MINUTES OF A REGULAR MEETING OF THE GILCHRIST COUNTY BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS HELD JANUARY 21, 2003.
The Gilchrist County Board of County Commissioners, in and for Gilchrist County Florida, convened in a regular meeting on Tuesday, January 21, 2003 at 5:00 p.m. in the Board of County Commissioners Meeting Room located at 210 South Main Street, Trenton, Florida, with the following members present to-wit:
Commissioner Randy Durden, Chair
Commissioner Wilbur Bush
Commissioner Mitchell Gentry
Commissioner Tommy Langford
(Absent: Commissioner Sue B. Suggs)
Others in attendance were: Joseph W. Gilliam, Clerk of Court, John McPherson, County Attorney, Karen Heaton, Deputy Clerk, Sam Ferguson, Director of Finance, Ron McQueen, EMA/County Coordinator, Ben Chumley, County Planner, Sable Boling, Don Alexander, Theresa Gentry, Bud Riffle, Mike Burnett, Cloud Haley, Jonathan Kincaid, Sheriff Turner, Bill Wednt, William Decker.
Call to Order:
Chairman Durden called the meeting to order at 5:00 p.m. Commissioner Bush delivered the Invocation and Commissioner Langford led the Pledge of Allegiance.
Additions to the Consent Agenda:
(1) Approval of Purchase Orders
a. P.O. #300740, Jenkins Painting Inc. ($1,805)
b. P.O. #300741, Mills Engineering ($5,017.75)
c. P.O. #300472, Mills Engineering ($21,310.19)
d. P.O. #333743, Fason Electric ($1,094)
e. P.O. #300714, Akins Heating and Air ($2,500)
Additions to the Agenda:
(1) Sable Boling, Gilchrist County Health Department
(2) Disbursements to the Board (Clerk’s Report)
(3) SHIP Monitoring (Clerk’s Report)
(4) Donation from Representative Dwight Stansel to County fire departments. (Clerk’s Report)
(5) Recommendation for temporary closure of NE 62nd Place (Commissioner Langford)
Motion by Commissioner Bush, seconded by Commissioner Langford, to approve the agenda with the changes noted. The motion carried unanimously.
1. Approval of Minutes: Regular Meeting, October 3, 2003
Motion by Commissioner Bush, seconded by Commissioner Gentry, to accept the consent agenda with the additions mentioned. The motion carried unanimously.
Suwannee Valley Leagues:
Mr. Ferguson provided a copy of a purchase order to Green Cut AG in the amount of $1,925 and a purchase order to Alan Southland in the amount of 5,200 for the FRDAP / McArthur Park project. He explained that other invoices were turned in but the project closed out in August and there were not sufficient funds from the grant to cover the rest.
Mr. Cloud Haley explained the reason they had gone over budget was due to a misunderstanding regarding in-kind services. He asked for the Board’s approval to pay Green Cut Ag and Alan Southland. Motion by Commissioner Langford, seconded by Commissioner Gentry, to approve payment of the invoice from Green Cut Ag in the amount of $1,925 and the invoice from Alan Southland in the amount of $5,200 from the FRDAP grant. The motion carried unanimously.
New River Landfill:
Chairman Durden referred to a letter from the City of Trenton requesting the Board to consider entering into a contract with New River Landfill for solid waste disposal at a rate of $33.11/ton. Mr. McQueen advised that the County is currently in the second year of a 10-year contract with Alachua County for solid waste disposal. New River is willing to negotiate a contract but has asked us to speak with the Alachua County Board of County Commissioners before taking it before their Board of Directors. If an agreement between Gilchrist County and New River can be reached, the City requests the tipping fees for Wesley Sanitation (for Trenton’s garbage) be reduced. This will allow the City to return to recouping a percentage of the gross from Wesley Sanitation for the City’s billing services. Chairman Durden suggested the tipping fees for Wesley Sanitation be reverted to the previous rate of $55/ton if an agreement is reached with New River.
Mr. McQueen mentioned the distance to the New River Landfill is an additional 6-miles one way. Mr. Gilliam pointed out that in November 397.5 tons of garbage was hauled to Alachua County. Based on this amount, there would be a 16% increase in milage but a 23% reduction in cost. Chairman Durden recommended staff first contact Alachua County about cancelling the current contract before proceeding. Motion by Commissioner Langford, seconded by Commissioner Gentry, to pursue the project and to contact New River Landfill and Alachua County to proceed. The motion carried unanimously. (1/550)
Gilchrist County Health Department:
Ms. Sable Boling addressed the Board concerning a grant application with the Florida Department of Health in the amount of $119,000. She explained a match in the amount of $25,000 must be submitted with the grant application. Ms. Boling advised there is $21,450 remaining in the Departments budget for this fiscal year which could be used toward the match. She asked the Board to consider a contribution of $3,550 for the balance. Ms. Boling also advised a letter of support would be needed from the County Commission.
Mr. Gilliam concurred with Ms. Boling’s recommendation and suggested the $3,550 be paid out of Reserve. Motion by Commissioner Bush, seconded by Commissioner Gentry, to proceed with the grant application. Commissioner Langford asked Ms. Boling who would receive the benefits from the grant. Ms. Boling replied that this grant would fund primary services for anyone. She pointed out that those with the lowest income already receive assistance but this grant will assist those who are not eligible for the other programs and cannot afford insurance. Advertisements will be placed in the newspaper to notify citizens of the availability of the program. The motion on the floor carried unanimously. (1/850)
Ms. Boling also requested a letter of support for a grant application for Levy County for the “Closing the Gap” grant. She explained that this program also serves citizens of Gilchrist County who have hypertension and diabetes. Motion by Commissioner Gentry, seconded by Commissioner Langford, to send a letter of support for the grant application. The motion carried unanimously. (1/1120)
Comprehensive Plan; EAR Amendments – Mr. McPherson stated the Board has begun with the EAR Amendments and it is going well. (1/1155)
Mac Johnson Code Enforcement Issue – Mr. McPherson advised he will proceed with foreclosure actions once the waiting period expires. (1/1165)
Ginnie Springs v. Gilchrist County – Mr. McPherson stated the discovery request from Ginnie Springs is pending. He intends to make a proposal in the EAR process for amendments that may help resolve the litigation. (1/1170)
Poitevint v. Gilchrist County – Mr. McPherson reported that Mr. Poitevint has filed an amended complaint to which he filed a motion to dismiss. The Kortessis’ also filed a motion to dismiss. (1/1184)
Brooks and Strickland v. Aderholts and Gilchrist County – Mr. McPherson advised mediation has been scheduled for January 30. (1/1191)
Bond Validation – Mr. McPherson reported the complaint has been filed and Judge Cates has issued an order to show cause. A hearing has been scheduled for February 18, 2003 at 3:45 p.m. (1/1241)
Discharge of Firearms – In response to a recent request, Mr. McPherson provided a memorandum regarding the discharge of firearms in subdivisions. He stated there is no specific statute or ordinance prohibiting the discharge of firearms in residential areas. (1/1257)
Review Bids for Fencing for Solid Waste Drop-off Site:
As directed by the Board at the January 6th meeting, Ms. Diane Avery obtained the specifications for the bids received from the Crawford Fence Company and the Hercules Fence Company for fencing of the Solid Waste drop-off site. Chairman Durden pointed out that the materials proposed by Crawford Fence Company were of a better quality.
The bid amounts were $9,990 from Hercules Fence Company and $9,894 for Crawford Fence Co. Motion by Commissioner Gentry, seconded by Commissioner Bush, to award the contract to Crawford Fence Company. The motion carried unanimously. (1/1327)
William Decker / Zoning Request:
Mr. William Decker, 4030 NE CR 340, High Springs, appeared before the Board concerning an issue with the zoning and commercial use of the property now owned by his son. Mr. Decker explained that when he and his wife purchased the property in 1993, it was zoned commercial. He stated he recently found out this property is zoned Agricultural.
Mr. Decker told the Board, he now has the opportunity to lease a room in the building to be used as dive shop but was informed that this may be a nonconforming use of the property. The question arose as to whether or not a slab could be put down to accommodate the compressors. Would it be considered an expansion? Mr. Decker stated that there is an existing slab behind the building but it may not be large enough if the business is successful.
Discussion was held concerning rezoning of the property to Neighborhood Commercial. Mr. Chumley advised if the property were rezoned the dive shop may not be a permitted use. After further discussion, Mr. McPherson advised the Board that since the existing use was grandfathered in as general retail, the dive shop would be permitted. He also advised that pouring a concrete slab would not be expanding or altering the existing structure and would be allowed. However, there would not be a way to expand the business at a future date other than amending the language in the comprehensive plan. (1/1327)
The meeting recessed at 6:15 p.m.
The meeting reconvened at 6:36 p.m.
Spring Ridge VFD:
Mr. Don Alexander submitted a purchase order request in the amount of $3,600 to Smith Well Drilling for a new well at the fire station. Motion by Commissioner Langford, seconded by Commissioner Gentry, to approve the expenditure in the amount of $3,600. The motion carried unanimously. (1/2067)
Chairman Durden recognized Mr. Jonathan Kincaid who was present to discuss an offer for the sale of his property adjacent to the Sheriff’s Office.
Mr. McQueen recalled, at the last meeting, he had discussed the possibility of purchasing the property for an EOC and for Dispatch. Mr. Kincaid submitted the following amounts for the Board’s consideration:
(1) 2 Acres (200' road frontage), $17,000/acre, total price $34,000. Seller will pay $1,000 toward closing costs.
(2) 3 Acres (220' road frontage), $15,000/acre, total price $45,000. Seller will pay $1,250 toward closing costs.
(3) 5.40 Acres (430' road frontage), $12,000/acre, total price $64,800. Seller will pay $1,500 toward closing costs.
(4) 5 Acres (439' road frontage), $10,000/acre, total price $50,000. Seller will pay $800 toward closing costs.
Mr. McQueen recommended purchasing the 5 acres stating it would give the County additional road frontage on HWY 129 and provide options for parking. He explained acquisition of this property would also allow the County to expand the 911 Dispatch Center and enable him to write a grant for an EOC. Mr. Gilliam and Chairman Durden concurred that the purchase of the 5 acres would be a good decision.
Sheriff Turner asked for the Board’s direction regarding the property at Walker Curve. Discussion was held concerning the purchase and the possibility of relocating the Road Department to the Walker Curve property. Sheriff Turner stated that if the County purchased the 5-acres it would resolve some issues he has with the current impound, parking and an evidence vault. He suggested the Walker Curve property be transferred to the County for the Road Department. After discussion, Sheriff Turner indicated that would agree to purchase the Kincaid property if the Board would use the $50,000 to relocate the Road Department to Walker Curve. Chairman Durden recommended the Board allow him to meet with Sheriff Turner, Mr. Gilliam and Mr. McQueen to bring back a recommendation concerning plans to relocate the Road Department. Mr. Gilliam suggested the Board enter into a purchase contract with Mr. Kincaid. Motion by Commissioner Bush, seconded by Commissioner Langford, to enter into a 30-day contract for the purchase of the property subject to the Board’s approval of the relocation of the Road Department. The motion carried unanimously. (1/2175)
Jail Inspection – Mr. Gilliam referred to a memorandum from the Sheriff regarding the 2002 Jail Inspection. Sheriff Turner pointed out there were two (2) referrals with one being a serious violation. He explained this violation, concerning the venting, was addressed in the last jail inspection. The Board had authorized the work be completed but the vendor did not follow through with it. Sheriff Turner asked the Board to authorize the work in this budget year. Motion by Commissioner Gentry, seconded by Commissioner Bush, to authorize the Sheriff to have the venting problem at the jail corrected. The motion carried unanimously. (2/001)
Sheriff’s Monthly Report – Sheriff Turner reviewed a monthly report he had submitted to the Board. He mentioned he has accepted to detain a local individual, charged in Nassau County, for a fee of $50 per day.
Sheriff Turner asked Chairman Durden to call another 911 Committee meeting to review the bids for equipment and to discuss phase one compliance. Chairman Durden scheduled the meeting for February 11, 2003 at 3:00 p.m.
Sheriff Turner presented a set of plans for the modular building he has purchased for Investigations. He advised the building should be completed within 60 days.
Sheriff Turner also presented information concerning the “Pictometry Information System” he has purchased for the Sheriff’s Office. He explained he has obtained licenses to allow all County agencies to utilize the program. Sheriff Turner discussed the program which provides 3-D section maps of the County. He explained this program will be helpful to the Property Appraiser’s Office and Emergency Management as well as the law enforcement agencies.
Sheriff’s Request / EMS Write-offs – Mr. Gilliam referred to a request from Sheriff Turner to write-off two (2) EMS invoices; #M2-15663464 in the amount of $475 and #M2-15817930 in the amount of $410. Motion by Commissioner Gentry, seconded by Commissioner Bush, to write-off the invoices in the amounts of $475 and $410. The motion carried unanimously. (2/626)
Insurance Claim – Mr. Gilliam referred to a letter from the State Farm Insurance Company regarding a claim dated September 30, 2002. Mr. Gilliam explained the incident occurred when an inmate at the jail was mowing the grass at the jail and ran into a parked automobile. Mr. Gilliam recommended payment of the claim. Motion by Commissioner Bush, seconded by Commissioner Langford, to pay the claim in the amount of $455.48 to the State Farm Insurance Company. The motion carried unanimously. (2/730)
Approval of SHIP Loans – Mr. Gilliam presented the following SHIP Loans recommended by the SHIP Loan Review Committee for approval.
1) Step Kearney, Rehab, Low Income category ($17,500), the SHIP Loan Review Committee recommended approval of $15,369.20 subject to the Applicant’s contribution, signed contract from the contractor, clear termite report and an insurance binder. Motion by Commissioner Bush, seconded by Commissioner Gentry, to approve the SHIP loan to Step Kearney in the amount of $15,369.20 subject to the conditions set forth by the Loan Review Committee. The motion carried unanimously.
2) Mildred Colson, Rehab, Very Low Income category ($22,500), the SHIP Loan Review Committee recommended approval subject to the applicant obtaining an insurance binder and a signed contract from the contractor. Motion by Commissioner Gentry, seconded by Commissioner Langford, to approve the SHIP Loan application to Mildred Colson subject to the conditions set forth by the Loan Review Committee. The motion carried unanimously.
3) Jack Lindsey, Rehab, Low Income category ($17,500), the SHIP Loan Review Committee recommended approval subject to applicant obtaining an insurance binder, a signed contract from the contractor and class certification. Motion by Commissioner Bush, seconded by Commissioner Langford, to approve the SHIP Loan to Mr. Lindsey subject to the conditions set forth by the Loan Review Committee. The motion carried unanimously. (2/835)
Volunteer Firefighters – Mr. Ferguson presented a purchase order in the amount of $300 from the Southeast VFD for EMT training. Mr. Ferguson asked for the Board’s direction considering the expense is for a volunteer fireman and not a County employee. Discussion was held concerning this type of expenditure for volunteers. Chairman Durden recalled in the past, a contract was signed by the individual before funding was provided. Commissioner Gentry mentioned that he had attended the first responder class recently and stated that he thought anyone with this EMT training would be more comfortable being a first responder. Motion by Commissioner Gentry, seconded by Commissioner Bush, to authorize payment of the EMT training in the amount of $300 for Kevin Benson. Mr. Gilliam asked if each of these request should be brought before the Board for individual approval and should a determination be made that it serves a public purpose. Mr. McPherson suggested a policy be drafted establishing guidelines for this benefit. The motion on the floor carried unanimously.
Commissioner Gentry stated he would bring back a recommendation for a policy. (2/1039)
North Gilchrist VFD:
Mr. Bud Riffle presented a request from the North Gilchrist VFD for approval to hold bingo games at the station for fund-raising. Commissioner Gentry stated that Mr. Riffle had discussed this with him and informed him they would operate under the State guidelines. Motion by Commissioner Gentry, seconded by Commissioner Langford, to approve the request. The motion carried unanimously. (2/1565)
Clerk’s Report (Continued):
Representative Dwight Stansel / Donation – Mr. Gilliam read a letter from Representative Dwight Stansel which included six (6) checks in the amounts of $250 for each of the County’s volunteer fire departments. The funds were made available through Representative Stansel’s excess campaign funds. (2/1612)
Letter from Suwannee County BOCC – Mr. Gilliam referred to a letter from the Suwannee County Board of County Commissioners regarding the Suwannee River Valley Coalition for Progress. Commissioner Gentry advised he was introduced to this coalition through the North Florida Economic Partnership and recommended becoming involved with it. (2/1691)
Suwannee Shores – Mr. Gilliam referred to a letter from Mr. A.J. Cox requesting the bond money be refunded for the roads within the Suwannee Shores subdivision. Chairman Durden recalled this request had been discussed the past year and at that time the road was not constructed to County standards. He advised there has been a considerable amount of rock moved in over the past month but it may not be completed. After discussion, Commissioner Langford stated he would contact Mr. Martin to inspect the road and report back to the Board. (2/1691)
Proclamation 03-01 – Mr. Gilliam presented Proclamation 03-01 declaring the week of February 2-8, 2003 as Burn Prevention and Awareness Week. Motion by Commissioner Bush, seconded by Commissioner Gentry, to approve Proclamation 03-01. The motion carried unanimously. (2/1993)
EMA / County Coordinator’s Report:
Fanning Springs Fire Protection Agreement – Mr. McQueen presented the Fire Protection Agreement with the City of Fanning Springs for approval. Motion by Commissioner Gentry, seconded by Commissioner Langford, to approve the City of Fanning Springs/Gilchrist County M.S.T.U. Fire Protection Agreement. The motion carried unanimously. (2/2085)
Small County Technical Assistance Project – Mr. McQueen advised Gilchrist County has been awarded $3,500 through the Small County Technical Assistance Services (SCTAS) Program for an update on the Pay and Classification Plan. (2/2161)
EMS Claim – For the Board’s information, Mr. McQueen referred to a notice of claim filed by the Estate of Clint Miller. Mr. McQueen briefly discussed the claim and pointed out the attorney for this case had been misinformed about the ambulance. (2/2194)
OTTED Contract – Mr. McQueen mentioned that he had received a letter from OTTED indicating the County would need to apply for an extension for the Santa Fe Avenue project. Mr. McQueen explained that he had not proceeded earlier because he had not received a signed contract from the State. He said he has contacted Lee Mills and asked him to prepare to go out for bid. (2/2240)
Sante Fe Springs Working Group – Mr. McQueen advised the Sate Fe Springs Working Group has started meeting again. They will be discussing Poe, Ginnie and Blue Springs. Commissioner Langford will be meeting with the group as representative for Gilchrist County. (2/2289)
Commissioner Gentry told the Board he had followed up on some the road complaints he had received and found that the work had been completed satisfactorily. He reported that he had attended the First Responders in-service recently and he commended the volunteers for the amount of work they do and the time they serve. (2/2374)
Commissioner Bush expressed his gratitude to the Commissioners and staff for helping with his responsibilities during his recent illness.
Commissioner Durden mentioned interviews are currently being conducted for Animal Control Officer and Code Enforcement Officer positions. (2/2511)
Commissioner Langford reported he had been asked to serve as representative of the County with the Sante Fe Springs Working Group.
Commissioner Langford told the Board Mr. Gothard has estimated the cost of relocating NE 2nd Court to be $64,000. Commissioner Langford explained it would be beneficial to place the road on a section line but he would suggest the property owners pay for the construction. (2/2616)
Commissioner Langford advised he and Mr. McQueen had visited the Levy County Road Department to look at the computer program they use. He stated that he will do some more research and bring back a recommendation. (2/2862)
Commissioner Langford referred to letters from Mr. Richard Douglas, Ms. Barbara Suggs, the CCDA Waters company and Jeffrey Shannon, attorney for Ms. Suggs, requesting closure of NE 62nd Place. Commissioner Langford explained that he has discovered that those property owners in opposition of the road closure do not have a legal easement onto their property from this road. The property on either side of the road belongs to Ms. Suggs. Mr. McQueen provided photographs depicting the road from various locations and the adjoining property. After discussion, Commissioner Langford recommended the Board take action to temporarily close the road until a public hearing can be held to make a final decision. He also recommended, if the road is closed, the property be reverted back to Ms. Suggs.
Mr. Duncan Jones, attorney for the Seven Springs Water Company, was present and indicated he would work with County staff to assure the road was adequately barricaded for the temporary closure. As outlined in the letters, Mr. Jones explained there is a legitimate concern regarding the security of one of the wellhead pumps to the Danone Water Plant. This pump is located approximately 150 feet from the road. Motion by Commissioner Langford, seconded by Commissioner Gentry, to authorize Ms. Suggs to temporarily close NE 62nd Place pending a public hearing to be held on February 17th based on the fact there are concerns for security expressed by the existing property owners and the water company. The motion carried unanimously. (2/3025)
Mr. McQueen advised the Department of Community affairs is tentatively going to be dispelled as a department and will be reorganized under the Department of State.
Mr. McQueen discussed a new full time Emergency Management operations position. Due to new requirements from the State, the County must have a Community Emergency Response Team organized. Also, the grant now requires one (1) full time position in Emergency Management. Mr. McQueen stated this position has been included in the budget to fulfill this requirement.
Mr. Gilliam presented a recommendation from the Finance Department to pay off the following loans which will result in a savings of approximately $5,653 in interest. Mr. Ferguson explained the County’s funds with SBA are currently drawing interest at only .056% while these loans are at 5% to 6%. He stated this may help the budget next year and at this time, if the Board found it necessary to obtain any other loans, the interest rate would be between 3.5% to 4%.
1) Fire Truck $16,000.00 (District Fire Fund)
2) Roll-off Truck $15,568.24 (S.W. Trust Fund)
3) TMC Loader $21,150.76 (S.W. Trust Fund)
4) Prime/Roberts Property $50,000.00 (General Fund)
Motion by Commissioner Bush, seconded by Commissioner Gentry, to pay off these loans. The motion carried unanimously.
Chairman Durden advised the Board he had obtained information regarding a lease program from RingPower for tractor mowers. Commissioner Langford stated that Mr. Gothard is checking into this program and a 5-year lease program for dump trucks.
Mr. Gilliam asked for Mr. McPherson’s advice concerning a check that had been returned to the Building Department for insufficient funds. The check, in the amount of $1,441.31 for an impact fee, was written by a mobile home dealer on behalf of a customer. Since that time, the mobile home dealer has gone out of business. Mr. Gilliam had talked with the State Attorney’s office and was advised to go back to the original property owner to try and collect the funds due. Mr. McPherson agreed, it is the property owner who actually owes the impact fees. The property owner would then need to try and recover the money they had paid to the mobile home dealer.
There being no further business to discuss, Commissioner Bush moved to adjourn at 9:23 p.m. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Langford and carried.
Randy Durden, Chairman
Joseph W. Gilliam, Clerk