The Gilchrist County Board of County Commissioners, in and for Gilchrist County, Florida, convened in a regular meeting on Monday, May 7, 2001 at 1:00 p.m., in the School Board Meeting Room, located at 310 NW 11th Avenue, Trenton, Florida, with the following members present to-wit:


Commissioner Randy Durden, Chair

Commissioner Fred Wilkerson, Vice Chair

Commissioner Wilbur Bush

Commissioner Sue Suggs

Commissioner John Rance Thomas


Others present: Joseph W. Gilliam, Clerk of Court, Sam Mutch, County Attorney, Ron McQueen, EMA/County Coordinator, Karen Heaton, Deputy Clerk, Sam Ferguson, Finance Director, Lois Fletcher, Jim Johnson, Carole Abbiss, Charles Justice, John Ayers, Nathan Martin, Charissa Strickland.


Call to Order:


Chairman Durden called the meeting to order at 1:10 p.m.  The Invocation was delivered by Commissioner Wilkerson and the Pledge of Allegiance was led by Commissioner Bush.


Agenda Changes:        



Consent Agenda:


1)                  Approval of Budget Entries:

          BE1-071, FEMA Fund (130)

­                      BE1-072, General Fund (001)

­                      BE1-073, Fine & Forfeiture Fund (150)

­                      BE1-074, Fire District Trust Fund (122)

­                      BE1-075, General Government Fund (001)

­                      BE1-076, Fire District Trust Fund (122)

­                      BE1-077, Capital Projects Fund (301)


2)                  Approval of Purchase Orders:

­                     #211454, Levy County BOCC (per approved budget) ($6,854)

­                     #211359, Mills Engineering Company ($6,500)

­                     #211428, V.E. Whitehurst ($77,315.29)

­                     #211443, V.E. Whitehurst ($9,033.63)

­                     #211496, Mobile Telephone Service ($1,347)


3)                  Approval of Barbara Blount-Powell to Conflict Attorney List.


4)                  Approval to appoint Judy Hughes to the Meridian Behavioral Healthcare Board of Directors.


5)                  Approval of Proclamation: The month of May is proclaimed as Civility Month.


6)                  Approval of Minutes: Regular Meeting April 2, 2001.


7)                  Approval of Bills.


Motion by Commissioner Suggs, seconded by Commissioner Wilkerson, to approve the Consent Agenda.  The motion carried unanimously.  (1/055)


Attorney Report:


Ginnie Springs v. Gilchrist County - Mr. Mutch referred the Board to the response to the County’s response from Ginnie Springs, Inc. regarding the motion to enforce the settlement agreement.  (1/068)


Driveway Ordinance - Mr. Mutch will prepare an Ordinance to amend the Subdivision Ordinance and the Existing Driveway Ordinance.  The proposed Ordinance will allow the County Commission to require the sub-dividers of minor subdivisions to show the positions of common driveways.  The Board will consider this Ordinance at the mid month meeting in June. (1/080)


Hold Harmless Agreement - The Hold Harmless Agreement with Kincaid’s Products has been fully executed.  Kincaid’s will be notified to begin removing the trees at the Road Department. (1/171)


Solid Waste / Purchase of Property - Mr. Jones, with Rayonier, would like to obtain additional information about the property that the County would like to have donated.  He will meet with Diane Avery on Wednesday.  He will also be obtaining information from the Property Appraiser’s Office.  (1/230)


North Central Florida Regional Planning Council:


At the request of the Commission, Mr. Charles Justice appeared before the Board to discuss an invoice from the North Central Florida Regional Planning Council in the amount of $7,165.20.  Mr. Justice referred to a letter he had sent to Ron McQueen dated January 16, 2001with a list of services provided to the County in FY 1999/2000. 


For this invoice, the hours are not available.  He pointed out that the economic development element  cost approximately $5,000 to prepare but the County was only charged $3,000 for this work. (Invoice #2169).  Mr. Justice stated that the County was not billed at all for the 19 projects on which they worked prior to May 1st, after the contract was executed.


Motion by Commissioner Thomas, seconded by Commissioner Wilkerson, to approve payment of the invoice in the amount of $7,165.20 from Reserve.  The motion carried unanimously.


Mr. Justice told the Board that he would instruct the planners to keep an hourly record of these projects in the future. (1/258) 


Road Department:


Mr. Nathan Martin thanked the Board for the dump trucks recently acquired from Pinellas County. Commissioner Durden asked Mr. Martin to conduct a road count on Willow Lane.  Mr. Martin discussed blasting the pit again and stated he would bring back more information for the Boards consideration.  (1/512)

Clerk’s Report:


Disbursements to the Board - Mr. Gilliam submitted the Disbursements Report for the Month of March 2001.  (1/958)




Local Officer Training


$     222.00


Law Library




State Attorney / Public Defender




Court Cost




Court Facilities








E911 Traffic Surcharge




Family Mediation









Local Option Gas Tax - Mr. Gilliam referred the Board to a letter from the Department of Revenue in regards to the distribution of proceeds of the local option gas tax.   The Board agreed that the percentage of distribution will remain the same.  (1/965)


ADG/Judicial Complex - A letter was received from Rodney McManus, Architects Design Group, Inc. explaining the breakdown of the project costs based on the latest program scope.  The original plan for the Judicial Complex included 28,015 sq. ft. for a one-story facility.  The increased square footage was due to making the facility a two-story structure (stairwells and elevators).   The Board has also requested changes which included a pitched roof, columns and and other exterior design changes.  The estimated developmental cost is currently $4,286,546.00.  


Mr. Gilliam has scheduled a meeting on May 25th with the Judges, Constitutional Officers, Ron McQueen and Chairman Durden to discuss the project and planning space needs.  Chairman Durden recommended that the Judicial Complex be scheduled for the first budget workshop in July. 


Building Department:


Report - Ms. Charissa Strickland presented the Building Department for the month of April 2001. 


Mobile Homes                      19 Total / 10 Replacements

  8 Impacts / $11,530.48 (Capital, $2,959.04; Trans. $8,571.44; City                                                    $369.88)


New Construction                5 Total / 2 Replacements

3 Impacts / $4,323.93 (Capital, $1,109.64; Trans. $3,214.29)


Remodeling / Additions                      9 Total / 1 Commercial Impact (Capital, $451.29; Trans. $1,680.00) 

Barns                                                      7 Total / 1 Commercial Impact (Capital, $27.01; Trans. $567.50)

Sheds                                                     0

Pools                                                      3

Roofing                                                  6

Garages                                                  1

Miscellaneous                                      6



Purchase Order / Purchase of Vehicle - Mr. Sam Ferguson presented a purchase order in the amount of $22,516.00 to Duval Ford for the purchase of a Ford, ½ ton pick-up truck for the Building Department.  (At their meeting on April 2, 2001, the Board authorized the Building Department to negotiate a price for a new vehicle.)  The purchase of this vehicle will be made off of the State Sheriff’s Association Contract. Motion by Commissioner Wilkerson, seconded by Commissioner Thomas, to approve the purchase of the Ford Truck.  The motion carried with Commissioner Suggs voting “no.”


Mr. Ferguson requested authorization to bid for the financing of the vehicle and to accept the bid with the lowest interest rate.  Motion by Commissioner Suggs, seconded by Commissioner Thomas, to bid for the financing of the truck and to accept the lowest bid for the interest rate.  The motion carried unanimously.


Administrative Assistant Position - Commissioner Suggs asked if the vacant position in the Building Department had been filled.  Mr. McQueen told the Board that he had hired Tammy Moore for this position.  Commissioner Suggs explained that she had asked that interviews not be held for this position without input from one of the Commissioners or the Building Department.  Mr. McQueen stated that this position was not created to help the Building Department but was created to help with the workload on the Board of County Commissioners side.  The funds for this position had been transferred out of General Government into the Building Department budget.  This position assisted the Building Department but was primarily to carry out the work relating to the Commission.  Mr. McQueen explained that this position will be budgeted into the General Government Budget for the next fiscal year.  Chairman Durden commented that it should be the Department Head’s decision on who is hired but he agreed that Allen Luzader should have been consulted in this instance considering that this involved the Building Department Budget.  (2/188)


Davis Monk & Company / County Audit:


Mr. Steve Catell, with Davis Monk & Company, appeared before the Board to discuss the County’s audit for FY 2000.  Mr. Catell referred the Board to the County Audit Report and discussed the Financial Statements.  Davis Monk and Company provides an Opinion Statement for these Financial Statements.


There were six (6) findings listed in the report along with written responses from the Clerk’s Office.  He pointed out that the finding regarding the Emergency Management Services billing procedures has been listed for a few years but has improved.  This situation exists because the same employee picks up the mail and processes the billing.  Mr. Gilliam commented that they are working on a possible solutions to help solve this situation. 


In summation, Mr. Catell stated that Gilchrist County is doing very well.  (The Audit Report is on file in the Clerk’s Office.)  (2/620)






Clerk’s Report (continued):


Courthouse Renovations -  Mr. Gilliam reviewed the costs for the renovations project. 


Balance to close out the project     $293,444.54

Balance in Grant Funds received    276,630.05


Article V Funds are expected to be received in June or July in the amount of $50,000.00.  There is approximately $16,000 left in contingencies for the project. 


Mr. Gilliam stated that approximately $12,000 from Contingency will be used to replace the carpet on the bottom floor of the Courthouse.


Motion by Commissioner Bush, seconded by Commissioner Thomas, to approve the invoice from ADG in the amount of $1,848.00 for the Additional Services Request for the ADA Compliance issues for existing courtroom.  The motion carried unanimously. 


Motion by Commissioner Suggs, seconded by Commissioner Wilkerson, to approve Invoice #12 from ADG in the amount of $3,844.33 for services to date on the Master Plan and A/E Services.  The motion carried unanimously. 


Motion by Commissioner Bush, seconded by Commissioner Thomas, to approve payment of Invoice #8 from P.P.I. in the amount of $43,542.05.  The motion carried unanimously. 


Mr. Gilliam reported that the Tax Collector’s Office, The Supervisor of Elections Office and the Clerk’s Office will be temporarily relocated to the offices on the North side of the Courthouse in order for the renovations to continue downstairs.  (2/933)


Board of Adjustment and Land-Use Items - Mr. Gilliam referred to a memorandum from the County Planner regarding recommendations from the Planning and Zoning Board and Resolutions.  Mr. Mutch  recommended that resolutions granting special exceptions and special permits be prepared after approval of recommendations by the Planning and Zoning Board.  He mentioned a pending lawsuit against the City of Hawthorne in which the Planning Council had prepared a Resolution for that Commission and provided a copy to the applicant.  Subsequently the resolution was not approved and the applicant contended that since she was provided a copy by the Planning Council it was in effect .


The Board discussed the procedures for land-use items.  Mr. Mutch suggested that instead of resolutions, the Planning and Zoning Board should submit a written motion and recommendations for the County Commissions approval and once approved, a resolution granting a special permit or special exception would be prepared.  Motion by Commissioner Thomas, seconded by Commissioner Suggs, to have resolutions prepared for land-use items with “DRAFT” stamped on them prior to approval.  The motion carried unanimously.  (2/1220)                  



Dental & Vision - At their regular meeting on April 12th, the Commission agreed to consider changing the dental insurance from American Dental to Florida League of Cities, Inc. and to determine the amount of benefit.  Since that time, Mr. Gilliam has received several request from Board employees to obtain the insurance from Florida League for full cost without the benefit.  The Board agreed that this would be possible.  Motion by Commissioner Suggs, seconded by Commissioner Wilkerson, to approve the request for the dental and vision insurance with the employee paying the full cost per payroll deduction.  The motion carried unanimously.  (2/1998)


Budget Entry BE1-070 - Resolution 01-27, amending the Transportation Projects/Impact Fee Fund (141) by an increase in the amount of $475,274.00 which represents grant revenues received for  reimbursement of the CR 232 Project #0029 (from CR 341 to US 129) and CR 232 Project (from US 129 to SR 47).  Motion by Commissioner Bush, seconded by Commissioner Thomas to approve Resolution 01-27.  The motion carried unanimously.  (2/2067) (Resolution 01-27 is attached and made part of these minutes.)


SHIP Program / Emergency Repairs - On April 16, 2001, the Board approved emergency repairs for well and septic in the amount of $3,772.50 to Lorraine Lightner through the SHIP Program.  At that time, Ms. Lightner had requested assistance with the electrical problems and was asked to obtain an estimate.  Mr. Gilliam advised the Board that she has received an estimate in the amount of $700.00 for the electrical repairs.  The SHIP Program allows up to $5,000 for emergency assistance.  Motion by Commissioner Suggs, seconded by Commissioner Thomas, to approve the request by Lorraine Lightner for emergency assistance in the amount of  $700.00 for the electric repairs.  The motion carried unanimously.  (2/2115)


Town of Bell / Application, Transportation Enhancement Program:


Chairman Durden received a letter from David Glant, Attorney for the Town of Bell, requesting the Commission to add a project for the construction of sidewalks to the Transportation Enhancement Program application.  Mr. Glant included a map of the town of Bell which indicated the existing sidewalks, which end at Bryant Avenue, and the proposed sidewalks, which extend to Gilchrist Building Supply.  Motion by Commissioner Thomas, seconded by Commissioner Bush, to include the request on the application for the Transportation Enhancement Program.  The motion carried unanimously.  (2/2200)


Clerk’s Report (continued):


Risk Management - Mr. Gilliam told the Board that Sherree Pitzarell recently attended a seminar with the Risk Management Associates.  One of the subjects covered in the seminar was “work-place violence.”  Ms. Pitzarell brought back information regarding this issue and recommended the Board consider developing a policy for “work-place violence.”  Mr. Gilliam sated that he would provide a copy of the information to Ron McQueen and Sam Mutch for their review.  (2/2345)


Financing / CR 232 Project -Mr. Sam Ferguson reported that bids have been received for the financing of the balance of the CR 232 project.  ($400,000 / 8 years)


­                                                                                                                      Drummond Community Bank      5.95% (fixed / 8 years)

­                                                                                                                      Capital City Bank                        5.18% (fixed / 8 years w/ $1,000 fee)

­                                                                                                                      Tri-County Bank                        4.45% (fixed / 8 years)


Motion by Commissioner Suggs, seconded by Commissioner Thomas, to accept the proposal from Tri-County Bank to finance $400,000 with fixed rate at 4.45% for 8 years.  The motion carried unanimously with Commissioner Bush’s vote absent.  (Commissioner Bush filed a conflict of interest.) (2/2390)





Transportation Disadvantaged Program:


The North Central Florida Regional Planning Council has notified Gilchrist County of four (4) vacancies on the Gilchrist County Transportation Disadvantaged Coordinating Board; (1) Citizen Advocate, (2) Citizen Advocate, Alternate, (3) Persons with Disabilities Representative and (4) Elderly Representative.  The Board discussed the program but did not have recommendations at this time.  (2/2470)


Commissioner’s Report:


Commissioner Bush reported that he had attended meetings for the Florida Crown Workforce and the North Central Florida Regional Planning Council.  The Road Department dump trucks have been received and are in good condition.


Commissioner Thomas reported that the EMS Department has not hired another Paramedic yet.  The Fire Departments are planning a mock exercise for incident command on June 9th at Bell High School. 


Commissioner Wilkerson informed the Board that one of the Solid Waste Department Employees has transferred to the EMS Department. 


Commissioner Suggs discussed the improvements at Hart Springs.  Commissioner Durden told the Board that Amos Philman made an excellent presentation on the Hart Springs Project at the Rotary Club meeting.  (2/2490)


EMA/County Coordinator:


Public Facilities Needs - The North Central Florida Regional Planning Council is currently updating the Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy report and has requested an update of the list of projects submitted by Gilchrist County in 2000.  The Board reviewed the projects and amended the list as follows:

#11       deleted                          Bell Community Park and Recreation Area (this project has been completed.)


#27       Project underway           Courthouse ADA/Fire Renovations


#22       Project underway           Construction of Sheriff’s Administration Building


#21       Add                              Historical Acquisitions & Renovations (Courthouse Renovations & purchase of church property)


Mr. McQueen will submit the changes to the North Central Florida Regional Planning Council.  (2/3195)


North Gilchrist VFD - Mr. McQueen reported that the North Gilchrist Fire Department’s well went dry.  To provide water to the building, they have put in a 2" drop pipe but this will not provide enough water supply to fill a fire truck.  Mr. McQueen recommends replacing the well with a grouted well.  Motion by Commissioner Thomas, seconded by Commissioner Bush, to replace the well with a grouted well with the expense to be paid out of the District Wide Fire Fund.  The motion carried unanimously.


The Department also requests that several of the old trucks be declared surplus in order to trade them for $1,000 in vehicle repairs.  These trucks were donated to the County in the past and the total value of these vehicles does not exceed $1,000.  Motion by Commissioner Thomas, seconded by Commissioner Wilkerson, to declare the trucks surplus property.  The motion carried unanimously.  (2/3438)


Shelter Retrofit Grant - Mr. McQueen discussed the Shelter Retrofit Grant which was awarded to Gilchrist County to place hurricane shutters on the designated emergency shelters.  These shelters are at the Bell Elementary School and Trenton Elementary School.  Mr. McQueen has met with the School Board and they have expressed concern about the aesthetics of these shutters on the new buildings.  They have approved a certain type of shutter which is also being purchased by several other Florida Counties.  If the Board approves, Gilchrist County may purchase the shutters through the Polk County contract with the Exeter Company.  Motion by Commissioner Suggs, seconded by Commissioner Thomas, to approve the request.  The motion carried unanimously.  (2/3913)


County Rural Development (Co.RD Project) - Mr. McQueen reviewed a report on the progress of the Co.RD Project provided by the Florida Association of Counties.  (3/190)


Hazardous Analysis - Advanced Environmental Technologies contacted Mr. McQueen regarding sites in Gilchrist County that are contaminated.  Gilchrist County is in an IDA Program which is eligible to be funded 100% by the State.  Advanced Environmental Technologies is currently contracted by Dixie County to clean up contamination sites.  They have provided a list of contaminated sites in Gilchrist County which includes the Road Department.  Chairman Durden stated that this company is approved by the State.  Motion by Commissioner Bush, seconded by Commissioner Wilkerson, to proceed with the clean up by Advanced Environmental Technologies.  The motion carried unanimously.  (3/229)


Division of Emergency Management - Mr. McQueen referred the Board to a letter from the Florida Division of Emergency Management in regards to the Gilchrist County 2000/2001 Hazards Analyses updates. Gilchrist County received $6,194.00 this year for the Hazards Analyses updates.  There are currently 26 sites in Gilchrist County with reportable quantities of hazardous materials.   (3/360)


Grubbs Emergency Services - Mr. McQueen provided information regarding Grubbs Emergency Services, Inc..  This company offers disaster recovery services to counties to help with debris removal.  The County may enter into a contract with Grubbs Emergency Services with a retainer cost of $100.00.  The County Attorney will review the contract and bring back a recommendation to the Board.  (3/416)


Chamber of Commerce / Office Space:


Mrs. Lois Fletcher, Executive Director of the Chamber of Commerce, appeared before the Board to discuss the re-location of the Chamber’s office.  The Chamber has a pending contract for the purchase of a house located at 203 NW 1st Street in Trenton with a purchase price in the amount of $41,500.


Mrs. Fletcher explained the need for more adequate office space and parking space.  Once the office has been re-located, the Chamber is requesting the County Commission to budget the expenses for electric, phone, cleaning and annual taxes.


The Board reviewed the information provided and agreed that the County would continue to provide the budgeted amount to the Chamber but would not be responsible for the expenses requested.   (3/500)


Gilchrist County Recreational Authority:

(Considering that no one was present to represent the GCRA, it was decided to reschedule this item.)

General Business:


Trail Head - Mr. Gilliam received a call from Mr. Mark Gluckman regarding the Train Station in Trenton and the Trail Head.  Mr. Gluckman asked if the Board of County Commissioners would be taking the responsibility of the operation and maintenance of the trail head.  He had been told by Mr. Cloud Haley, City Commissioner, that the City of Trenton would not be taking care of this.  Commissioner Durden stated that he had discussed this with the Mayor.  The Mayor indicated that they were trying to find someone to take care of the Trail Head and that they were still trying to work something out.  (3/2099)


NW 11th Avenue - Chairman Durden received a request regarding the paving of NW 11th Avenue, (the road in front of the Gilchrist County Library).  The Board discussed the agreement with the City of Trenton in which the County would continue to maintain County roads which came into the City limits.  The City of Trenton contends that this road is an extension of the County road.  Mr. Gilliam stated that he would review the records to determine if this is a city road or a County road. (3/2190)


Public Hearing / Ordinance / Animal Control:


Mr. Sam Mutch read the short title of the proposed Animal Control Ordinance establishing an Animal Control Committee and setting procedures for the committee to determine if a dog is dangerous according to Chapter 14 of the Gilchrist County Code. 


Chairman Durden suggested that discussion of this Ordinance be tabled  in order to allow the Animal Control Committee time to review the Ordinance.  Motion by Commissioner Wilkerson, seconded by Commissioner Suggs, to table this item until the meeting scheduled June 4, 2001 at 5:30 p.m. The motion carried unanimously.  (3/2484)


Public Hearing / State Housing Initiative Partnership Program:


Mr. Gilliam explained that the County is required to update the Local Housing Assistance Plan for the State Hosing Initiative Partnership (SHIP) Program every three (3) years.  He referred the Board to a copy of the Plan which includes one change; (page 7) Maximum Cost Per unit increased from $65,000 to $75,000.


Motion by Commissioner Suggs, seconded by Commissioner Wilkerson, to approve the revised Local Housing Assistance Plan.  The motion carried unanimously. 


Mr. Gilliam presented the following resolutions relating to the SHIP Program:


                                                                  Resolution 01-28





Motion by Commissioner Suggs, seconded by Commissioner Thomas, to adopt the resolution.  The motion carried unanimously. 




                                                                  Resolution 01-29





Motion by Commissioner Suggs, seconded by Commissioner Bush, to adopt the resolution.  The motion carried unanimously. 


                                                                                         Resolution 01-30




Motion by Commissioner Bush, seconded by Commissioner Suggs, to adopt the Resolution.  The motion carried unanimously.   (Copies of Resolution 01-28, 01-29 and 01-30 are attached and made part of these minutes.)  (3/2671)


Public Participation:



There being no further business to discuss, Commissioner Bush moved to adjourn at 5:30 p.m.  The motion was seconded by Commissioner Wilkerson and carried.