The Gilchrist County Board of County Commissioners, in and for Gilchrist County, Florida, convened in a regular meeting on Monday, February 18, 2002, at 5:00 p.m. in Bell City Hall, located in the Bell Train Depot at 3240 W. Rail Road Lane, Bell, Florida, with the following members present to-wit:


Commissioner John Rance Thomas, Chairman       

Commissioner Wilbur Bush, Vice Chairman

Commissioner Randy Durden

Commissioner Sue Suggs

Commissioner Fred Wilkerson


Others in attendance were: Joseph W. Gilliam, Clerk of Court, John McPherson, County Attorney, Sam Ferguson, Director of Finance, Karen Heaton, Deputy Clerk, Ron McQueen, EMA/County Coordinator, Arthur Foryette, Tom Tucker, Mike Burnett, Ryan Ray, Paul Bryant, Roy Langford, Lee Schaltenbrand, Brenda Schaltenbrand, Mona Whitmore, Tammy Sanders, Don Alexander, Arnold Douglas, John Ayers, Sheriff David Turner, Phil Bishop.


Call to Order:


Chairman Thomas called the meeting to order at 5:00 p.m.  Commissioner Wilkerson delivered the Invocation and Commissioner Suggs led the Pledge of Allegiance. 


Agenda Changes:


Additions:             Bell Boys and Girls Athletic Association

American Legion, Joe Gilliam

Discuss March 4th meeting, time and location


Motion by Commissioner Suggs, seconded by Commissioner Durden, to approve the agenda with the changes noted.  The motion carried unanimously. 


Consent Agenda:


Commissioner Bush asked to pull item #1, Purchase Order #220906, from the consent agenda for discussion.   He recommended that the Board delay the purchase of this equipment and to consider purchasing a rock crusher instead.  He explained that the department had intended to use the road widener on the CR 341 project but found out that the widening will be included in the project under contract.  Motion by Commissioner Suggs, seconded by Commissioner Durden to remove item #1, Purchase Order #220906 for the road widener from the Consent Agenda.  The motion carried unanimously.


Motion by Commissioner Durden, seconded by Commissioner Suggs, to approve the consent agenda.  The motion carried unanimously.    (1/123)

Attorney’s Report:


Proposed Ordinance for Inspection of Mobile Homes Prior to Move-On – The Planning and Zoning Board reviewed the proposed ordinance at its February 15th meeting and recommended that it be adopted by the County Commission.  Mr. McPherson will schedule a public hearing for the ordinance at a future meeting. (1/268)


Exemption of Farm Building From Permitting – The Planning and Zoning Board discussed a proposed ordinance for the exemption of Farm Buildings from permitting.  Mr. McPherson explained North Central Florida Regional Planning Council will be submitting the EAR Amendments to the P & Z Board for review and those amendments could result in substantial amendments to the Land Development Code.  The Planning & Zoning Board recommended this issue be delayed until after the EAR Amendments are reviewed.  (1/288)


Proposed Wind Zone Ordinance – Mr. McPherson advised the Board that an ordinance needs to be adopted by the County which adopts the wind zone line in Gilchrist County.  He has prepared a draft ordinance which includes the location of the line.  Mr. McPherson will schedule a public hearing for the ordinance at a future meeting.  (1/329)


Animal Control, Interlocal Agreement – Mr. McPherson reported that he is waiting for information from Duke Lang to proceed with the interlocal agreement with the City of Trenton and Town of Bell. (1/429)


Comprehensive Plan: EAR Amendments – The Regional Planning Council has delayed submission of the EAR Amendments to the Planning & Zoning Board until March.  (1/432)


Associated Uniform Rental Service – A counter offer in the amount of $16,500 for settlement has been received from the attorney for Associated Uniform Rental Service.  Mr. Curts, the County’s attorney in Miami, has filed a response and does not recommend an offer of settlement at this time.  Mr. Curts is still reviewing the case.  (1/442)


Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems v. Cole – The County was served with a foreclosure action because of a waiver of driveway requirements that the County had recorded with regard to the property at issue.  Mr. McPherson advised that no action by the County is required in this matter.  (1/504)


City of Trenton  – A notice was received from the City of Trenton regarding the creation of a Community Redevelopment District.   Mr. McPherson discussed this process in which the City of Trenton will establish a Community Redevelopment Agency, adopt a Redevelopment Plan and create a Community Redevelopment Trust Fund.  Once these steps are completed, the taxable value of real property within the redevelopment area will be determined and any future increases in that taxable value will be placed in the Redevelopment Trust Fund.  The County will retain 5% of the increase.  This will be in effect for a period of 30 years.  Mr. McPherson advised that the County may work with the City of Trenton in some of the decision making to decide how the funds are used.   (1/520)


USDA Rural Development – Mr. McPherson has reviewed the amended Legal Services Agreement to be included in the USDA Rural Development Application for the Judicial Project.  Motion by Commissioner Durden, seconded by Commissioner Bush, to approve the amended legal services agreement with Coffey and McPherson.  The motion carried unanimously.  (1/870)


Bell Boys and Girls Athletic Association:


Ms. Tammy Sanders came before the Board to request funds for the Bell Boys and Girls Athletic Association.  The Board approved a donation in the last fiscal year but those funds were never requested. Motion by Commissioner Suggs, seconded by Commissioner Durden, to provide $3.00 per child up to $1,000 to the Bell Boys and Girls Athletic Association because funds were not received last year with the donation to be paid out of Reserve.  The motion carried unanimously.  (1/950)


Clerk’s Report:


Judicial Complex Financing – Mr. Gilliam discussed the options for the financing of the Judicial Complex.  Request for Proposals were sent to each of the local lending institutions.  A proposal was received from Capital City Bank for a 20 year loan with a fixed rate of 4.08% for the first three years and a variable rate after the third year.  Mr. Gilliam also contacted the Florida Association of Counties (FAC) regarding their loan program.  FAC’s program is strictly a variable program with the interest rates varying per month.  Currently the rate is 3.5%.  The USDA Rural Development Loan is a fixed rate of 4.5% for 20 years with a $440,000 annual pay back. 


The Board discussed the options and agreed to continue with the USDA Rural Development application.   (1/1048)


Gilchrist County Recreational Authority / Purchase Order – Mr. Gilliam presented purchase order #220903 in the amount of $33,296.71 to G.C.R.A. for reimbursement of FRDAP Expenses.  Motion by Commissioner Durden, seconded by Commissioner Suggs, to approve the reimbursement in the amount of $33,296.71.  The motion carried unanimously.  (1/1375) 


Proclamation 02-04 – A request was received from Comprehensive Community Services, Inc., Live Oak, Florida for the adoption of a proclamation declaring the month of March 2002 as Mental Retardation Awareness Month.  Motion by Commissioner Suggs, seconded by Commissioner Wilkerson, to approve the proclamation.  The motion carried unanimously. (A copy of Proclamation 02-04 is on file in the Clerk’s Office.)  (1/1420)


Resolution 02-09 – A request was received from the Washington County Board of Commissioners, Washington County, Pennsylvania for the adoption of a resolution supporting a House Joint Resolution which proposes an amendment to the Constitution of the United States restoring the freedom to pray.








Motion by Commissioner Bush, seconded by Commissioner Suggs, to approve the resolution supporting the County of Washington’s resolution and to adopt Resolution 02-09.  The motion carried unanimously.  (A copy of Resolution 02-09 is on file in the Clerk’s Office.)  (1/1465)


Revenue and Expense Report – Mr. Gilliam presented the Revenue and Expense Report for the period ending February 12, 2002.  (1/1550)


Wolfe Plumbing / Invoices – Mr. Gilliam presented invoices received from Wolfe Plumbing totaling $749.40 for plumbing repairs at the County Jail and Sheriff’s Administration Building. Motion by Commissioner Durden, seconded by Commissioner Bush, to approve payment of the invoices in the amount $749.40 to Wolfe Plumbing.  The motion carried unanimously.  (1/1569)


Disbursement Reports – Mr. Gilliam submitted the Disbursement Reports for October thru December 2001 and January 2002. 


Wild Beast Feast – Mr. Gilliam relayed a request to the Board for the use of a dumpster and picnic tables from Hart Springs for the annual Wild Beast Feast.  They will pick them up and return them.  Motion by Commissioner Durden, seconded by Commissioner Bush, to approve the request.  The motion carried unanimously.  (1/1654)


Victims of Violent Crimes Support Center Inc.:


Ms. Sally Gonzales, representative of Victims of Violent Crimes Support Center, came before the Board to request assistance with funding.  Ms. Gonzales gave an overview of the services provided by V.O.V.C.S.C.  Since October, one-third of the victims who received assistance were Gilchrist County residents.  They work in conjunction with Carla Corsey and the Gilchrist County Sheriff’s Office.  They receive support from Levy County which pays for their rent and the City of Trenton has recently donated $1,000.  Ms. Gonzales asked the Commission for assistance in the amount of $3,000.  She indicated they are also applying to the State for funding. 


Commissioner Durden commended the program but explained that the County is not able to include it in the budget at this time.  He recommended that Ms. Gonzales submit a budget request for the next year.  Commissioner Suggs suggested that the Board consider an amount less than the $3,000.  Motion by Commissioner Suggs, to budget $1,500 this year and have them submit a budget request for the next fiscal year.  Sheriff Turner discussed how the Center works hand in hand with the Center.  The motion on the floor died for lack of a second.  Chairman Thomas asked Ms. Gonzales to submit a budget request in June for the next fiscal year.  (1/1715)


Sheriff’s Office Administration Building Project:


Mr. Phil Bishop, Bailey Bishop and Lane, addressed the Board regarding the project.  Since the bids were received in December, he has met with two of the contractors, Dennis Music, Music Construction and Jimmy Worth, Worth Construction.  They went through the bids and eliminated items which they felt were not essential.  The single largest item both contractors recommended taking out of the bid was the site work.  This would take out approximately $100,000 from Music Construction’s bid and $50,000 from Worth Construction’s bid.  Mr. Bishop explained that Mr. Music’s bid was less for the site work due to the fact he has his own equipment and would not be required to rent equipment.


In addition to the site work, the contractors reduced the bids by approximately $50,000 for the building by eliminating various items.  Mr. Bishop explained that if these items were removed along with the site work, Music Construction’s bid would be approximately $575,000 and Worth Construction’s bid would be approximately $590,000.  Considering that the budgeted amount is $600,000, Mr. Bishop stated that he is concerned that this would not allow enough reserve for many modifications or unforseen expenses. 


Discussion was held regarding the equipment that would be needed and the cost to the County to have the Road Department to do this work.  Commissioner Durden expressed concern that the Road Department employees would not have the ability to do some of the site work such as the building pad and retention pond.  Mr. Bishop explained that there would be fill material available on site and after the project was completed, the remaining fill material could be stockpiled on site for the County’s use. 


Mr. McQueen asked Mr. Bishop if there has been any borings done at the building site.  Mr. Bishop replied that they have done some shallow borings and based on those, they don’t expect to run into problems with too much clay.  If they did have to excavate some of the clay, there is still enough available fill dirt on site to replace that. 


The Board discussed the budgeted cost compared to the estimated bid costs.  Mr. Bishop said that he would like to have at least 5% in reserve for unforseen costs.  Discussion was also held concerning the availability of the Road Department employees and equipment for the project for a period of five (5) weeks or more.  Commissioner Durden stated that the Board did not object to the Road Department constructing the entrance road into the site but they did not believe the department would be able to do the site work and retention pond. 


Mr. Bishop explained the increased cost of the project is due to the fact that it is an emergency building and must be constructed to withstand 150 mile per hour winds verses 100 mile per hour winds.  The Board recommended that Sheriff Turner meet with Bailey Bishop and Lane to try and change the scope of the project to reduce the total cost.


Mr. Gilliam referred to Purchase Order #222888 in the amount of $4,410 to Bailey Bishop & L ane for the completion of all design work through bidding.  Motion by Commissioner Durden, seconded by Commissioner Bush, to approve payment to Bailey Bishop & Lane in the amount of $4,410.  The motion carried unanimously.  (1/2127)

Planning and Zoning Board Issues:


Mr. McQueen advised the Board that Mr. Don Alexander has submitted a letter of resignation from his position on the Planning and Zoning Board effective June 1, 2002.  Mr. Alexander addressed the Board and explained that he has the opportunity to do some extensive traveling.  Mr. McQueen commended Mr. Alexander for the job he has done for the P&Z Board.


Motion by Commissioner Durden, seconded by Commissioner Wilkerson, to advertise for the vacancy.  The motion carried unanimously.  (1/3550)


Union Baptist Church Road:


Mr. Gilliam reviewed the availability of funds for road projects:


Transportation Fund (140), Road Dept

          Machinery & Equipment

          Contractual Services



$15,400 15,000












Transportation Impact (141)       

          FY 01/02 YTD    

          Est. Cash Carryforward



$75,760    145,968  


















          HWY 232 Project + Int




(8 yrs)















Mr. Gilliam referred to the Impact Fee Ordinance, Sec 54-40 relating to the use of funds from the road impact fees.  “(a) Funds collected from road impact fees shall be used for the purpose of capital improvements to and expansion of transportation facilities associated with the arterial and collector road network as designated by the county and under the jurisdiction of the county, any municipality within the county which has not opted out from the effect of this article, or the state.”  He explained that the Board would need to make a determination that this project falls into the category before the impact fee funds could be utilized.  Section 54-40 also states “(b) No funds shall be used for periodic or routine maintenance.”



Commissioner Durden stated that he agreed with Mr. Gilliam that impact fee funds should not be used for this road.  He commented that this road is one of the worst roads in the County and that it is a worthwhile project.  He suggested the project be paid from general revenue with payments made over a period of five (5) years.  Commissioner Wilkerson recalled that the Board at one time discussed paving all of the roads to the churches in the County when possible and he recommends that the project be approved if possible.  Motion by Commissioner Durden, seconded by Commissioner Suggs, to award the bid to the low bidder and to finance the project for a period of five (5) years with the first year to be paid out of General Reserve and and the remaining amount pledged out of Gas Tax Reserve and to authorize the Clerk to bid out for the financing. The motion carried unanimously.  (2/001)


Public Hearing / Ordinance Amendment to Road Impact Fees:


(Notice of this public hearing was published in the February 7, 2002 edition of the Gilchrist County Journal and proof of publication is on file in the Clerk’s Office.)


Chairman Thomas read the short title of Ordinance 02-02:


   ORDINANCE 02-02




Mr. McPherson stated that he was asked the question on whether or not impact fees could be used to purchase capital equipment.  The intent of the impact fee ordinance would allow the purchase of capital equipment but Ordinance 02-02 will amend Section 54-40 for clarification.  Motion by Commissioner Durden, seconded by Commissioner Bush, to approve Ordinance 02-02.  The motion carried unanimously.  (2/1499)


EMA/County Coordinator’s Report:


Regional Haz Mat Trailer Agreement – Mr. McQueen presented the agreement for possession of an initial response trailer.  Gilchrist County participates in the Regional Haz Mat Team.  Last year, the team was awarded a grant in the amount of $200,000 for the project.  The agreement is for the transfer of a hazardous materials initial response trailer to the possession of Gilchrist County emergency responders.  Motion by Commissioner Durden, seconded by Commissioner Wilkerson, to approve the Haz Mat Trailer agreement.  The motion carried unanimously.  (2/1554)


Transportation Enhancement Program – Mr. McQueen referred to a letter from the Department of Transportation regarding applications for the Transportation Enhancement Program.  Mr. McQueen stated that the money can only be used for sidewalks, paving trails, greenways and some recreational corridors.  No action is required at this time.  (2/1732)


Employee Health Fair – Mr. McQueen advised the Board that an employee Health Fair has been tentatively scheduled for September 12, 2002 from 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. at the Sheriff’s Training Room.   (2/1756)

Green Thumb Program – Mr. McQueen requested the Board’s authorization for Amos Philman to participate in the Green Thumb Program.  This program provides work for senior citizens.  The program pays the participants, and the employer provides a job description and training.  Motion by Commissioner Suggs, seconded by Commissioner Bush, to enter into an agreement with Green Thumb and authorize Amos Philman to sign it as Gilchrist County’s representative.  The motion carried unanimously.   (2/1814)


Hart Springs / Manager’s Residence – Mr. Philman has finalized a set of house plans and Lee Mills has designed the foundation.  FEMA will pay for the removal of the trailer and for the foundation under phase 2 for litigation.  Mr. McQueen requested permission to have bids put out for the construction.  Motion by Commissioner Suggs, seconded by Commissioner Wilkerson, to go out for bids on the plans for the managers cottage at Hart Springs.  The motion carried unanimously.  (2/1867)


County Rural Development Project – Commissioner Suggs reported that Mr. Jim Brantly will be leaving the Rural Development Board according to the contract.  Commissioner Suggs will attend the next meeting and they will finalize the plans select someone to serve as the Tourist Development Board Coordinator.  This position will be covered by the staffing grant.  (2/1940)


EMS / Software Program   Mr. McQueen told the Board that Linda Walker requests permission to purchase an upgrade for her software from SweetSoft.  Mr. Ferguson explained that the current software is being phased out.  The cost of the software is approximately $13,000.  Motion by Commissioner Suggs, seconded by Commissioner Bush, to allow EMS to purchase the software upgrade and to declare SweetSoft the sole source.  The motion carried unanimously.  (2/2000)


Commissioner’s Reports:


Commissioner Durden reported that the Southeast Gilchrist VFD has elected a new Board of Directors on February 3rd .   Commissioner Durden recognized Mr. Mike Burnett, the new president of that Board.  Mr. Burnett addressed the Board regarding some of the changes that have taken place since the election.  At the annual meeting, a vote was taken from the fire fighters recommendations and Ryan Ray was elected to be interim Fire Chief and Darrell Swilley was elected to continue as Assistant Fire Chief.  Commissioner Durden stated that he attended the meeting and he recommends the Board approve Ryan Ray as Fire Chief.  Motion by Commissioner Durden, seconded by Commissioner Bush, to accept the recommendation from the Southeast Gilchrist VFD to appoint Ryan Wray as Fire Chief and Darrell Swilley as Assistant Fire Chief.  The motion carried unanimously.  (2/2123)


Regarding the Fire Departments, Mr. Gilliam told the Board that the First Methodist Church in Trenton will be holding an Spaghetti Dinner on March 15th.  The dinner is held annually as a fund raiser for the Volunteer Fire Departments.  (2/2380)


Commissioner Durden told the Board that he was contacted by Amos Philman concerning a request from the Senior Citizens who meet at Cruise Precinct.  They wish to make the shelter behind the precinct into a shuffle board court.  Motion by Commissioner Durden, seconded by Commissioner Bush, to allow the Senior Citizens to use the shed at the Cruise Precinct for a shuffle board court.  The motion carried unanimously.  (2/2522)


Commissioner Bush reported that he located a few rock crushers and once he has looked at them he will bring back a recommendation.  Mr. Gilliam asked Commissioner Bush if there is an adequate amount of rock at the pit for the projects that are planned.  He replied that there will be enough.  Chairman Thomas stated that Mr. Townsend called him and asked that more rock be excavated out of the water.  Commissioner Bush said that he will look into it.  (2/2615)


Commissioner Suggs reported that during her trip to Tallahassee last week, the subcommittee in the Senate voted to restore 100% funding to the Solid Waste Fund.  She commended the work carried out by Chris Doolin with the Small County Coalition for the work he has done on this issue.  She recommended that letters be sent to the Senate and House members thanking them for their efforts.  (2/2763)


Commissioner Suggs received a request from Mrs. Wilma Mattucci for permission to develop a letter to be sent to the library patrons for over due books.  Mrs. Mattucci recommended that the letter be signed by the County Attorney.  Chairman Thomas will take this request to the next Three Rivers Regional Library Board meeting.  (2/3050)


Considering the courtroom will not be available on the morning of March 4th, Chairman Thomas asked the Commission to decide on the location and time for the meeting scheduled that date.  Motion by Commissioner Durden seconded by Commissioner Bush, to schedule the meeting on March 4th at 1:00 p.m. in the courtroom.  The motion carried unanimously.  (2/3124)


Old Business:



New Business:


Mr. Gilliam advised the Board that Harold Mikell and Bobby Pickles, District Representative, came by his office and requested wish list items to be submitted for possible funding.  They suggested that funds may become available for health departments, community development and emergency vehicle funding.  The Board agreed to submit those items along with funding for a correctional facility.  (2/3153)


Mr. Gilliam presented a request for the American Legion, Jamerson Sheffield Post 91.  They are near completion of their new American Legion Hall and have requested a waiver of the paving requirements for the handicapped portion of the parking lot.  Mr. Gilliam will be taking this request before the Competency and request support from the County Commission.   Motion by Commissioner Durden, seconded by Commissioner Suggs, to support the waiving of the requirement to pave the handicapped parking spaces.  The motion carried unanimously. 




Public Participation:


Mr. Arnold Douglas, 3760 NE 80th Avenue appeared before the Board to request speed limit signs be placed on NE 80th Avenue between NE 40th and NE 30th Street.  Commissioner Bush will check on the road and determine if it is residential and if so, he will have the road posted. 


There being no further business to discuss, Commissioner Suggs moved to adjourn at 8:30 p.m.  The motion was seconded by Commissioner





                                                                                                                                                 John Rance Thomas, Chairman





Joseph W. Gilliam, Clerk