MINUTES OF A REGULAR MEETING OF THE GILCHRIST COUNTY BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS HELD AUGUST 20, 2001.
The Gilchrist County Board of County Commissioners, in and for Gilchrist County Florida, convened in a regular meeting on Monday, August 20, 2001, at 3:00 p.m., in the courtroom, located in the Gilchrist County Courthouse, 112 South Main Street, Trenton, Florida, with the following members present to-wit:
Commissioner Randy Durden, Chairman
Commissioner Wilbur Bush
Commissioner Sue Suggs
Commissioner John Rance Thomas
(Absent: Commissioner Fred Wilkerson)
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, Director of Finance, Jan Chesser, Judge Edward Philman, Sheriff David Turner, John Ayers, Gary Martin, Ted McFetridge, Judge Stan Morris, William Hunt, Allen Luzader, Gary Rexroat, Lee Mills, Eddie Wilson, Karen Richardson, Howard Eckstrom, Carole Abbiss, Wayne Akins, Mark Gluckman, Iris Roberts, John Frazier, Van Johnson, Jerry Hawthorne, Lois Fletcher, Lannie Cardona, Linda Hersey, Eloise Pearce, Valerie Hunt.
Call to Order:
Commissioner Durden called the meeting to order at 3:30 p.m.. The Invocation was delivered by Commissioner Bush and the pledge of allegiance was led by Commissioner Suggs.
Additions: Karen McGee, S.H.I.P. Program (Clerk’s report)
Allen Luzader / request from Melissa Hines
Hart Springs Contract, Performance Bond (Clerk’s report)
Lee Mills re: NW 70th Street (6:30 p.m.)
Motion by Commissioner Suggs, second by Commissioner Bush, to accept the agenda. The motion carried unanimously.
1) Approval of Budget Entry #BE1-121, Local Housing Assistance Trust Fund
2) Approval of Purchase Orders –
a. The Mission Inn, $435 (Emergency Management)
b. Lake City Community College, $1,000 (SE Gilchrist VFD)
c. Gateway, $1,855.59 (EMS)
3) Approval of Minutes – Regular Meeting, Monday, July 16, 2001
Motion by Commissioner Suggs, second by Commissioner Bush, to approve the Consent Agenda. The motion carried unanimously.
Budget Workshop / Judicial Workshop:
Mr. Gilliam reviewed a recap of the proposed budget for FY 2001/02 and discussed changes made since the budget process began. He stated that the General Fund is balanced with $6,040,807 and $327,836 in Reserve. He pointed out that the proposed increase in health insurance has not been determined at this time but is estimated to be $176,000. Other insurance benefits and the employee raises will also impact General Reserve.
The Board discussed a proposed increases of up to 7.5% for the Constitutional Officers. Chairman Durden recommended a pay increase of $1,000 for all employees. Sheriff Turner explained that his Office will not be able to function with current services with a 7.5% increase. He asked the Commission to add the three (3) C.O.P.s positions and the D.A.R.E. Deputy position. The Board scheduled a workshop on Tuesday, August 28th at to review the proposed budgets again for the Board Departments and the Sheriff’s Office. Mr. Gilliam will revise the proposed budgets to include the changes discussed.
Judge Stan Morris commended the Board for their efforts in the budget process for the proposed Judicial Complex. (1/100)
Dental Insurance - Mr. Gilliam provided a copy of the insurance rates for the Florida Municipal Insurance Trust dental and vision insurance plan. The Board considered paying a portion of the insurance for the employee as a benefit but agreed that it would not be possible at this time. (At their meeting on May 7, 2001, the Board approved a request to allow employees to enroll in the plan with the employee paying the full cost.) (1/1570)
Sheriff’s Budget Request - Mr. Gilliam presented a memorandum from Sheriff Turner requesting amendments to the Law Enforcement Trust Fund, COPS budget and Corrections budget.
· Law Enforcement (521), transfer of $2,100 from contingency to Operating Expenses
· COPS (521-3.12), requesting an additional $6,000 to Salaries to cover special duty reimbursement.
· Corrections (523), transfer of $2,100 from contingency to Operating Expenses.
· Corrections (523.52), request for additional $6,000 to the line item for “food.”
· Corrections (523.31), requesting an additional $2,000 for “Care of Prisoners.”
· Corrections (523.43), requesting an additional $4,000 for “Utilities.”
Mr. Gilliam pointed out that it will be necessary to schedule a public hearing for the budget amendments which increase the budget.
Motion by Commissioner Bush, second by Commissioner Suggs, to approve the transfer of $2,100 in the Law Enforcement budget (521) and the transfer of $2,100 in Corrections (523) from Reserve to Operating Expenses. The motion carried unanimously.
Motion by Commissioner Suggs, second by Commissioner Thomas, to advertise a public hearing on September 6, 2001, to adopt resolutions for budget amendments to the COPS (521-3.12) budget and the Corrections (523) budget. The motion carried unanimously. (1/1680)
Preliminary Population Estimate - Mr. Gilliam presented a request from the University of Florida for the Board’s approval of the preliminary estimate of the permanent population of Gilchrist County to be 14,699 as of April 1, 2001. Motion by Commissioner Suggs, second by Commissioner Thomas, to approve the preliminary population estimate. The motion carried unanimously. (1/2238)
S.H.I.P. Loan Approval - Mr. Gilliam presented the following S.H.I.P. Loan applications for approval:
Ryan Weaver – Capital City Bank, Moderate Income Category ($10,000), New Construction ($65,000). The contractor is Leggett Construction. Motion by Commissioner Suggs, second by Commissioner Thomas, to approve the S.H.I.P. Loan for Ryan Weaver. The motion carried unanimously.
L.R. Parrish – Direct loan (denied by Capital City Bank), Low Income Category ($17,500), Rehab only. The contractor is C.W. Strickland, Inc.. Motion by Commissioner Suggs, second by Commissioner Bush, to approve the S.H.I.P. Loan for L.R. Parrish. The motion carried unanimously.
Katrina McGee – Direct loan (denied by Capital City Bank), Low Income Category ($17,500), Rehab only. The contractor is Rick Walker Construction. Motion by Commissioner Bush, second by Commissioner Thomas, to approve the S.H.I.P. Loan for Katrina McGee. The motion carried unanimously.
Roger Holtzclaw – Capital City Bank, Low Income Category ($17,500), New Construction ($65,000). The contractor is Bauhus, Inc. and Wolf Schrom General Contractor. Motion by Commissioner Thomas, second by Commissioner Suggs, to approve the S.H.I.P. Loan for Roger Holtzclaw. The motion carried unanimously.
Laura Pederson – Capital City Bank, Very Low Income ($22,500), New Construction ($56,000). The contractor is Donald Clark Construction. The S.H.I.P. Loan Review Committee recommended approval subject to verification of income. Mr. Gilliam advised the Board that he has verified the income and she qualifies for the Very Low Income Category. Motion by Commissioner Suggs, second by Commissioner Thomas, to approve the S.H.I.P. Loan for Laura Pederson. The motion carried unanimously.
Karen McGee – Motion by Commissioner Suggs, second by Commissioner Thomas, to approve the S.H.I.P. Loan for Karen McGee. The motion carried unanimously. (1/2375)
Health Department / Resolution 01-48 - Chairman Durden read the short title of Resolution 01-48, approving the revised fee schedule submitted by the Gilchrist County Health Department. Motion by Commissioner Suggs, second by Commissioner Thomas, to approve the resolution. The motion carried unanimously. (A copy of Resolution 01-48 is on file in the Clerk’s Office.) (1/2738)
Courthouse Renovations - Mr. Gilliam reported that the all of the Constitutional Officers have moved back into their offices except for the Judiciary. Mr. Gilliam received a Certificate of Substantial Completion listing items to be completed or corrected. He stated that a large portion of the list has been completed. Motion by Commissioner Suggs, second by Commissioner Thomas, to approve the list. The motion carried unanimously. (1/2855)
Mac Johnson Property / Assessed Values - As requested by the Board at the meeting on August 6th, Mr. Gilliam provided copies of the assessed values of properties owned by Mac Johnson. The Board discussed the fees assessed to the property for code violations. (The Board took no action.) (1/3200)
Tri-County Tourism Task Force:
Mrs. Carol McQueen, Chairperson, Tri-County Tourism Development Board, spoke to the Commission regarding the accomplishments of the Tourism Task Force over the past 16 months. Mrs. McQueen stated that because the counties are coming together collectively in this project, it is giving them recognition with the State that would not have been possible before.
Mr. Jim Brantly with the Florida Association of Counties also addressed the Board. The Tri-County Tourism Development project began in April 2000. He stated that the Tourism Development Board is in the process of qualifying as a “not for profit” corporation. One of the goals of the Tri-County Tourism Board is to market the region. They are currently working on a website through VISIT Florida (www.dgl.com). Mr. Brantly discussed the various grants that have been awarded to the program over the past 16 months.
Mr. Brantly referred to a request submitted to the Commission by the Tri-County Tourism Development Board for approval of $5,000 in the FY 2001-2002 budget to be used as match funds for a Staffing Grant offered by Enterprise Florida and administered by the Governor’s Office of Tourism. They have also requested a match of $5,000 from Levy and Dixie counties. Commissioner Suggs, who serves on the Economic Development Board, discussed the grant which would provide a match up to $35,000 on an annual basis. Motion by Commissioner Suggs, second by Commissioner Thomas, to try and find the $5,000. After discussion, Commissioner Suggs moved to table the issue until the budget workshop scheduled for August 28th. Commissioner Thomas seconded and the motion carried unanimously. (1/3210)
Victims of Violent Crimes Support Center:
Mr. Bill Hunt, President of the Victims of Violent Crimes Support Center, came before the Board and requested funding in the amount of $5,000 for the Fiscal Year 2001/2002. Mr. Hunt discussed the services offered by the organization and presented letters of support from the Sheriff’s Office and the State Attorney’s Office. The Board scheduled the request for the budget workshop scheduled Tuesday, August 28th. (2/1038)
Lee Mills / Martinez Grade:
Mr. Lee Mills, County Engineer, presented drawings and estimates for the Martinez Grade project from County Road 236 to County Road 337. He stated that the project could be achieved within an 80 ft. right-of-way. He reviewed the drawings and discussed the requirements. Mr. Mills explained that a portion of the section line is in question and recommends realignment of the road at the intersection.
Mr. Mills explained that Bell South may have to relocate lines and other equipment. The estimated cost is as follows:
– Land Acquisition
– Road Construction
– Engineering, mapping, etc.
– 15% Contingency
Mr. Mills discussed the construction project which includes constructing the road with 2 ½ “ of asphalt within the D.O.T. recommendations. Also included in the project is the installation of a railroad crossing with an estimated cost of $125,000. The Board discussed the grant awarded by the State Department of Transportation through the Small County Outreach Program which has a 25% match. Mr. Gilliam commented that the final cost to the County would be approximately $500,000. He stated that these funds would be available from the Impact Fees. The Board scheduled this item for discussion at the next budget workshop. (2/1469)
Building Department / Allen Luzader:
Mr. Allen Luzader presented a letter from Melissa Hines requesting a refund of impact fees paid in April 2001. After placing a mobile home on a 10 acre parcel and living in it for four (4) months, Ms. Hines was unable to obtain the financing that she had applied for though Gainesville Mortgage. The Board discussed the request and concluded that there is an impact to this property. The impact fee will stay with the property for one (1) year. Motion by Commissioner Suggs, second by Commissioner Thomas, to deny the request for a refund of the impact fee. The motion carried unanimously. (2/2351)
Bell Volunteer Fire Department:
Mr. Wayne Akins came before the Board in regards to the “Assistance To Firefighters Grant Program” through the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Mr. Akins explained that the Bell VFD has applied for available funds to purchase a tanker for an estimated cost of $170,000. The Department also applied for funds to purchase 10 new air packs for an estimated cost of $34,000.
Mr. Akins stated that the grant application was sent in prior to the City Council Meeting due to a time deadline. The Town of Bell did not agree to pay the match requirements which were estimated at $17,000 for the tanker and $3,000 for the air-packs. Mr. Akins provided written estimates to the Board and a copy of the grant information from F.E.M.A.. Motion by Commissioner Suggs, second by Commissioner Thomas, to pay the matching funds from District Wide Fire if the Department is awarded the grant with the Bell VFD paying back the funds within five (5) years or before after the 1993 truck is paid off. The motion carried unanimously. (2/2641)
Discussion / Permitting Requirements for Agriculture Buildings:
(This discussion is continued from the August 6th meeting.)
The Board discussed the issue of assessing double fees for permits on agricultural buildings in which the applicant did not obtain a permit prior to construction. Mr. Luzader affirmed that an inspection is made on agricultural buildings when a permit is pulled. These buildings are exempt from the Florida Building Code but inspections are made as a courtesy and the permitting is required to keep track of the construction. By State Law, the inspections are not required.
Chairman Durden suggested that in the instance of agricultural buildings, that they not be charged double when the applicant comes in to obtain a permit after the construction. Commissioner Thomas pointed out that the penalty of double fees should not be charged for agricultural buildings because citizens may be understanding that this a permit is not required if agricultural buildings are exempt from the Florida Building Code and the inspections are made for their protection.
The Board directed Mr. Luzader to continue collecting the permit fees for agricultural buildings but not to charge double fees when the permit is not obtained prior to the construction. (2/3370)
Review Applications / Planning & Zoning Board:
At their regular meeting on August 6, 2001, after determining that the terms had expired for four positions on the Planning and Zoning Board, the Board reappointed Michelle Crawford, Don Alexander, Roosevelt Stalvey and Jimmie Ray Downing to the Planning and Zoning Board until December 31, 2001.
A notice of vacancy was also placed in the August 2nd edition of the Gilchrist County Journal for the four (4) vacancies. The Board received a letter of application from Mr. Leslie Sapp and from Mr. William Cummings. Mr. McQueen stated that the current Zoning Board members have also indicated that they wish continue to serve on that Board.
Mr. Leslie Sapp spoke to the Board and expressed his desire to be considered for one of the vacancies. Mr. Sapp resides in District II. The Board agreed to set aside a time at the mid month meeting in October to interview the Zoning Board members who wish to continue. Mr. Sapp told the Board that he would like to withdraw his application if Mr. Downing wishes to serve another term. (3/245)
Non-Residential Farm Buildings – Mr. Mutch referred to 604.50, Florida Statutes and discussed the exemption of agricultural buildings from the Florida Building Code. Mr. Mutch stated that he will request an opinion from the Attorney General regarding building permits for these buildings. The Board directed Mr. McQueen to bring back more information for the Board from the Department of Business Regulations. The Board also directed Mr. Luzader to continue permitting the agricultural buildings until more information can be obtained but not to charge double fees. (3/527)
Ginnie Springs v. Gilchrist County – Mr. Mutch advised that the depositions of Bobbie Wray Suggs and Lisa Barr Davis are scheduled for August 29, 2001. (3/667)
Florida Gas Transmission Pipeline Need for Permits – Mr. Mutch stated that he is researching the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Legislation and Authority in order to determine if pipelines can be regulated by the County from a zoning standpoint. (3/700)
Right-of-Way Ordinance – Mr. Mutch recommends scheduling a workshop at the next meeting for a proposed ordinance regulating county right-of-ways. Commissioner Thomas asked that he also address the issue of property owners plowing fire lanes outside of their property on County right-of-ways. (3/768)
United States of America v. Gallagher and Gilchrist County – Mr. Mutch advised the Board that his office was served with a lawsuit on August 7th on the foreclosure of a loan on a piece of property that was purchased through the S.H.I.P. program. Mrs. Gallagher, the applicant, was granted a S.H.I.P. loan in February of 1994 in the amount of $22,500. The County’s current value on the loan is approximately $5,812. (3/799)
Associated Uniform Rental Service – Mr. Mutch obtained several affidavits from County employees which show that the uniform service is in breach of contract. Mr. Gilliam asked for direction from the Board in regards to cancelling the contract. Motion by Commissioner Bush, second by Commissioner Suggs, to cancel the contract. The motion carried unanimously. (3/860)
Resolution #01-49 / Sheriff’s LETF – Mr. Mutch presented and read Resolution #01-49 transfering funds in the amount of $500,000 from the Sheriff’s Law Enforcement Trust Fund to the Board of County Commissioners to be used for the construction of the Sheriff’s Office Administration Building project at Walker’s Curve. Motion by Commissioner Suggs, second by Commissioner Thomas, to approve the resolution. The motion carried unanimously. (A copy of Resolution #01-49 is on file in the Clerk’s Office.) (3/980)
EMA/County Coordinator’s Report:
RingPower Contract for Generators – Mr. McQueen presented an estimate from RingPower Systems for a maintenance contract for the two (2) generator’s at the Sheriff’s Office. The contract would provide one (1) year of service for a cost of $1,595. Motion by Commissioner Bush, second by Commissioner Thomas, to approve the contract with the cost to be paid out of the “Other Buildings” fund. The motion carried unanimously. (3/1160)
Letters of Resignation - Mr. McQueen referred the Board to two (2) letters of resignation from Robbie Cannon, Road Department and Robert Wilson, EMS. Motion by Commissioner Suggs, second by Commissioner Bush, to accept the resignations. The motion carried unanimously. (3/1354)
Animal Control Issues – Mr. McQueen provided the Board with a copy of an incident log which reflects reports received from April 13, 2001 to August 8, 2001. The Animal Control Committee met with the municipalities regarding an interlocal agreement for animal control. Commissioner Durden reported that at this meeting representatives were present from the City of Trenton, the Town of Bell, The City of Fanning Springs, the Sheriff’s Office and the Health Department. The municipalities are considering entering into an agreement with the County which will provide for a certified animal control officer. It is estimated that the first year will require a $50,000 budget. Considering that the City of Trenton will expend $50,000 for new pens, the budget will be derived from County Funds, the Town of Bell and the City of Fanning Springs. Commissioner Durden stated that he will bring additional information to the Board in the future. (3/1390)
Fire Departments Update – Mr. McQueen reported that the slab has been poured at the Southeast Gilchrist VFD and the building was delivered last week. (3/1577)
Grant-in-Aid Agreement – Mr. Gilliam referred the Board to a letter from Judge Stan Morris requesting the County Commission to submit a spending plan for the Small County Courthouse Grant-in-Aid Agreement. Mr. Gilliam recommended that the $250,000 be placed in Fixed Capital Outlay or a portion of it into Personal Services for architectural fees and the balance into Fixed Capital Outlay. Motion by Commissioner Suggs, second by Commissioner Bush, to approve the spending plan with $187,500 into Personal Services and $62,500 into Fixed Capital Outlay. The motion carried unanimously. (3/1608)
Mr. McQueen requested the Board to authorize the Chairman to approve expenditures and transfer funds within his department to expend the Emergency Management Funds(#2510001). Motion by Commissioner Bush, second Thomas, to authorize the Chairman to approve expenditures up to and not to exceed $10,000. The motion carried unanimously. (3/1675)
Commissioner Suggs reported that a performance bond in the amount of $1,000 has been received from Christine Philman for Suwannee River Ventures, Inc.. Motion by Commissioner Suggs, second by Commissioner Thomas, to accept the contract and the bond from Suwannee Valley Ventures, Inc. (3/1815)
Commissioner Durden advised the Board that the Agricultural Advisory Committee met last week to review the petition and questions submitted to the Board at the last meeting. Their recommendation will be placed on the agenda for the September 6th meeting.
The Board discussed the issue of funding volunteer firemen to attend EMT School. It was pointed out that it is the Board’s policy that the County be reimbursed should employees are volunteers enrolled in such training quit the courses or fail. The Board agreed that if the volunteers were not able to reimburse the County, the expense would then be paid out of the Departments budget.
There being no further business to discuss, Commissioner Suggs moved to adjourn at 7:55 p.m. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Thomas and approved.
Randy Durden, Chairman
Joseph W. Gilliam, Clerk