train Depot at 3240 W. Rail Road Lane, Bell, Florida, with the following members present to-wit:


                                                           Randy Durden, Chairman

                                                           John Rance Thomas

                                                           Sue B. Suggs


Others in attendance were: Joseph W. Gilliam, Clerk of Circuit Court, Sam Mutch, County Attorney, Sam Ferguson, Director of Finance, Karen Heaton, Deputy Clerk, Ron McQueen, County Coordinator, Lois Fletcher, Lee Schaltenbrand, John Ayers, Tracy Crook, Scott Pariseau, Iris Roberts, Aline Kazokas, Barry Crook, Michael Kern, Gary D. Tanous, Larry Dennis, John McMillan, Lesa McMillan, Bryan Harms, Frank O’Neil, Rhett Klemans, Risa Klemans, Robert Klemans, Rhonda Johnson, Ryan Klemans, Robert Wray, Rachel Wray, Diane Avery, Bud Riffle, Jeff Jordan.


(Commissioner Wilkerson was not in attendance due to recent back surgery.  Commissioner Bush was also absent due to illness.)


Commissioner Suggs made a motion to approve the minutes of the meeting of February 22, 2000.  The motion was seconded by Commissioner Thomas.  Vote of the Board was unanimous.


Commissioner Suggs made a motion to approve budget entries 062, 063, 064, and 065.  The motion was seconded by Commissioner Thomas and unanimously approved.


Budget Entry #0071 was submitted for funds received from the“Operational Safe Speed” Grant in the amount of $3,234 to be placed in the budget for the Sheriff’s Office.  Commissioner Thomas made a motion to approve budget entry BE071 by resolution (Resolution 00-11).  Commissioner Suggs seconded the motion and the vote of the Board was unanimous.


Commissioner Suggs made a motion to approve payment of the bills.  The motion was seconded by Commissioner Thomas and unanimously approved.


Attorney’s Report:


Sam Mutch reported that the advertisement for the ordinance amending the subdivision regulations to require paving in all subdivisions has been prepared.  This has been advertised for the meeting on April 3 and April 17, 2000.  Mr. Mutch asked the Board if the minor subdivisions should be included along with major subdivisions.  It was the consensus of the Board that the minor subdivisions were to be included.


Mr. Mutch advised the Board that the Ginnie Springs I case is set for a case management conference before Judge Giunta on Wednesday, April 12, 2000 at 2:30 p.m. in the Gilchrist County Courthouse.  At that time, Mr. Mutch will ask that the case be dismissed because the issue is mute.


The Planning & Zoning Board met last week in regards to the Mud-Bogging issue and voted to deny the request by Mr. Durrance for a text change to permit recreational uses by “right” in the Industrial (I) District. The Planning & Zoning Board recommends that if the BOCC wishes to permit recreational uses in the I District, it should be done only by special exception.  The ordinance permitting recreational uses by special exception in the I District has been advertised for a special meeting of the Planning & Zoning Board for March 30, 2000 and the April 3 and April 17, 2000 meetings of the BoCC.


Mr. Mutch stated that the repeal of the Utility Privilege Fee has been prepared and advertised for the meeting of April 3, 2000. 


Mr. Mutch has received a letter from Gary Grunder withdrawing the request for the Ginnie Springs Road Closure.  This Road Closure was petitioned by Barbara Wray Suggs. Mr. Mutch suggested that the Board take action to deny it or remove it from the agenda with prejudice.


Mr. Mutch has prepared an ordinance for “Hazardous Materials Cost Recovery.” This ordinance has been advertised as a public hearing at the April 3rd meeting.


Mr. Mutch submitted a report on “Government in the Sunshine Law” requirements for the Board to review.  A copy was also submitted to the Planning and Zoning Board at its last meeting.  The Code Enforcement Board and the other committees of the Board of County Commissioners will also be given copies.


Mr. Mutch discussed the contract issues with the North Central Florida Regional Planning Council (NCFRP).  The Regional Planning Council has been providing the BOCC with services without a contract since October 1, 1999.  There has been a problem with services being done on a timely basis.  The Board has advertised for a “Planner” position.  Mr. Mutch suggested that the Board give NCFRPC 30 days notice of termination of their services.  The Board will consider these responsibilities being delegated to Sam Mutch and Ron McQueen until the position for a planner is filled. 


Tri-County Tourism Task Force:


Ron McQueen reported that the Tourism Task Force met last Wednesday.  He stated that the meeting was well attended by all three counties (Dixie, Levy and Gilchrist).  A presentation was made by Jim Brantly regarding the implementation of a multi-county Tourism Task Force.


 The Tourism Task Force has completed an application for the Rural Development Grant.  This grant is for multi-county areas for the purpose of tourism. The grant application is due March 24th and a decision will be made on March 30th as to the counties that will participate.  Letters of support to accompany the applications were submitted by John Ferguson, Tri-County Bank, Fanning Springs Chamber of Commerce, Gilchrist County Chamber of Commerce, Town of Bell, Gilchrist County Development Authority and the City of Fanning Springs. A motion was made by Commissioner Suggs to approve the Rural Development Grant application with the contact person being Chairman Durden and Ron McQueen. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Thomas and unanimously approved.


The Gilchrist County Development Authority submitted a list of persons to be appointed as the new directors to the Development Authority for the year 2000.  Commissioner Durden read the list as follows:


Verna Mae Eady                     Billy Rogers

Owen Baynard                        John Ferguson

Jerry Hawthorne                      Frank Grant

Robert Vaughan


Commissioner Suggs moved to approve these individuals to serve as directors to the Development Authority for the year 2000.  Commissioner Thomas seconded the motion and the vote of the Board was unanimous.


The Development Authority has also requested that Mary Lou Rider be appointed as representative to The Original Florida Tourism Task Force.  Commissioner Suggs made a motion to approve Mary Lou Rider. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Thomas and unanimously approved.


Joe Gilliam also mentioned that he had attended the Industrial Development Authority meeting last Wednesday and was asked about funds received in 1997/98 from Enterprise Florida and the Florida Power Corporation.  Approximately $1,780.00 was received for the purpose of promotional activities. A purchase order was submitted for River Graphics in the amount of $2,066.17 for a brochure that was to be printed. This purchase order was dated September 28, 1999 but the order was never completed.   The last two budget request from IDA did not include these funds as a carry forward.  This money was reverted back to the Board at the end of the year. Commissioner Suggs made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Thomas, to transfer the $1,780 out of reserve into the IDA budget.  The motion carried unanimously.


Public Hearing: Taxiways, Shady Bend Subdivision:


Sam Mutch explained  that he had met with Bryan Harms and Tracey Crooks, two representatives of the Shady Bend Subdivision Board of Directors, regarding the vacation of the public roads in the Shady Bend Subdivision. 


According to Mr. Mutch, the question is whether or not to permit taxiing of aircraft on public streets.  It is his opinion that from a liability standpoint, taxiing of aircraft should not be permitted on any public roads.  The other issue is whether or not NW 70th Terrace, which is paved, should be vacated so that  residents can have access to the airstrip.


It is Mr. Mutch’s recommendation to vacate NW 70th Terrace (the portion that is paved within the Shady Bend Subdivision) and NW 72nd Way from the intersection with NW 70th Terrace to the airstrip.  For the remainder of NW 72nd Way (from NW 50th Street to the intersection of NW 70th Terrace), he recommends that that road also be vacated unless all property owners along NW 72nd Way agree not to taxi their aircraft on the public road in order to maintain it as a public road.


Mr. Mutch has received a number of phone calls and correspondence concerning Shady Bend.  Ms. Aileen Kazokas lives at the intersection of NW 72 Way and NW 70th Terrace.  She would like this portion vacated so that she may have access to the airstrip. Mr. McMillan and Mr. Knobb have written to request duel use.  Mr. Kern is requesting that he continue to have access to the airstrip by NW 72nd Way and NW 70th Terrace.  Mr. Kern has an ultra light aircraft at this time but plans to have a heavier aircraft in the future.


Mr. Mutch stated that the issue before the Board is whether or not to advertise for street vacation.  Other aspects for the Board to consider would be (1) to decide if duel use is appropriate or not, (2) to prohibit taxiing of any aircraft on public right-of-ways, (3) advertise for a public hearing for the vacation and closure of NW 72nd Way and NW 70th Terrace, in order to make a decision after hearing from the public as to which portions of roads to close. Another alternative is for the Homeowners Association to indemnify through an insurance policy naming the County as the insured which would permit duel use of the rights-of-way.  Mr. Mutch also stated that he does not recommend the indemnification as the County would still possibly be held liable. He also added that the residents of Shady Bend bought their property with the understanding that they would have the ability to taxi to the airstrip.


Commissioner Suggs contended that it was not the County but the developer that led the residents to believe they could use these streets as taxiways.  The Board never approved these roads to be used as taxiways. Commissioner Suggs made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Thomas, to advertise the vacation of NW 70th Terrace within the Shady Bend Subdivision and to advertise the vacation of NW 72nd Way east of NW 70th Terrace in the Shady Bend Subdivision and place signs within the subdivision prohibiting the taxiing of aircraft on NW 72nd Way between NW 50th Street and NW 70th Terrace. The following residents of Shady Bend addressed the Board and expressed their views about closing these roads and using them as taxiways: Tracy Crook, (president of the Homeowners Association), Gary Tannis, Frank O’Neal, Michael Kearn, and Ailene Kazokas.  Commissioner Durden recommended to the Board to vacate NW 70th Terrace, that portion that is paved, and to post signs prohibiting  the taxiing of aircraft on NW 72nd Way. Commissioner Suggs amends the motion to state this recommendation for the advertisement.  Commissioner Thomas seconded the motion and the vote of the Board was unanimous.





Public Hearing / Road Closing / Barbara Wray Suggs:


Commissioner Durden read a letter from Gary Grunder requesting to table indefinitely the road closing petition of Barbara Wray Suggs.  Mr. Grunder is an attorney representing Barbara Wray Suggs. Mr. Grunder stated that Barbara Suggs is involved in ongoing litigation with members of her family.  The litigation now includes matters involving the proposed roadway. Barbara Suggs is consequently requesting that the matter of the road closing be tabled indefinitely.  She hopes to resubmit this request in the near future when these litigations are resolved.


Mr. Mutch advised the Board of the following options; (1) close the road as requested, (2) deny the closing of the road as requested, (3) table indefinitely the petition to close the road, (4) remove it from the agenda with prejudice (meaning it is no longer properly before the Board and would have to be resubmitted).  Commissioner Suggs moved to remove the petition from the agenda with prejudice. Commissioner Thomas seconded the motion.  Vote of the Board was unanimous.


Solid Waste:


Diane Avery provided the Board with the information for the Hepatitis B immunizations for the Solid Waste Department.  The Gilchrist County Health Department will provide these shots for $72.60 per employee (3 shots in a series @ $24.20 ea.). The Trenton Medical Center quoted $135.00 per employee.  Ms. Avery estimated that about ten (10) of the employees would want the series. Commissioner Thomas made a motion to approve the Hepatitis B series of immunizations.  The motion was seconded by Commissioner Suggs and unanimously approved.


Clerk’s Report:


Mr. Gilliam received a memo from Karl Thorne and Associates regarding the Courthouse renovations.  By March 31st they will have 90% of the construction documents complete and ready for bid by April 14th.  The State Attorney’s office will occupy the west half of the upstairs and the Finance Department will relocated to the east end.  At this time, the upstairs has been completely vacated of personnel.  The Tax Collector’s Office, Property Appraiser’s Office, and the Supervisor of Elections office will be removing items stored in the vacant offices before renovations begin.


The Board discussed the future space needs of the Guardian Ad Litem office.  There will also be a need for additional office space when a planner is hired.  Commissioner Durden suggested that the Board consider purchasing the Church of Christ building.  After discussion, the Board decided to discuss this at the meeting on April 3, 2000 when all Board members are present.


Mr. Gilliam informed the Board that Davis and Monk have completed the County’s audit and would present the findings at the first meeting in April.  Mr. Gilliam stated that there were four findings.  The findings were in the areas of segregation of duties, fixed assets, EMS billing and two funds exceeded the 10% maximum in reserve.


Mr. Gilliam presented the following two S.H.I.P. loan applications for approval:


Jedidiah Reeser - Very Low Income, with Capitol City Bank, recommended for approval of  $22,500. This loan will be for an existing home. Commissioner Suggs made a motion to approve the S.H.I.P. loan for Jedidiah Reeser in the amount of $22,500.  Commissioner Thomas seconded the motion and the vote of the Board was unanimous.


Christine Potter - Low Income, with Chase Manhattan, recommended for approval of $17,500.  Commissioner Suggs made a motion to approve the S.H.I.P. Loan for Christine Potter in the amount of $17,500.  The motion was seconded by Commissioner Thomas and unanimously approved.





Sam Ferguson reported that the bids have been received for the TMC Wheel Loader financing.  Tri-County Bank was the low bid with a 5.95% interest rate.  The amount of the loan is $45,453.  Mr. Ferguson provided Resolution 00-12 and a Promissory Note to be signed by Chairman Durden.

Commissioner Durden read the resolution for the loan.  Commissioner Suggs made a motion to approve the Promissory Note by resolution.  The motion was seconded by Commissioner Thomas and unanimously approved.


                                                            RESOLUTION 00-12




Mr. Ferguson referred the Board to a proposal from P.P.I. Construction Management for the Construction Manager for the Courthouse renovations and Judicial Complex.  This was the only company that submitted a bid for this project.  P.P.I. is currently the construction manager for the Trenton Elementary School.  A price will be negotiated at a later date if this bid is accepted.  Commissioner Suggs moved to approve the proposal from P.P.I. Construction Management for the Gilchrist County Courthouse renovations and construction of the new Judicial Complex.  The motion was seconded by Commissioner Thomas and carried unanimously.


Mr. Ferguson gave the Board a draft of the Three Rivers Regional Library System Interlocal Agreement.  The Board will review the draft and discuss it at the next Board of Commissioners meeting.



Mr. Ferguson updated the Board on the selection of a new director for the Three Rivers Regional Library System.  A committee had been appointed to review the applications. There were a total of nine applications received.  Of these applicants, two were selected for an interview.  One of the applicants had accepted a position with Alachua County.  The remaining applicant is from Pennsylvania.   Mr. Ferguson suggested that further details be obtained from the State Library Board about the requirements for this position. As it stands now, the requirements are an MLS degree and two years experience in a public library.  There are individuals in Gilchrist County who would like to apply but do not meet the two years experience requirement.  Commissioner Suggs will contact Mr. Flowers with the State Library regarding these requirements.  Mr. Ferguson stated that Cheryl Pulliam has done a great job in the interim.



EMA / County Coordinator Report:


Ron McQueen gave the Board an update on the Vision Committee.  A County Wide Meeting on Transportation was held recently.  The presentations were excellent but the attendance was poor.  Mr. Mark Gluckman has written a letter to the Board with suggestions for the visioning process.   Mr. McQueen also suggest that the Vision Committee take a different tactic. Much effort has been put forth to develop the presentations and advertise the meetings.  However, there seems to be no interest by the communities. The Board discussed the possibility of having one final meeting covering the remaining topics and conclude with the County Wide Vision Meeting. 


The Department of Transportation has informed the County that CR 340 will be closed starting March 27, 2000.  Construction should take no longer than six weeks depending on the weather and the construction process.  The Board discussed the procedures that have been set up for EMS calls during the time CR 340 is closed.  Linda Owens will provide a unit to be stationed at the Spring Ridge VFD for the first responders. Dispatch will also be notified of the situation.  Commissioner Suggs will contact Alachua County about responding if needed.


Mr. McQueen received a letter from Huey Hawkins with the Department of Transportation regarding the 5 year work plan. The County has three roads in the Small County Road Assistance Program.  Mr. Hawkins stated in the Transportation Meeting that even though the County is funded in the first year, we probably won’t be funded in the second year.  The County can submit three more projects. These may be funded in the third year.  These new projects will need to be submitted by May 1, 2000.  Mr. McQueen suggest that the Board consider CR 341 and CR 138. 



Mr. McQueen brought to the Board an Agreement for the Department of Community Affairs (DCA) for Emergency Management funding.  Mr. McQueen explained that this agreement funds the States portion of the Emergency Management fund #2510.  Commissioner Suggs made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Thomas, to approve the agreement for $11,335.00.  The motion carried unanimously.


Mr. McQueen informed the Board that he has obtained a quote from Mr. Tedder to build a new boat ramp to replace the one at Log Landing.  Mr. Tedder builds boat ramps to State specifications with a guarantee of five years.  The County is eligible for a State Grant with a 50% match for this project.  The total cost will be $63,000, with the County’s share being $31,500.  The Board discussed the condition of the existing boat ramp and agreed that it should be replaced but wanted to pursue other options.  The Board instructed Mr. McQueen to contact Lancaster Correctional Institution about repairing the boat ramp or replacing it. 


Old Business:


Commissioner Suggs has written a request to the Alachua County Public Works Department regarding assistance to patch the roads in the Spring Ridge Subdivision.  Alachua County has agreed to provide the patch truck, Gilchrist County will provide inmate labor and one crew member.  Spring Ridge has agreed to pay for the asphalt but would like for the County to purchase it and then invoice them for it.  The Board agreed.  This work should begin on April 7th.


Public Participation:


Sam Ferguson came before the Board on behalf of the Suwannee River Shrine Club.  The Shrine Club request the use of the Boat Ramp at Hart Springs for their 14th Annual Kids Fishing Tournament scheduled for June 3, 2000.  Commissioner Suggs made a motion to authorize use of the boat ramp for this event.  Commissioner Thomas seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously.


There being no further business to discuss, Commissioner Suggs made a motion to adjourn at 4:20 p.m.  The motion was seconded by Commissioner Thomas and unanimously approved.






                                                                                                             RANDY DURDEN, CHAIR