The Gilchrist County Board of County Commissioners, in and for Gilchrist County Florida, convened in a regular meeting on Monday, April 1, 2002 at 1:00 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 John 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, David Coffey, County Attorney, Sam Ferguson, Director of Finance, Karen Heaton, Deputy Clerk, Ron McQueen, EMA/County Coordinator, Delight Curtis, Sandra Curtis, Jan Litzinger, Lois Scott, Jim Suit, Murf Everret, Bill Brideson, John Ayers, Sheriff David Turner, Nathan Martin, Dan Taylor, Mark Gluckman, Julie Corbin, Linda Walker, Lois Fletcher, Amos Philman, Verna Mae Eady, John Marsh, Charissa Strickland, Jacki Johnson, Steve Kattell.


Call to Order:


Chairman Thomas called the meeting to order at 1:15.  Chairman Thomas delivered the Invocation and Commissioner Bush led the Pledge of Allegiance.


Agenda Changes:


Additions:              1)  Request from Sheriff Turner to replace battery at Radio Tower site.                              (Clerk’s Report)

2)   John Marsh, Suwannee Valley Flying RC Club (4:00 p.m.)

3)   Invoice from Mr. Kurtz $4,433.09 for attorney services (Consent Agenda)


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



Consent Agenda:


1)                 Budget Entries #BE2-122 thru #BE2-129

2)                 EMS Write-Offs as submitted

3)                 Minutes / Regular Meeting, March 18, 2002

4)                 Bills

5)                 Invoice from Mr. Kurtz, Attorney in Miami ($4,433.09)

Motion by Commissioner Suggs, seconded by Commissioner Bush, to approve the consent agenda.  The motion carried unanimously. 


Attorney’s Report:


Animal Control – Mr. McPherson advised he has reviewed the draft ordinance relating to animal control and found revisions are needed to be consistent with the State Statutes.  Mr. McPherson will make the necessary changes for the Board’s consideration.  Motion by Commissioner Durden, seconded by Commissioner Bush, to place the proposed animal control ordinance on the May 6, 2002 agenda.  The motion carried unanimously.  (1/140)


Comprehensive Plan, EAR Amendments – The Regional Planning Council continues to work on the draft EAR-based comprehensive plan amendments.  (1/180)


Associated Uniform Rental Service – At the meeting on March 18th, the Commission authorized a settlement up to $10,000.  Associated Uniform rejected the settlement and made a counter offer of $10,500.  Considering the cost of the attorney’s services and the court costs should the case go forward, Mr. McPherson recommended accepting the counter offer.  He prepared a resolution stating the reasons for the Board’s decision to pay the settlement.  Motion by Commissioner Durden, seconded by Commissioner Bush, to authorize a settlement of $10,500 and to approve Resolution 02-12.  Chairman Thomas read the resolution aloud.  The motion carried unanimously.  (A copy of Resolution 02-12 is on file in the Clerk’s Office.)  (1/214)






Ginnie Springs v. Gilchrist County – Case No. 99-181: Ginnie Springs has taken no action since the court denied the Motion to Enforce the Settlement Agreement.  There is no action required by the County at this time.   Case No. 97-213 and 97-258: The court entered the final dismissal of these two cases pursuant to the Motion for Voluntary Dismissal filed by Ginnie Springs.  (1/384)


(Commissioner Wilkerson arrived at 1:25 p.m.)


Springhouse Quilters Guild / Lois Scott:


Mrs. Lois Scott and Jan Litzinger appeared before the Board representing the Springhouse Quilters Guild.  Mrs. Scott explained that the City of Fanning Springs has donated a double wide mobile home to the Springhouse Quilters Guild to be used as a temporary building for their club.  Mrs. Scott  requested the Commission to waive the permit fees except for the 911 sign fee.   Mr. McQueen stated that the mobile home will be a replacement with no impact fee required.  Motion by Commissioner Bush, seconded by Commissioner Wilkerson, to waive the building permit fees except the 911 fees.  The motion carried unanimously.  (1/397)


Constitutional Officers / Sheriff Turner:


Justice Benefits, Inc.   Sheriff Turner addressed the Board regarding a contract with Justice Benefits, Inc.  At this time, Gilchrist County only qualifies for the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Administration (SSA) payments.  He explained when JBI determines what amounts are to be funded, they will send a check to him for the lump sum.  He will in turn write a check to JBI for 22% of the total and remit the balance to the County.  Mr. McPherson advised the contract is with the County and should be ratified by the Commission.  The Commission should also ratify each individual initiative as they are received.  Motion by Commissioner Suggs, seconded by Commissioner Durden, to ratify the contract between Gilchrist County and Justice Benefits, Inc. dated February 14, 2002 and to ratify the SSI and SSA initiatives.  The motion carried unanimously.  (1/685)


Prom Promise – Sheriff Turner submitted a request to requisition $1,000 from the State Law Enforcement Trust Fund to be used for the Prom Promise campaign at Bell High School and Trenton High School.  Motion by Commissioner Durden, seconded by Commissioner Bush, to approve the expenditure of $1,000 from the Law Enforcement Trust Fund for Prom Promise.  The motion carried unanimously.  (1/974)


X-Ray Machine – Sheriff Turner was contacted regarding the availability of an X-ray machine from the Lee County Port Authority.  They have offered to give the equipment to Gilchrist County at no charge.  He stated that he will arrange to have the equipment picked up.  (1/992)


Request for Gain-time Ordinance – Sheriff Turner asked the Board to consider adopting an ordinance for gain-time which would allow County inmates to earn an extra good-time allowance for meritorious conduct or exceptional industry not to exceed 5 days per month.  He discussed the need for the proposed ordinance due to the increase in jail population, particularly female inmates. 

It would allow inmates in this program to work as trustees within the facility.  Such a program will also help save money for inmate care.  Sheriff Turner provided a copy of Section 951.21 F.S. concerning this subject.   The Board discussed the use of inmates as trustees within the facility and with the County.  Commissioner Durden stated that if they were used, they should not be used for jobs other than with the County.   Motion by Commissioner Durden, seconded by Commissioner Bush, to direct the County Attorney to prepare an ordinance pursuant to F.S. 951.21 regarding Gain-time for good conduct for County prisoners and to add the language that work is only done for the County.  The motion carried with Commissioner Suggs voting “no”.  (1/1075)


Victims Advocates – Sheriff Turner invited the Commission to the Candle Light Vigil for National Victim’s Rights Week.  The event will be held on April 25th on the Courthouse lawn.  (1/1487)


Budget Request – Mr. Gilliam referred to a budget request submitted by Sheriff Turner as follows:


1)                 Reimbursement in the amount of $238.67 for A/C unit purchased for Communications Building at the Bell Tower.

2)                 Purchase Order in the amount of $269.00 to Mobile Telephone Service for the installation of the A/C unit in the Communications Building.

3)                 Purchase Order in the amount of $107.95 for replacement of the generator backup battery at the Communications Building.


Motion by Commissioner Durden, seconded by Commissioner Wilkerson, to approve the purchase orders.  The motion carried unanimously.  (1/1510)


Road Department:


Mr. Nathan Martin reported the Road Department will begin cleaning up the Tri-County Fairgrounds this week.  He also reported that he and Commissioner Bush are still looking for a crusher.  (1/1732)


Building Department:


Ms. Charissa Strickland presented the Building Department Report for March 2002.  (1/2227)


Mobile Homes                                    22 Total / 14 Replacements

2 Impacts @ $369.88= $739.76

6 Impacts @ $1,441.31= $8,647.86

(Capital = $2,959.04 / Transp.= $6,428.58)


New Construction                        8 Total / 2 Replacements

2 Impacts @ $369.88= $739.76

4 Impacts @ $1,441.31= $5,765.24

(Capital= $2,219.28 / Transp.= $4,285.72)


Remodeling/Additions                        2

Barns                                        9 / 1 Impact Fee= $1,902.43

(Capital= $86.43 / Transp.= $4,285.72)

Sheds                                        1

Roofing                         4

Pools                                        0

House Move-on                        2 (1 Impact Fee @ $1,441.31

(Capital= $369.88 / Transp.= $1,071.43)

Garages                         1

Miscellaneous                                    7



Clerk’s Report:


Dates for USDA Check Presentation – Mr. Gilliam advised USDA will not be able to make the check presentation as scheduled for the April 15th meeting.  They will advise him of a future date.  (1/2333)


Proposed Resolution 02-11 – Mr. Gilliam presented a resolution in support of the redesign of the mental health services, community forensic services and the indigent psychiatric drug programs in Florida.  He explained the State has reduced much of the funding for mental health services.  Mr. Gilliam discussed the fact that mental health services impact local governments when persons in need of these services are arrested and need to be treated.   Motion by Commissioner Durden, seconded by Commissioner Suggs, to approve Resolution 02-11.  Chairman Thomas read the short title.  The motion carried unanimously.  (A copy of Resolution 02-11 is on file in the Clerk’s Office.)   (1/2417)






Proclamation 02-05 – A request was received from the Florida Bar for the adoption of a proclamation proclaiming May as Civility Month.  Motion by Commissioner Suggs, seconded by Commissioner Durden, to approve Proclamation 02-05 declaring the month of May Civility Month.  The motion carried unanimously.  (A copy of Resolution 02-11 is on file in the Clerk’s Office.) (1/2552)


Lands Available for Taxes   Mr. Gilliam submitted a list of lands available for taxes following the tax deed sale on March 19, 2002.  After 90 days, these lands will go on a list of lands available for taxes.  Most of the properties are non-buildable lots along the river.  (1/2596)


Telephonic Hearings – Mr. Gilliam explained the need for an additional phone line for telephonic hearings for Dependency Court.  Currently, when a telephonic hearing is requested, a line is used from the Judges’ Office and a speaker phone is moved into the courtroom.  When a telephonic hearings are held, it ties up one of only three lines to the Judges’ Office most of the day.  Mr. Gilliam received a request from the Director of the Hearing Officer Programs requesting a phone line for the telephonic hearings and a speaker phone.  Motion by Commissioner Durden, seconded by Commissioner Wilkerson, to install a phone line and purchase a speaker phone for the courtroom.  The motion carried unanimously.  (1/2649)


Request from the U.S. DOT – A request was received from the U.S. Department of Transportation regarding the addition of a new asphalt runway at Rudy’s Airport.  They are requesting review and concurrence with the proposal.  The Board directed Mr. McQueen to respond to the request.  (1/2885)


Budget Recap – Mr. Gilliam presented a budget recap for the period ending March 27, 2002.



Gilchrist County Historical Society:


Mr. Dan Taylor, Mr. Murph Everett and Mr. Bill Brideson appeared before the Board representing the Gilchrist County Historical Society.  Mr. Taylor presented a plan for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.  The target date is May 27, 2002.  The approximate cost will be $5,500 for the monument and $500 for a luncheon for the veterans on that date.  They propose to place the monument on the West side of the Korean Memorial.  Motion by Commissioner Suggs, seconded by Commissioner Wilkerson, to allow the placement of the Vietnam Memorial on the West side of the Korean Memorial and that the County prepare the slab base for the memorial.  The motion carried unanimously. 


Commissioner Suggs, a member of the Historical Society, requested the Board to consider a donation for the memorial in the amount of $3,000.  Motion by Commissioner Suggs, seconded by Commissioner Wilkerson, to donate $3,000 for the memorial to be paid out of General Revenue Reserve.  Commissioner Suggs clarified that this amount is in addition to the $1,500 budgeted for the Historical Society.  The motion carried unanimously.  (1/3210)


EMA/County Coordinator’s Report:


Interlocal Agreement, Fanning Springs– Mr. McQueen presented an interlocal agreement with the City of Fanning Springs for inspection services.  He stated that Mr. McPherson will also prepare an interlocal agreement with the City of Trenton and the Town of Bell.   Motion by Commissioner Durden, seconded by Commissioner Suggs, to approve the interlocal agreement between Gilchrist County and the City of Fanning Springs for building plans and inspection services.  Mr. McQueen pointed out the term of the contract will be changed to April 1st instead of March 1st.  The motion carried unanimously.  (2/015)


Small County Road Assistance Program– Mr. McQueen referred to a letter from DOT regarding the Small County Road Assistance Program.  Currently resurfacing is planed for CR 138 and CR 337 in the FY 2003.  They are requesting two (2) additional projects be submitted by May 1st.  The Board will consider recommendations at the meeting scheduled April 15th.  (2/126)


Vacation of an Easement – Mr. McQueen presented a copy of a Release of Public Utilities Easement for property in Norfleet Pines.  He explained the property owner bought two (2) lots and built his home in the middle. He is vacating the easement that runs between the two (2) lots.  Motion by Commissioner Durden, seconded by Commissioner Wilkerson, to approve the vacation of the easement on the South ten (10) feet of Lot 20 and the North ten (10) feet of Lot 21 as per plat of  Norfleet Pines recorded at Plat Book 2, Pages 93 and 94, Public Records of Gilchrist County, Florida.  The motion carried unanimously.  (2/244)


Road Department, Environmental Cleanup – Mr. McQueen referred to a letter from the Department of Transportation granting Advanced Environmental Technologies, LLC. a preapproval work order for the well abandonment at the road department.  (2/330)


Southeast Gilchrist VFD, Septic Tank – Mr. McQueen presented a purchase order in the amount of $2,500 to Smith Septic Service for a septic tank at the Southeast Gilchrist VFD building.  Motion by Commissioner Durden, seconded by Commissioner Bush, to approve the placement of the septic tank at the Southeast Gilchrist VFD building for a cost of $2,500.  The motion carried unanimously.  (2/353)



Safety Training – Mr. McQueen referred to a summary of Statistics of workers comp claims for County employees.  Back injuries account for 24.25% of the claims with 77.75% paid out.  Mr. McQueen requested authorization to schedule safety training classes relating to the prevention of back injuries and suggested the class be mandatory for all employees.  The program offers three (3) sessions for a total cost of $600.  Motion by Commissioner Bush, seconded by Commissioner Wilkerson, to hold the three (3) training sessions with the cost paid out of Reserve and to make it mandatory for all employees.  (2/400)


Hart Springs Projects   Mr. McQueen reported that bids were put out for the construction of the managers cottage and for subcontractors for the Hart Springs project.  There were no bids received for the managers cottage. A bid was submitted by Wolfe Plumbing in the amount of $10,500 for the plumbing and the fixtures for the bathhouse.  Mr. McQueen recommended that the Board accept this bid.  A second bid was received from Jimmy Jerrels Paving, Inc. in the amount of $91,800 for the construction of the road.  Due to funding, Mr. McQueen explained that this portion of the project will need to be revised, therefore, he did not recommend the Board accept the bid at this time. 


Mr. McQueen requested the Board waive the bid requirements on these time sensitive items that have already been bid out and to proceed forward.  Motion by Commissioner Durden, seconded by Commissioner Suggs, to waive the bid requirements on the items that have been bid out that are time sensitive for the Hart Springs projects and the Hazard Mitigation projects.  The motion carried unanimously.


Motion by Commissioner Durden, seconded by Commissioner Wilkerson, to award the bid to Wolfe Plumbing in the amount of $10,500 for plumbing, fixtures and labor for the bathhouse at the campground.  The motion carried unanimously.


Mr. McQueen stated that he had met with a representative from Suwannee River Water Management for a site visit of the springs.  Mr. Scarborough had intended to provide $125,000 for the spring restoration but after further inspection decided to utilize these funds for bank stabilization instead.  This will include additional seawall materials and biding out for the removal of fill material.  It was also decided to apply the Coastal Improvement Grant funds ($42,500) to the FRDAP project.  (2/514)


Davis, Monk & Company / FY 2000/2001:


Mr. Steve Kattell, with Davis, Monk & Company, presented and reviewed the FY 2000/2001 audit report.  There were three (3) findings in the report and a response to the findings from Mr. Ferguson, Finance Director. 


Mr. Gilliam commented on the first finding; (01-1) “Record keeping for General Fixed Assets is not currently adequate to provide listings that can be reconciled to control accounts.”  He explained in the past, a lot of the buildings and fixed assets were not picked up.  Since the audit of September 30th, many of these have been identified and this finding should not recur in the next audit. 


Mr. Gilliam also discussed the second finding (01-2) relating to the limited number of available personnel and the segregation of certain incompatible duties.  He explained the measures that will be taken to help eliminate this problem. 


Mr. Gilliam explained that the third finding (01-3) “The budget of the State Attorney/Public Defender Fund was over extended.”  This was due to a last minute expenditure made at the end of the year.  Motion by Commissioner Suggs, seconded by Commissioner Durden, to accept the audit and the responses.  The motion carried unanimously. 


Mr. Gilliam thanked Mr. Kattell and his staff for their work and Mrs. Jacki Johnson and Mr. Sam Ferguson for their assistance.  (2/764)


Tri-County Tourism Task Force:


Mr. Mark Gluckman, member of the Tri-County Tourism Development Board, addressed the Board concerning progress of the Tri-County Tourism Task Force.  He recognized Mrs. Verna Mae Eady, Mrs. Lois Fletcher and Mr. Amos Philman, members of the Tri-County Tourism Development Board and introduced their new Marketing Director, Julie Corbin. 


Mr. Gluckman stated the Development Board will make periodic reports to the Commission on their accomplishments and how they are proceeding toward achieving their goals.  He reported to date, they have brought in approximately $158,250 broken down into studies, collateral, equipment and materials.  The main goal of the Development Board is to protect the natural resources of the Tri-County area and to sustain the rural quality of life.


Mr. Gluckman also mentioned that the Suwannee River Wilderness Trail has been included in the Governor’s budget for one (1) million dollars annually for the next five (5) years.  This project will begin at White Springs.  Suwannee River Water Management will match this grant and construct cabins at Woods Landing and Suwannee Springs.  The Tourist Development Board anticipates the tri-county area will be a part of this project. 



Mr. John Marsh, Suwannee Valley R.C. Flying Club:


Mr. John Marsh, Suwannee Valley R.C. Flying Club, addressed the Board concerning a shelter they have located at the landfill.  He wanted to affirm that when they placed the shelter at the landfill, they did not damage the membrane over the cell. 


Mr. McQueen told Mr. Marsh that the concerns were brought to him from the County’s Engineer who monitors the site.  Mr. Mills had informed him that post are not permitted over a cell.  Ms. Avery has agreed to let the Flying Club move the shelter to another area.  Chairman Thomas recommended that they go out and flag the area they wish to locate the shelter and then have Mr. Mills approve it.  (2/1980)




Commissioners Reports:


Commissioner Bush reported he met with Mr. Justin Watson, Levy County Road Department, regarding the Shady Grove Road.  He received a quote from Central Materials in the amount of $33.00 per ton for 532.64 tons of asphalt.  Commissioner Bush will finalize all cost of materials and equipment and report back at the April 15, 2002 meeting.  (2/2244)


Commissioner Suggs reported that she met with Ron McQueen and Linda Walker this morning.  Ms. Walker informed her there is a problem with Paramedics leaving employment in order to work with other counties.  Sheriff Turner stated that he is experiencing the same thing with deputies and recommended the Board form a committee to review the issue and bring back a recommendation.

After discussion, Chairman Thomas appointed Linda Walker, Ron McQueen, Commissioner Suggs, Joe Gilliam, Delight Curtis and someone from the Sheriff’s Office to serve on the committee and bring back a recommendation.  (2/2728)


Commissioner Wilkerson told the Board the Solid Waste Department is preparing for Amnesty Days and the Toxic Roundup.   (3/020)


Commissioner Thomas stated that he had received a request from Mr. Amos Philman regarding the shed at the Cruise Precinct.  The Board recently approved a request from the Senior Citizens to convert the shed into a shuffle board court.  It was found that the shed will not be adequate for the court.  They would like to put a shuffle board court adjacent to the shed.  Mr. Philman requested the County provide the concrete and they will do the work.  Chairman Thomas estimated the concrete will cost approximately $240.  Motion by Commissioner Durden, seconded by Commissioner Bush, that the Commissioners make a donation of $50 each to purchase the concrete if the concrete is not donated.  The motion carried unanimously.  (3/060)


Commissioner Durden discussed the interlocal agreement with the City of Trenton for animal control.  He explained the conditions in the proposed agreement were not the same conditions which were agreed to in the Animal Control Committee meetings.  Originally, the City of Trenton had offered to donate their animal control equipment to the County and build the pens for a cost up to $50,000.  The proposed agreement specifies that they will lend the equipment to the County and that they will pay $5,000 toward the construction of the pens with the design and construction at the City’s sole discretion.  Commissioner Durden recommended the County proceed with the animal control program with the Town of Bell and use the $37,500 budgeted for animal control for the construction of the pens.  He suggested that the animal control officer not be hired until next fiscal year and that he bring back plans for the pens for the Boards approval.  The Board agreed with Commissioner Durden’s recommendation.






Public Participation:


Mrs. Delight Curtis asked the Commission when 70th Avenue will be paved.  Mr. McQueen explained that there are some engineering issues that need to be resolved.  Mr. Lee Mills has surveyed the road and is currently working on a recommendation for the Board. 




There being no further business to discuss, Commissioner Wilkerson moved to adjourn at 5:00 p.m.  The motion was seconded by Commissioner Durden and carried. 







                                                                                                                                                             John Rance Thomas, Chairman





Joseph W. Gilliam, Clerk