The Gilchrist County Board of County Commissioners, in and for Gilchrist County Florida, convened in a regular meeting on Monday, May 1, 2000, 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 to-wit:


Randy Durden, Chairman       

Fred Wilkerson, Vice Chair

Wilbur Bush

Sue Suggs

John Rance Thomas



Others in attendance were: Joseph W. Gilliam, Clerk of Circuit Court, Sam Mutch, County Attorney, Karen Heaton, Deputy Clerk, Ron McQueen, EMA/County Coordinator, Sam Ferguson, Director of Finance, Lee Shaltenbrand, Bill Smith, Russel Jones, Willie Mae Jones, Carmen Blake, Joy Chickering, Jerome Blake, Ron Mills, Will Weathers, Charlie Justice, Mark Sittig, Gary Martin, Kevin Dowell, Edward Marszalkowski, Diane Avery..


Amendments to Agenda:


1) Remove the discussion of the Festival Ordinance from the Agenda.

2) Remove Solid Waste Department from Agenda at 2:15 p.m.


Bills, Budget Entries and Minutes:


Motion by Commissioner Suggs, seconded by Commissioner Thomas to approve the bills as submitted by the Clerk.  The motion carried unanimously.


Motion by Commissioner Suggs, second by Commissioner Thomas to approve budget entries 082, 083, 084, 085, 086, 087, 089 and 089. The motion carried unanimously.


Budget Entry #090 / Resolution 00-18:   This resolution amends the General Fund (001) by an increase of  $2,226 in unanticipated revenues awarded by the Department of Community Affairs in conjunction with Rule 9G-19.006(4), Flroida Administrative Code to increase CEMP grnat from $103,750 to $105,976.  Motion by Commissioner Wilkerson, seconded by Commissioner Bush, to approve budget entry BEO90 by resolution.  The motion carried unanimously. 


Motion by Commissioner Suggs, second by Commissioner Thomas to approve the minutes for the meeting of April 3, 2000.  The motion carried unanimously.



Russell Jones / Request to Waive Impact Fee:

Mr. Russell Jones came before the Board to request that the impact fee be waived for a mobile home being moved onto his property.  He explained that he has had three trailers at this location in the past but these units were sold and moved off the property.  He has purchased a mobile home to move onto the site.  He would like to pay the assessment for the past two years instead of the impact fee. Mr. Jones affirmed that it has been more than two years since the last mobile home was moved. 


Mr. McQueen explained that the ordinance on impact fees uses the Tax Collector’s Special Assessment Roll as a trigger point to determine if an impact fee must be paid. An impact fee must be paid if a special assessment has not been paid in the previous year or current year.


The Board referred the question to the county attorney.  Mr. Mutch advised the Board that an exemption could not be made for one person and  the impact fee cannot be waived without an amendment to the ordinance.  Mr. Mutch told the Board that in amending the ordinance it would likely put the whole process in jeopardy.  The Board directed Mr. Mutch to review the ordinance and have an answer for Mr. Jones by the meeting on May 15th. 


Attorney’s Report:


Amendment to Subdivision Regulations - The North Central Florida Regional Planning Council will prepare the technical amendments to the subdivision regulations.  Lee Mills has provided the recommended changes based upon what is accepted from a technical standpoint for paved roads and construction of subdivision improvements.  To date this material has not been forwarded to the County from NCFRPC.


Mud-Bogging - At the last Planning & Zoning Board Meeting, that Board voted to recommend the BOCC, acting as the Board of Adjustment, approve the Durrance application for Mud-Bogging in the Industrial (I) District.


Hazardous Materials Cost Recovery Ordinance - The City of Trenton is reviewing the county and city ordinances.  Mr. Mutch is preparing an interlocal agreement for the Board to review.


Policies and Procedures - Mr. Mutch has prepared a draft of policies and procedures for the Board.  The intent of the policy and procedures manual is to permit the Board to have written policies which can be followed by staff.  It also provides citizens with information on the policies of the Board to ensure that if they question whether or not they are being treated fairly they can be assured that the staff and the Board of Commissioners follow the adopted policies and procedures.


County Planner Interviews - Three persons were interviewed last Wednesday for this position.  Mr. Mutch and Mr. McQueen commented on the qualifications of these individuals.  None of the applicants have a degree in planning. Mr. Mutch recommended that the position be advertised again. The Board discussed the need for a full time planner to handle the load of work the county has now.  Commissioner Durden suggest that this position be advertised again.


National Flood Insurance Program - Community Rating System - On Thursday, April 17, 2000, Mr. Mutch attended the meeting of the National Flood Insurance Program-Community Rating System at the Alachua County Extension Office. 


Owner / Construction Manager Agreement - On April 27, 2000 PPI delivered two copies of the Owner/Construction Manager Agreement.  Mr. Mutch will review the contract and report at the next meeting.



North Central Florida Regional Planning Council / Charlie Justice:


Charlie Justice, Executive Director of the North Central Florida Regional Planning Council, addressed the Board regarding the contract in consideration with NCFRPC. It had been brought to his attention last week, by Commissioner Suggs, that there have been problems with getting a timely response from the Planning.


Mr. McQueen stated that the Planning Council is not designed to be the County’s full time planner but to provide the planning services.  Mr. Mutch suggest that someone be hired for the Planner position but that we still need the services of the Planning council on a reduced level.  The Planning Council at present bills the County for actual work done.


Mr. Justice recommended accepting the full contract and then asking for the service as needed and they would provide the County with a detailed billing.  Motion by Commissioner Suggs, seconded by Commissioner Wilkerson, to approve the agreement for the lower level of service at $12,000.  The motion carried unanimously.


Motion by Commissioner Suggs, seconded by Commissioner Bush, to approve the contract for the Evaluation and Appraisal Contract with NCFRPC.  The motion carried unanimously.



Carmen Blake / Special Assessment Issue:


Joe Gilliam informed the Board of the situation with a Special Assessment owed by Joy Chickering.  Ms. Chickering had purchased a residence on Shady Grove Road and two special   assessments had been charged.  According to the Ordinance on Special Assessments, residents have until March 31st to question the tax bill.  Mr. Gilliam further explained that the mobile home that was assessed is actually a mobile home used for storage and it is located on her mother’s property.  If a mobile home is not being used as a residence, a property owner would then file for an amendment to the assessment before March 31st.


Carmen Blake, Ms. Chickering’s mother, addressed the Board regarding this issue. Mrs. Blake contends that her daughter is a first time homeowner and was not aware of the special assessment on her tax bill. 


Ms. Chickering explained to the Board that she had contacted  the Tax Collector’s Office to find out why this year’s taxes were greater than the previous year.  She was told that it was because of the increase in value with the addition made to her home with the SHIP funding.  She was not aware that this was also for the second assessment.  She also stated that she had submitted a check to the Tax Collector’s Office but was told to wait until the issue was resolved before making payment.  Mr. Jerome Blake also spoke to the Board concerning the assessment. 


Mr. Mutch explained that the deadline date for  action is March 31st.  The information that she received from the Tax Collector’s Office in January was correct but incomplete.  Mr. Mutch read the Ordinance pertaining to the deadline.  The Board directed Mr. Mutch to research the assessment and provide a report for the next meeting. 


Judicial Complex / Financing / Will Weathers:


Mr. Weathers, with Gardnyr Michael Capital, Inc. and Mark Sittig, with the Florida League of Cities addressed the Board in regards to the financing available for the new Judicial Complex.  Mr. Sittig explained the short term financing program for equipment.  After discussion, it was determined that this would not be the best program to finance the Judicial Complex.  Mr. Gilliam and Mr. Weathers will continue to look into possibilities for this financing.


The Board recessed at 12:00 noon.


Closed Meeting / Attorney-Client Meeting:


The Board held a  closed attorney-client meeting for the purpose of discussing litigation in the Ginnie Springs I vs. Gilchrist County and Watson.  The closed meeting was held from 1:16 p.m. to 1:47 p.m.  Those in attendance were Ron McQueen, County Coordinator, Joe Gilliam, Clerk of Court, Wilbur Bush, County Commissioner, John Thomas, County Commissioner, Fred Wilkerson, County Commissioner, Randy Durden, County Commissioner, Sam Mutch, County Attorney and Cindy Vanlandingham, (Court Reporter).


(The transcript and tapes of this closed meeting will be made a part of these minutes after the litigation is closed.)


The Board reconvened at 2:00 p.m. for the regular meeting.



Road Department:


Nathan Martin obtained an estimate of $7,500.00 for the blasting of the pit.  The Board discussed  the amount paid for the last blasting and the requirements to blast this area.   Mr. Martin also informed the Board that the conveyor belt on the crusher needs to be replaced.


Motion by Commissioner Thomas, seconded by commissioner Bush, to replace the conveyor belt on the crusher at the rock pit.  The motion carried unanimously.


Motion by Commissioner Wilkerson, seconded by Commissioner Thomas, to have Mr. Martin obtain another quote for blasting and if over $10,000 it will be advertised for bid.  The motion carried unanimous with Commissioner Suggs being absent.



EMS Department:


As requested by the Board, Linda Walker brought the following estimates for an Air Conditioner unit to be installed at the Bell Station.


1) Cooper’s Heating & Air                                    $2, 380.00 / 2 ton Janitorial heat pump

                                                               5 year Warranty


2) Akins Heating & Air Conditioning            $2,400.00 / 2 ton heat pump


Motion by Commissioner Bush, seconded by Commissioner Thomas, to accept the bid from Akins Heating and Air for $2,400. The motion carried unanimously with Commissioner Suggs being absent.




Clerk’s Report:


Lease with City of Trenton for the Old Post Office - Mr. Gilliam reported that he went to the City Council Meeting and inquired about leasing the Old Post Office.  The City will lease the building to the County for $1,000 per month.  The Board had previously discussed using this building for storage.  Motion by Commissioner Wilkerson, seconded by Commissioner Thomas, to accept the lease with the City with a 30 day cancellation clause.  The motion carried unanimously with Commissioner Suggs being absent.



World War II Memorial Celebration - Mr. Gilliam suggested that the Board make a presentation of appreciation to Mr. Dan Taylor at the World War II Memorial Celebration for his work in planning and acquiring the World War II Veterans monument.  The Board agreed and directed Mr. Gilliam to arrange something as a token of appreciation to Mr. Taylor.


Suwannee River Economic Council - An agreement has been received from the Suwannee River Economic Council for inkind services for the donation of building space.  Motion by Commissioner Bush, seconded by Commissioner Thomas, to approve and execute the agreement.  The motion carried unanimously with Commissioner Suggs being absent.


Ring Power Corporation Invoice - An invoice from Ring Power Corporation shows that $214.20 is still owed for a front end alignment on the Waccasassa Fire Truck that was wrecked.  This invoice was supposedly resolved.  Sam Mutch will check into it.


Safety Committee - The insurance carrier notified the Board that without the implementation of a safety committee, the safety premium discount will be revoked. Mr. McQueen stated that they could contact Nancy Jordan, Chairman of the Safety Committee, to find out the status of the committee.


Landfill Road - A cover letter and a copy of the plans have been sent to each property owner along the landfill road.  The property owners have been asked to identify their current driveway or any proposed driveway that they would like the Board to consider. Mr. Gilliam will contact Lee Mills for the survey.


FRDAP Project - Summit Professional Services, Inc. has submitted for review and the Chairman’s signature, two executed Consulting Services Agreements for Planning/Engineering Services for the County’s 2000/2001 FRDAP Application and Project.  This is for the Waters Lake Park Project.  The Board directed the county attorney to review the agreement before taking action.

COPS PROGRAM - Sheriff Turner has submitted a letter of intent for the COPS program to the Board for the Chairman’s signature.  Commissioner Durden explained that he had refused to sign the letter until it was brought before the Board because of the last paragraph which reads:


At the end of the federal support for the two (2) Deputies, their cost will be absorbed into the annual budget and they will be retained as full time Deputy Sheriffs.  The additional funds necessary to retain the Deputies will be received from the annual budget approved by the Board of County Commissioners.”


Motion by Commissioner Suggs, seconded by Commissioner Thomas, to postpone this request until the budget hearings.  The motion carried unanimously.



Craig Watson:


Craig Watson addressed the Board concerning the case “Ginnie Springs vs Gilchrist County and Watson.”  He wanted the Board to be aware of some issues that may be used against the county in this case.  There are six (6) test wells, four (4) have been tested below 1.5 parts per million for nitrates, one (1) well did test at 10 parts  but it is the opinion of DEP that this was from previous year farming practices.  This well is also the well furthest from the dairy.  The DEP also came out and looked at this test well and found that it was caved in and they are drilling a new well.


Commissioner Thomas stated that the attorney in the case management meeting did mention that this well had tested high.  The Judge discounted the one well theory and would take a wait and see approach.  The DEP has considered making the bottom line for this well at 10 parts since this was an existing test result.  The Judge had indicated that if DEP found it to be a problem, they would take protective measures. 



Buddy Schofield / Senior Cookout:


Buddy Schofield, Assistant Principal for Bell High School, came before the Board to request that the fees be waived at Hart Springs for a cookout for the Seniors of both Bell and Trenton.  The cookout will be May 9th.  Commissioner Suggs stated that the school events are never charged.



Clerk’s Report (cont.):


Meridian Behavioral Healthcare, Inc. - A letter was received from Meridian Behavioral Healthcare, Inc. requesting that Carol Hyde be appointed as representative for Gilchrist County on the Board of Directors.  Motion by Commissioner Suggs, seconded by Commissioner Wilkerson to approve Carol Hyde pending her acceptance.  The motion carried unanimously.


Internet access for the Constitutional Officers - When Internet access for the Courthouse was initially installed, each Constitutional Officer paid $20 per month for connection. It was determined that it would be more cost effective if a flat fee was charged for all departments.  This fee has been paid out of the Clerk’s budget and then billed to the individual Constitutional Officers.  When the T-1 line was installed a few months ago, the cost went up from $340 to $450. The Clerk’s Office has charged per the number of users but this is constantly changing.   Mr. Gilliam suggest that this all be paid out of the General Government Fund since it County operations. Motion by Commissioner Suggs, seconded by Commissioner Wilkerson, to approve the expense from the General Government Fund.  The motion carried unanimously.




Clerk’s Office Records - Mr. Gilliam request authorization to renovate the old medical center building to better accommodate the court records.  These are records that need to be accessed periodically.  Some of the older records are at the microwave tower and need to be re-labeled. Mr. Gilliam would use funds from the Clerk’s Records Modernization monies to pay for the renovations.  The Board agreed to the renovations.

Commissioner’s Report:


Commissioner Suggs:


Commissioner Suggs reported on the work with the Road Department, The Health Insurance Bill, sponsored by Senator Mitchell, and provided information on the Florida Retirement System.


Commissioner Suggs also brought it to the attention of the Board that John Philman was hired in November and  had received his probationary raise after 90 days but there was a misunderstanding about the rate that he should have started at.  Commissioner Suggs stated that the Board agreed to hire Mr. Philman at a rate that is $.15 higher than the rate he received.   The Board agreed that John Philman will receive difference retroactive to his hire date. 


Commissioner Thomas:


Commissioner Thomas reported on the Water Management District meeting. Items of discussion at this meeting were the 75 feet set backs from the river, the flood way and the flood plain.  According to Water Management, the 75 ft. setback starts at the top of the bank.  Property owners will be required to bring in a survey for permitting along the river.  The permitting will initially be done through Suwannee River Water Management.



Commissioner Bush:


Commissioner Bush reported on the Florida Crown Workforce meetings.  He will give a report on the amount of money that Gilchrist County has received.  He also has been attending the Fire Chief’s meetings.


Commissioner Suggs:


Baltimore County Maryland has donated about $15,000 worth of equipment to the County. Gary Martin and Jerry Horton would like to be reimbursed for the cost of the trip to bring the equipment back.  The Waccasassa Fire Department does not have enough money left in their budget to cover the cost. The Board took no action at this time.


Mr. Gilliam mentioned that there have been problems with the Waccasassa VFD’s phone bills.  There have been several long distance phone calls to Crystal River on the bills and there are two phone lines at the station.  They also have the call back service at $.75 for each call back.   Commissioner Bush will talk to Greg Pealer about suggestion on lowering the departments expenses.



EMA / County Coordinator Report:


Building Department Report - The building department report was submitted for the month of April. 


Spring Ridge VFD - There is a concern with a manhole in front of the Spring Ridge VFD.  There are some cracks around the manhole.  Lee Shaltenbrand mentioned that they have considered painting it yellow.


Parking Lot - Mr. McQueen received additional quotes for the foam rubber if it is decided to do a demonstration project.  The material cost approximately $15,000.  “No Cuts” has identified the structures in the area.  He will contact Lee Mills to design the parking lot site plan.


Pre Bid Meeting for the Sun & Fun Subdivision -  Bids will be due this Friday. The bids will be evaluated and then presented at the following Board of Commissioners meeting.  The budget is approximately $450,000. 



Vision Committee Meeting: The next Vision Committee meeting will be May 8, 2000 at 6:30 p.m..  This meeting will cover “Natural Resources and ECO Tourism.”


Division of Forestry / Grant - The County has been awarded a “Rural Fire Assistance” grant from the Division of Forestry.  The grant submitted was for two (2) “Indian Tanks” for each Fire Department. The tanks are $135 each, a total of $1,620.  The grant is a 50% match.  The County will be required to make the initial purchase of $1,620 and upon proof of purchase the Division of Forestry will reimburse $810.  Motion by Commissioner Suggs, seconded by Commissioner Wilkerson, to approve the purchase.  The motion carried unanimously. 



Billy Smith / Spring Ridge Subdivision:


Mr. Billy Smith came before the Board regarding the roads in the Spring Ridge Subdivision.  He request that routine scheduling of road work within the subdivision be done.  The Board discussed the history of these roads.  Mr. Mutch found that the Spring Ridge Units 1, 2 & 3 were accepted March 1, 1976  with the roads being dedicated to the public.   On September 9, 1982, units 4 & 5 were accepted with the roads being dedicated to the public.  Mr. Mutch concluded that by acceptance of the plats, these roads are public roads.  Mr. McQueen stated that the acceptance of the roads as public roads may or may not mean acceptance of maintenance of the roads. 


Mr. Lee Shaltenbrand also spoke to the Board regarding this matter.  Mr. Shaltenbrand is the president of the Civic Association and stated that the community is pleased with what the County has done.



Public Hearing / Tipping Fees / Landfill:


Diane Avery provided the Board with the results of the “Full Cost Accounting Report” and a list of fees charged by other Counties.  Ms. Avery request guidance from the Board. 


The Full Cost Accounting Report indicates that it cost approximately $63 for each ton of garbage disposed of.  After adding the special assessment funds and the tipping fees collected the department is just over breaking even.  Solid Waste currently charges $44.00 per ton for household garbage and $45 per ton for construction material.


The Board discussed the findings of the report and considered the cost charged by Levy, Dixie, Suwannee and Columbia counties.  It was also mentioned that a large amount of the waste  brought to the landfill is from other counties.


Motion by Commissioner Thomas, seconded by Commissioner Bush, to prepare a resolution to change the tipping fees to $225 per ton for the mixed loads and $55 for the household and construction materials and $.50 per bag less than ten (10) bags and to set a date and time certain for a public hearing for the resolution as  May 15, 2000 at 7:00 p.m.  The motion carried unanimously with Commissioner Wilkerson being absent.  Commissioner Wilkerson filed a “conflict of interest” and left the meeting.


New Business:


Sam Ferguson / Director of Finance - Sam Ferguson submitted the following invoices from Mills Engineering for approval of the Board:


1)                 CR 232 / Progressive Billing                                                            $8,188.88

2)            Sewer Extension to Jail & Sheriff’s Office / Engineering         1,325.00

3)            Engineering Progressive Billing, NW 10th Street Paving            19,470.25

4)            Ground Water Monitoring                                                                     384.75


The Board postponed discussion of the invoice for the CR 232 / Progressive Billing in the amount of $8,188.88 until it is determined if this expense can be paid from the impact fees. The Board agreed that items #2 and #3 should be paid but do not require a motion.

 Motion by Commissioner Suggs, seconded by Commissioner Wilkerson, to approve payment of $19,470.25 for the engineering services for NW 10th Street (Landfill Road).  The motion carried unanimously.


Sam Ferguson also reported on the status report from the Cost Recovery Service.  CRS advises the County to enter into a contract with BellSouth in order to save 6% of the cost for one (1) year, 10% for two (2) years, or 14% for a three (3) year contract. Currently the County pays BellSouth is an average of $2,500 per month.  Motion by Commissioner Suggs, seconded by Commissioner Thomas, to approve the contract for three years with BellSouth.  The motion carried unanimously.


Mr. Ferguson informed the Board a refunds have been obtained from AllTel Mobile totaling $79.14 for over billing in taxes and charges.  These billing errors have been eliminated from the billing and will give a future savings of $54.37, the correction in the billing on taxes will be a savings of $3.54 per month.


Two telephones lines, for EMS and the Waccasassa VFD, currently use AT&T as a the long distance carrier. We have switched them to the “intermedia government” rate.  They were paying between $.13 and $.15 per minute but with intermedia the cost is $.8 per minute.  A savings of $55.82 per month. 


CR 232 / Mills Engineering - The Board discussed the invoice from Mills Engineering for the CR 232 / Progressive Billing in the amount of $8,188.88.  Motion by Commissioner Suggs, seconded by Commissioner Wilkerson to pay Mills Engineering the full amount out of the Reserve Fund and determine at a later date what portion will come out of impact fees.


Commissioner Suggs - Commissioner Suggs made the Board aware of a letter she received concerning the Comprehensive Land Use Plan  the City of Newberry is about to adopt.  The letter is advising Gilchrist County that there are issues concerning the aquifer in Gilchrist County.


There being no further business to discuss, Chairman Durden adjourned the meeting at 5:43 p.m.







         RANDY DURDEN, CHAIR