MINUTES OF A REGULAR MEETING OF THE GILCHRIST COUNTY BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS HELD AUGUST 7, 2000.
The Gilchrist County Board of County Commissioners, in and for Gilchrist County Florida, convened in a regular meeting on Monday, August 7, 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
(Commissioner Thomas was not in attendance until 1:15 p.m.)
Others in attendance were: Joseph W. Gilliam, Clerk of Circuit Court, Sam Mutch, County Attorney, Ron McQueen, EMA/County Coordinator, Karen Heaton, Deputy Clerk, Sam Ferguson, Finance Director, Harold Mikell, Jason Quaranto, Robert Pickles, Johnny “Hank” Hankerson, Diane Avery, Nathan Martin, Sable Bolling, Regena Mills, Mark Westbrook, Cindy Westbrook, Ted Burt, Cliff Bradley, Linda Walker, Johnny Martin.
Amendments to the Agenda:
Remove: Foothill Farms, 2:45 p.m.
Approval of Minutes (no minutes submitted)
Add: Will Weathers, Gardnyr Michael, 2:45 p.m.
Summit Professional Services, 3:30 p.m.
Project Update & Waters Lake Park
Approve Bills, Budget Entries:
Approval of the bills, postponed until afternoon session.
Motion by Commissioner Suggs, second by Commissioner Bush, to approve budget entries BE 128, 129, 130, 131, 132, 133, 135, 136 & 137 as submitted. The motion carried unanimously.
Marvin Weaver / County Extension Office - Mr. Mutch informed the Board that he is preparing a letter to Mr. Marvin Weaver in regards to milage paid on a vehicle procured through Management Services as surplus. Mr. Mutch explained that it is inappropriate to charge milage on this government vehicle and that Mr. Weaver will be required to reimburse the County for the amount paid. Mr. Weaver has transferred this vehicle to Suwannee County. Mr. Mutch is also concerned about the ice machine and the 4-H van being kept on Mr. Weaver’s property. This is a situation that would leave Mr. Weaver and the County in a position to be criticized. The Board agreed that these items should be brought back and stored on County property.
Amendment to “Right to Farm Act” - Mr. Mutch referred the Board to a memo concerning an amendment to the “Florida Right to Farm Act.” This amendment states that no local government may adopt any ordinance, regulation, rule, or policy to prohibit, restrict, regulate, or otherwise limit an activity of a bona fide farm operation on land classified as agricultural, where such activity is regulated through implemented best-management practices or interim measures developed by the Department of Environmental Protection, the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, or water management districts. Mr. Mutch included a copy of the “Florida Right to Farm Act” for the Boards review.
Ginnie Springs, Inc. vs. Gilchrist County - For the Board’s approval, Mr. Mutch has prepared a letter to Cari Roth, with the Department of Community Affairs, requesting mediation in the Ginnie Springs, Inc. vs. Gilchrist County cases. (Case No. 99-181-CA; 97-213-CA; 97-258-CA.)
Communications Services Tax Simplification Law - Mr. Mutch reported that he had attended a seminar provided by the Florida League of Cities on the new Communications Services Tax Simplification Law. Mr. Mutch recommends that Sam Ferguson attend the upcoming seminar by the Florida Association of Counties on this subject. This law takes away the ability to have local taxes on communications. It replaces these with a State tax on communications which is levied State wide. The formula to obtain this communications tax averages throughout all of the counties in the state of Florida then distributes this amount to all counties. The County must provide information by September 2, 2000, concerning all of the communications taxes collected by Gilchrist County and who they are collected from.
CR 340 Project - Sam Ferguson asked Mr. Mutch about the contract for the CR 340 project. This project has not been completed within the 90 days specified in the contract. Mr. Mutch stated that the only recourse available is to contact the project manager.
Karl Thorne Associates, Inc. - The drawings have been completed and submitted at 100% for the mechanical, electrical, and plumbing. These are being reviewed by M. M. Parrish. M.M. Parrish has put the project out for bids and plan to have a bid opening prior to the mid month meeting. At that time they will be able to give the Board a total cost of the project.
ADG Invoice - An invoice has been received from ADG in the amount of $12,617.89. Mr. Gilliam stated that they had met with ADG on Tuesday and they presented a conceptual floor plan of the Judicial Complex for review. A.D.G. will meet with the judges and Sheriff Turner to finalize and make changes.
Motion by Commissioner Wilkerson, seconded by Commissioner Bush, to approve payment of $12,617.89 to ADG. The motion carried with Commissioner Suggs voting “no.”
Suwannee River Water Management District Budget - The 2000-01 Suwannee River Water Management District Budget has been received and is on file in the Clerk’s Office for the Commission to review.
Mud Bog / Donald Durrance - A letter from Chief H.L. Montgomery and an incident report from Deputy David Aderholt has been received in regards to Mr. Donald Durrances’ Mud Bog of SR 26. Mr. Durrance is in violation of the Special Exception permitting him to operate the mud bog. Chief Montgomery stated in his letter, “Mr. Durrance has not supported the on-site deputies in enforcing the no alcoholic beverage provision.”
Commissioner Suggs mentioned that the Building and Zoning Department, on the recommendation of the County Attorney, had asked the Sheriff to tag a trailer that was in a public right-of-way and the Sheriff declined. Mr. Mutch explained that he had been in contact with the Sheriff and was told that the State Attorney, David Kreider, had told them not to tag the trailer because it had been there for such a long length of time that it was a code enforcement issue and not a traffic infraction. Mr. Mutch will contact David Kreider today in this matter.
Mr. Donald Durrance has contacted Ron McQueen to inquire into a modification to the Special Exception relating to the hours of operation. Because of the hot weather they are currently postponing the mud bog events. The Board agreed that Mr. Durrance is in violation of the code and directed Ron McQueen to site him.
Hart Springs Road / No Parking Area - Mr. Gilliam informed the Board of a situation at the end of Hart Spring Road. The County had been asked to close the end of Hart Springs Road. Personal vehicles and boats have been parked there and it can no longer be used as a cul de sac. The Sheriff’s Office has been asked to site those who park there but have not been enforcing it. Mr. Mutch suggested that “No Parking” signs be placed there and an ordinance passed to prohibit parking in these zones declaring them “tow away zones.” Commissioner Suggs will have the signs put up and Mr. Mutch will prepare an ordinance.
Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles / Lease Agreement - The County has received notice that the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles exercises its option to renew Lease No. D0891 for the building adjacent to the County Jail on SR 49 and SR 339. (Beginning June 28, 2002 and ending June 27, 2005)
Conflict Attorney List - Mary Lou Gardner with the Eighth Judicial Circuit has requested that C. Kaye Brower be approved for the conflict attorney list. Motion by Commissioner Suggs, seconded by Commissioner Wilkerson, to approve C. Kaye Brower for the conflict attorney list. The motion carried unanimously.
Church Property - Mr. Gilliam informed the Board that he has received a signed agreement for the Church Property. A Closing date will be negotiated at a later time.
Seminar / Communications Services Tax Simplification Law - Motion by Commissioner Wilkerson, seconded by Commissioner Bush, to approve Sam Ferguson to attend the seminar on Communications Services. The motion carried unanimously.
Susan Bryant, Supervisor of Elections - Ms. Bryant advised the Board that Lancaster will have the inmates clean and paint the precincts by September. Ms. Bryant also informed the Board that she will not be using the North Gilchrist VFD for the poll workers as previously decided. This building will not be big enough and is not air conditioned.
Resolution 00-34 Rescinding Resolution 99-32-A:
Mr. Gilliam read the short title of Resolution 00-34. This resolution rescinds Resolution 99-32-A and returns all funds from the Florida Law Enforcement Trust Fund to the Sheriff of Gilchrist County. Motion by Commissioner Bush, seconded by Commissioner Wilkerson, to adopt Resolution 00-34 rescinding Resolution 99-32-A.
(A copy of Resolution 00-34 is attached and made a part of these minutes.)
Special Assessments for Solid Waste and EMS:
Motion by Commissioner Suggs, seconded by Commissioner Wilkerson, to approve 5:00 p.m., Thursday, September 7, 2000 for a Special Assessment Hearing for Solid Waste and EMS. The motion carried unanimously.
Johnny “Hank” Hankerson, Taylor County Commissioner:
Commissioner Suggs introduced Mr. Johnny “Hank” Hankerson. She stated that she has worked with Commissioner Hankerson with the Florida Association of Counties. He is a candidate for Jane Gale Boyd’s seat as Representative.
Commissioner Hankerson addressed the Board. He has served as Chairman of the Rural Caucus and also served on the Board of Directors for the Florida Association of Counties. He highly supports rural communities and would like to represent Gilchrist County.
Robert Pickles / Representative of Congressman Allen Boyd:
Mr. Harold Mikell was present to introduce Mr. Robert Pickles and Jason Quaranto with Congressman Allen Boyd’s Office. He stated that Congressman Boyd is a member of the Appropriations Committee.
Mr. Jason Quaranto is a specialist on appropriations and budget matters. Mr. Quaranto was asked by Congressman Boyd to update the Board on the appropriations process. He explained that there are a number of Federal programs available to counties and charities. A lot of these programs can be “earmarked.” In order to apply for these programs, the County would first make a priority list with a brief description of needs. This list should be submitted by the first of March but no later than the 15th of March. (The Commission would agree on the list.) A reply should be received by October 1st of that year and funding received the middle of the following year.
Mr. Quaranto explained that the federal programs would not provide funding for building projects but equipment would be a consideration for new facilities. Also monies might be available for historic preservation if it is a multi-use building. Mr. Quaranto also stressed that projects that receive a great deal of community support are more likely to receive funding.
Equipment for Law Enforcement, the COPS Grant, and Waste Water Treatment Plants are examples of the funding available. Mr. Mikell suggest that the County consider having a grant writer work towards reviewing and applying for the grants the County might be eligible for.
Hart Springs - Commissioner Suggs informed the Board that the owners of the Otter Springs Resort have contacted Ron McQueen and Amos Philman in regards to buildings they have available. They are phasing out the resort at Otter Springs and have four (4) cabins and a sewage treatment package plant that they would be willing to give the County if the County will have them moved from the property. They requested that the membership requirements be fulfilled for Gilchrist County residents only, for two years, giving them two weeks stay at no charge. Mr. Ferguson stated that the sewage treatment package plant has never been used.
EMA/ County Coordinator Report:
Spring Ridge Subdivision Easement - A letter is included in the Agenda from Cental Florida Electric Cooperative, Inc. in regards to a utility easement in the Spring Ridge subdivision. Mr. McQueen explained that an individual has purchased two (2) lots in the subdivision and wishes to construct a home in the middle of these two lots. In order to do this, he would like to have this easement vacated. Mr. Mutch stated that this is two platted lots and the home would go over the lot line, violating the setback requirements. He recommends a resolution to authorize the vacation of the easement and the replatting of these lots. After discussion, the Board directed Mr. Mutch to prepare a resolution that this may be accomplished.
Interlocal Agreement / Alachua County - Motion by Commissioner Suggs, seconded by Commissioner Bush, to approve the Household Hazardous Waste Cooperative Collection Interlocal Agreement with Alachua County. The motion carried.
Alachua County also submitted a request for reimbursement of funds in the amount of $2,448.31 for the household hazardous waste collection event held March 4, 2000. Motion by Commissioner Suggs, seconded by Commissioner Wilkerson, to approve the payment out of the Solid Waste Budget. The motion carried.
Planning and Zoning Cost - For the purpose of discussion, Mr. McQueen referred the Board to a copy of an invoice from Mills Engineering. The invoice included reviews for three minor subdivisions @ $75.00 per hour. Mr. McQueen recommends that the application fee for major and minor subdivisions be increased to cover the total cost of the planning process. The current application fee is $150.00.
Mills Engineering / Invoice - Mr. McQueen submitted a purchase order and an invoice to Mills Engineering in the amount of $2,087.50 for the preparation of Waste Tire Collection Center Permit Application and modification to relocate the waste tire storage site. Motion by Commissioner Wilkerson, seconded by Commissioner Bush, to approve the Purchase Order to Mills Engineering in the amount of $2,087.50. The motion carried unanimously.
Alcohol & Substance Abuse Prevention Programs (ASAP) - Motion by Commissioner Suggs, seconded by Commissioner Bush, to approve the one (1) year renewal of the contract with ASAP for the Drug Free Workplace Program. The motion carried unanimously.
Senator Richard Mitchell / Legislative Report:
Senator Richard Mitchell addressed the Board in regards to the Legislation Session 2000.
Florida Retirement System - Senator Mitchell explained the reform passed for the Florida Retirement System. The vesting period was decreased from ten (10) years to six (6) years. The Special Risk Retirement rate was increased 3% retroactively for the period from 1978 to 1993. The employer contribution rate has been decreased by 1% which will allow a savings throughout the State of $44,000,000.
Rural Infrastructure Program - Last year the Rural Infrastructure Program was passed but not funded. This year the Legislature placed $4,000,000 into the program for these grants. There were approximately $450,000,000 worth of projects this year that went through the process and only $150,000,000 were funded.
Small County Outreach Program - This is a new program in addition to the Small County Road Assistance Program. There will be $120,000,000 funded through this grant over ten (10) years with a 25% match.
State Health Group Health Insurance - This bill would allow municipalities, small counties and small school districts to participate in the State Group Health Insurance and prescription drug program. Senator Mitchell explained that a compromise had to be reached the last day of session in which an actuarial study, funded by the Department of Management Services, would be done . A letter ruling by the IRS will also be required to make sure that this can be implemented. The bill will be filed again next year.
Child Abuse and Neglect Investigations - Last year the Kayla McKean Act passed, heightening the awareness and the number of child abuse investigations. Afterward there was confusion about jurisdiction and who would handle the investigations, the Sheriff’s Office or the Department of Children and Families. It was determined that the Sheriff’s Office will investigate all criminal investigations of child abuse and the Department of Children and Families will handle all others.
Tobacco Farmers - The Legislature set aside $250,000,000 for “On Farm Development of Alternative Crops” and $250,000,000 for a “Revolving Fund Program” to buy obsolete equipment that farmers are not using any longer.
Department of Corrections / Work Crews - The intent of the Legislature was to cut down on some of the unused money in some areas of the Department of Corrections. They mandated to cut 1,200 vacant positions. The cuts will come through administration first and a decision has been delayed on the work crews until January.
The meeting recessed at 11:50 p.m.
The meeting was reconvened at 1:25 p.m.
(Commissioner Thomas arrived.)
Approval of Bills:
Motion by Commissioner Suggs, seconded by Commissioner Wilkerson, to approve the bills as submitted. The motion carried unanimously.
Solid Waste Department:
Diane Avery asked the Board if the department could take the Courthouse off the recycling schedule for Monday afternoons. She explained that there is no longer a need for the unit to be at the courthouse for this length of time since the department now collects recyclables from house to house on Fridays. There has been an average of four (4) customers for the unit which stays at the courthouse from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. The Board agreed to the request and directed Ms. Avery to advertise the change.
Attorney’s Report (continued) :
Mr. Mutch reported that he had contacted David Kreider in regards to the mobile home in the right-of-way. Mr. Kreider had told the Sheriff not to apply a trespass ordinance because the mobile home had been there for several years. The County was not aware of this situation until a recent survey was prepared.
In regards to the mud-bog and enforcement of the “open container” law, Mr. Mutch discovered that the County does not have an “open container” ordinance.
Mr. Nathan Martin reported that the department has been working to repair roads being used for two different logging crews and silage trucks. Center lines have been painted on CR 319.
Several of the Road Department employees have been out on sick leave. One of them will be out six to eight weeks. Two additional employees have been hired.
In regard to budget cuts for the department, Commissioner Suggs suggested that the uniform service be eliminated. She contends that many employees do not wear the uniforms. Mr. Martin added that the employees have complained that the uniforms are too hot in the summer.
EMA / County Coordinator (continued):
Mr. McQueen referred the Board to the Building Department Report for July 2000.
Mobile Homes 16 Total / 11 Replacements
5 impact fees = $7,206.55
New Construction 7 Total / 1 Replacement / 1 Commercial (Dollar General)
5 impact fees = $7,206.55
Linda Walker referred the Board to a summary of the quarterly write offs for EMS. Motion by Commissioner Suggs, seconded by Commissioner Thomas, to approve the write offs for the 2nd quarter in the amount of $13,373.92. The motion carried unanimously.
Mr. McQueen informed the Board that the County has received a contract from the Union, International Fire Fighters Local. He and Ms. Walker have reviewed the contract and met with Attorney Mike Grogan. A meeting will be scheduled at a later time to discuss the contract. Mr. Mutch reminded the Board that a Court Reporter would be needed for this meeting and a notice will need to be published in the Gilchrist County Journal.
Ms. Walker asked for guidance from the Board concerning two of her employees who attended the last Board of Commissioners meeting. One of these employees was on duty for the Bell station and the other one was on duty for the Trenton Station. During the meeting a call was paged out for North of Bell on CR 138. This meeting was not the first one that they have attended while on duty. Ms. Walker has discussed the issue with these employees but they have not cooperated. The Board affirmed that employees should not attend the Board meetings while on duty but were able to attend while off duty. The Board directed Ms. Walker to write letters of reprimand to be placed in their personnel files.
Landfill Road / V.E. Whitehurst and Sons:
Motion by Commissioner Thomas, seconded by Commissioner Wilkerson, to accept the contract with V.E. Whitehurst and Sons for NW 10 Street from SR 49 to Gilchrist County Landfill approximately 1.6 miles. The motion carried unanimously.
Resolution 00-35/Vacation of Easement:
Mr. Sam Mutch read the short title of Resolution 00-35 authorizing the vacation of the utility easement located between Lots 6 and, Block 2, Spring Ridge Subdivision, Unit 4. Motion by Commissioner Thomas, seconded by Commissioner Thomas, to approve Resolution 00-35. The motion carried unanimously.
Mud Bog / Code Violation:
In Regards to the complaint received about the mud bog operated by Donald Durrance, Mr. Mutch has researched the Ordinances for an Open Container Law. He found that the County’s code only addresses alcoholic beverages in a limited way. One ordinance concerns the time of sale, another prohibits the use of alcoholic beverages on County property and another prohibits the use of alcoholic beverages at outdoor festivals. There is no “Open Container Law” within the county with the exception of the municipalities.
Mr. Mutch explained that Mr. Durrance is in violation of the Special Exception and should be served with a “Notice of Code Violation.” Mr. Durrance would then be required to come before the Board acting as the “Board of Adjustment” to determine if the Special Exception should be withdrawn.
The Board directed Ron McQueen to cite Donald Durrance with the code violation.
Sable Bolling / Health Department:
Ms. Sable Bolling came before the Board to discuss possible location for a new Health Department facility. Ms. Bolling gave a brief description of the services currently provided by the Health Department.
Mr. Gilliam reported that several citizens have contacted the County in regards to the sale of property for this facility. Of those offers, there were six (6) within one half mile radius of the downtown area. The offers ranged from $70,000 to $99,000. Mr. Gilliam referred the Board to the proposed locations on a map.
Ted Burt, Cliff Bradley and Johnny Martin, owners of one of the parcels on SR 26, were present and offered comments regarding the property they had offered. Ms. Bolling stated that if land could not be acquired on SR 26, she would prefer to remain in the current facility.
After further discussion, the Board directed the County Attorney to prepare an RFP for property located withing 1/4 mile North or South of SR 26 on the East side of Trenton with a minimum of five (5) acres.
Will Weathers/ Vice President Gardnyr Michael Capital, Inc.:
Mr. Will Weathers addressed the Board regarding the Florida Municipal Loan Council. The Council is administered by the Florida League of Cities and serves as the sponsoring entity offering such services as pooled loans, equipment financing, and investment products to municipalities, counties, and special districts throughout the State of Florida. Florida League is seeking at least three counties to participate in a governance roll with the Florida Municipal Loan Council. Mr. Mutch stated that he is familiar with this program and commends it. Motion by Commissioner Wilkerson, seconded by Commissioner Thomas, to approve the Interlocal Agreement with the Florida Municipal Loan Council and to appoint Commissioner Suggs as the County’s representative. The motion carried unanimously.
Health Department (cont.):
Mr. Mutch and Ms. Bolling have confirmed that the County may sign a contract for property contingent upon the award of the grant for the Health Department facility. The contract would have to be entered into before December 31, 2000. The contingency would be the property is purchased on or before July 1, 2001.
The RFP would include “1/4 mile North or South of SR 26 from HWY 129 East in the city limits, well drained property, property owner shall provide an appraisal of the property and the propery will be purchased at the offered price or the appraised value, which ever is lower.”
Motion by Commissioner Wilkerson, seconded by Commissioner Thomas, to authorize the County Attorney to prepare an RFP for the property and place it in the Gilchrist County Journal. The Board would review the proposals on September 7, 2000. The motion carried unanimously.
Mark Westbrook / Fanning Springs Southern Gospel Celebration:
Mr. Westbrook was present to invite the Board to the “Fanning Springs Southern Gospel Celebration” on October 14, 2000 at 7:00 p.m. at the Fanning Springs State Park.
The concert is being held to raise funds for Levy, Gilchrist and Dixie County outreach programs.
Resolution 00-33 / Adopting a Local Mitigation Strategy:
Chairman Durden read the short tile of Resolution 00-33 adopting the Local Mitigation Strategy. Motion by Commissioner Suggs, seconded by Commissioner Thomas, to approve Resolution 00-33. The motion carried unanimously.
(Resolution 00-33 is attached and made a part of these minutes.)
Summit Professional Services, Inc. / Jay Mosley:
Mr. Jay Mosley presented the Board with a progress report for the Community and Economic Development Projects.
1) Neighborhood Revitalization Grant, “Sun-n- Fun”
2) SR 26 Turn Lanes
3) Hart Springs Mitigation
4) Waters Lake
Mr. Mosley explained some of the problems that have been encountered with the “Sun -n-Fun” project. They are cleaning the existing ditches outside of the right-of-way and making drainage improvements. Mr. Mosley will return at the August 21st meeting for the Waters Lake Park contract.
Waccasassa VFD - Sam Ferguson received a letter from Gary Martin, Assistant Chief of the Waccasassa VFD, in which he stated that the vehicle obtained by the department is titled to the Gilchrist County Commission for the sole purpose of insurance and licensing but remains the sole property of the Waccasassa VFD.
The Board discussed the new vehicle acquired by the Department. It was donated to the County by the City of Winterhaven. Commissioner Bush was not notified about the acceptance of this vehicle and the acceptance was not authorized by the Board.
The City of Winterhaven gave the title to “Gilchrist County Board of County Commissioners (Waccasassa VFD).” After discussion, the Board agreed to accept the truck but it will be the property of the County.
(Commissioner Suggs left the room at 4:30 p.m.)
Building Department - Mr. McQueen requested to purchase two (2) books for the Building Department using the County’s credit card . These books are reference books. The purchase orders are made out to Amacon Books in the amounts of $78.00 and $220.00. Motion by Commissioner Bush, seconded by Commissioner Thomas, to approve the purchase. The motion carried with Commissioner Suggs absent.
(Commissioner Suggs returned at 4:40 p.m.)
Tom Scott Road - The City of Trenton has offered to pay for half of the cost of paving Tom Scott Road if the Board of County Commissioners will pay for half of the cost. Mr. McQueen stated that the total cost would be approximately $21,000. Motion by Commissioner Wilkerson, seconded by Commissioner Bush, to approve, based on the City of Trenton paying half, paying half ($10,500) of the cost of paving the Tom Scott Road with the funds coming out of Impact Fees. The motion carried unanimously.
Chairman Durden left the room at 4:45 p.m. and relinquished the Chair to Vice Chairman Wilkerson.
Motion by Commissioner Suggs, seconded by Commissioner Bush, to approve the writeoffs from write offs in the amount of $120.00 charged to the Sheriff’s Office by EMS for non-transport calls. The motion carried with Commissioner Durden absent.
Chairman Durden returned at 4:50 p.m.
Church Property - Motion by Commissioner Suggs, seconded by Commissioner Bush, to place $3,150 in escrow with the County Attorney as a binder for the Church property and to negotiate aq closing date. The motion carried unanimously.
There being no further business to discuss, Commissioner Wilkerson moved to adjourn at 4:55 p.m. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Suggs and unanimously approved..
ATTEST: Randy Durden, Chairman
Joseph W. Gilliam, Clerk