MINUTES OF A REGULAR MEETING OF THE GILCHRIST COUNTY BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS HELD OCTOBER 20, 2003.
The Gilchrist County Board of County Commissioners, in and for Gilchrist County Florida, convened in a regular meeting on Monday, October 20, 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
Commissioner Sue Suggs, Vice-Chair
Others in attendance were: Joseph W. Gilliam, Clerk of Court, John McPherson, County Attorney, Karen Heaton, Deputy Clerk, Sam Ferguson, Director of Finance, Ben Chumley, Planner, Steve Gladin, Theron Hudson, Evelyn Meece, Ryan Ray, Charles Justice, Don Neal, Gene Parrish, Robert Whitwood, Rhonda Whitwood, Ron Mills, Lee Schaltenbrand, Brenda Schaltenbrand, David Strom, Barbara Strom, Barbara Myrick, John Ayers, Mike Burnett, Bud Riffle, Judy Riffle, C.B. Teague, Cathy Strom, James Whitwood.
Call to Order:
Chairman Durden called to the meeting to order at 5:00 p.m. Commissioner Bush delivered the Invocation and Commissioner Suggs led the Pledge of Allegiance.
Motion by Commissioner Langford, seconded by Commissioner Suggs, to accept the agenda as submitted. The motion carried unanimously.
(1) Approval of Budget Entry #BE04-002
(2) Approval of Allan H. Kaye and Michelle Smith to the conflict attorney list.
Motion by Commissioner Suggs, seconded by Commissioner Gentry, to approve the Consent Agenda. The motion carried unanimously.
Obstruction of Right of Way – Mr. McPherson advised he has prepared the draft ordinance relating to obstructions of County right-of-way. The ordinance has been scheduled for the November 3rd. Meeting. (1/076)
Resolution 03-84, Revised Travel Policy – As requested at the last meeting, Mr. McPherson prepared this resolution to amend the County’s travel reimbursement policy for employees.
RESOLUTION NO. 2003-84
A RESOLUTION OF THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OF GILCHRIST COUNTY, FLORIDA; AMENDING THE COUNTY’S TRAVEL REIMBURSEMENT POLICY FOR EMPLOYEES; REQUIRING THAT ALL OVERNIGHT TRAVEL BE APPROVED IN ADVANCE BY THE COUNTY COMMISSION; AND PROVIDING AN EFFECTIVE DATE.
Commissioner Suggs suggested that the minimum amount for approval be increased as it would be difficult to make trips during legislative session to work within that perimeter. Motion by Commissioner Suggs, seconded by Commissioner Gentry, to change the minimum amount from $50 to $200. After further discussion concerning the current travel policy, Commissioner Suggs withdrew the motion. Motion by Commissioner Bush, seconded by Commissioner Langford, to approve Resolution 03-84. The motion carried unanimously. (1/082)
SE 70th Avenue, Martini Grade – Mr. McPherson reported that BellSouth is currently negotiating with Mr. Ray Langford regarding a portion of the property on SE 70th Avenue. Chairman Durden provided a copy of a proposal he received from Mr. Ray Langford concerning the sale and purchase of his property for right-of-way.
1. The description of property as stated in contract needs to be restated to be more specific and accurate. The purpose of the use of this property also needs to be included.
2. Right-of-Way shall have markers set at the north corner and south corner on either side of the proposed pavement of SE 70th Avenue a/k/a Martini Grade.
3. The fence to be of Department of Transportation standards, line post to be of no less than 4 inches at top, line post to be of no less than 4 inches at top of 7 feet wood post or metal T post, and the corner post shall be no less than 8 inches at the top with 10 feet between line post, with a brace post at the center of line of the fence. The fence shall be set back one foot on the seller’s property (off of right-of-way line) and the fence shall be set at least 3 inches above the ground (not set on ground) with one strand of 3 inch barb wire at top of line fence.
4. The permanent fence shall be constructed prior to the commencement of road project.
5. Proof of bond and Liability Insurance of the person who is installing fence and construction of county road and anyone involved in this construction of the road will accept full responsibility of any destruction of property or any damages of property or negligence that could cause any liability to the seller due to this proposed project.
6. County shall submit a final approved set of plans of the proposed road that will include all items included in the road project.
7. Buyer shall consider giving seller a statement that SE 75th Avenue is not a County maintained public road (from Tyler Grade south to the railroad crossing which is not a county maintained road) and Seller agrees not to close this road off, or deny access to and from Union Baptist Church.
8. Purchase price of right-of-way consists of 1.14 acres at $5,000 per acre; triangle of remaining land on the east side of SE 70th Avenue, 3.39 acres in Section 2 Township 10, Range 16 at $2,500 per acre; BellSouth junction box area at $6,000 and the County has the right to deal with BellSouth in any manner that the County deems necessary, with any collection from BellSouth to go to the County. If County doesn’t want to accept and reimburse seller for BellSouth easement, then property of BellSouth easement will not be deeded to the County.
9. There shall be no retention pond for runoff water created on the east side of the right-of-way of SE 70th Avenue from railroad right-of-way north to Tyler Grade or SE 60th Street.
10. There shall be construction of two (2) drive entrances to property on east side of SE 70th Avenue. One will be constructed on the south boundary and one on the north boundary at least 60 feet from corners of the land on the east side (60 feet from the railroad right-of-way, and 60 feet from the intersection of SE 70th Avenue and SE 60th Street.
11. Any cost incurred by the landowner due to the construction of this roadway shall be reimbursed by the County to the landowner, Ray Langford, within 10 days of notification and proof by landowner of incurred cost.
12. Attorney fees incurred by Seller for previous actions pertaining to the purchase of this property for the sole purpose of paving SE 70th Avenue shall be paid as agreed by representative for the county commission. The sum of $600 with check payable to Walter Tovkach, Esquire, 5011 Northwest Eighth Avenue, Gainesville, FL 32605.
The Board reviewed the proposal and discussed each item. The Board agreed that it would not be possible to comply with most of the conditions as proposed. Mr. McPherson advised the Board not to sign the proposed contract as written. Mr. McQueen advised that he had contacted DOT and found that it will be possible to obtain a time extension on the grant agreement. Because of the time involved, Mr. McPherson encouraged the Board to go ahead and make a decision on whether or not to proceed with eminent domain or to forgo the project.
Motion by Commissioner Gentry, seconded by Commissioner Suggs, to proceed with eminent domain for the portions of property owned by Ray Langford and Edgar Langford contingent upon receiving a time extension from the Department of Transportation. Commissioner Gentry recommended eminent domain proceedings based on the fact the SCRAP Program will provide 2.2 Million Dollars for the project and the County has already expended $56,775.50 to date on engineering costs which will be reimbursable through the grant. Another $37,535 has been obligated for the purchase of right-of-way if the County proceeds. Mr. McPherson told the Board that it would take approximately 90 days to file for eminent domain. In this time period, it will be necessary obtain an appraisal and to have Mr. Mills prepare a legal description. He explained that at this time, it may be difficult to find an appraiser in such a short period of time. Further discussion was held concerning the process for eminent domain and the costs involved. The motion on the floor carried with Commissioner Bush and Chairman Durden voting “no.” (1/621)
North Central Florida Regional Planning Council:
Mr. Charlie Justice, North Central Florida Regional Planning Council (NCFRPC), presented the 2002 Annual Report for the Council. Mr. Justice reviewed the FY 03/04 budget for NCFRPC. He explained that the dues paid by the counties are based on $.30 per capita. This rate has not changed in over 20 years. The dues are approximately 5% of the total budget. The total dues received from the district is $109,000. They use the money for mandated activities, capital purchases, matching funds and priority programs. Mr. Justice cautioned the Board not to assume that it’s only benefit from the Council is where the dues are applied because they do a great number of things the County benefits from.
The Council intends to rebate $750 to each of the ten (10) counties outside of Alachua County during this year. He asks that in turn, the County contribute it to the Economic Development Partnership which is used for matching state funds.
Mr. Justice reviewed the programs offered by the Planning Council and the various funding sources. He also discussed the activities carried out by the Tourism Task Force.
Mr. Steve Gladin addressed a question to Mr. Justice concerning the County’s Zoning Map prepared by the Regional Planning Council. Mr. Justice told him that the map does belong to the County and is a public document available at a minimum cost.
Mr. Gilliam referred to an invoice in the amount of $1,068.75 from NCFRPC for the first quarter dues. Motion by Commissioner Suggs, seconded by Commissioner Langford, to approve payment of the invoice in the amount of $1,068.75. The motion carried unanimously. (1/2228)
Public Hearing / Final Plat, County Line Pines, Minor Subdivision:
Mr. Chumley presented the final plat for the County Line Pines subdivision. The proposed plat consists of five (5) lots, all of which will be two (2) acres in size. The property is owned by Charlie and Carolyn Morgan and is located along the Levy and Gilchrist County line, off of SW 105th Street. Mr. Chumley stated the proposed subdivision is in compliance with the Land Development Regulations and the Comprehensive Plan and he recommended approval. Motion by Commissioner Suggs, seconded by Commissioner Gentry, to approve the final plat based upon the findings of fact and staff recommendation. The motion carried unanimously. (1/3203)
Public Hearing / Final Plat, Rural Haven, Minor Subdivision:
Mr. Chumley presented the final plat for Rural Haven Subdivision. The proposed subdivision contains five (5) lots of which will be 5 acres in size. The property is owned by Raymond D. Hutchinson and is located off of SW 55th Street and CR 232. Mr. Chumley stated the proposed subdivision is in compliance with the Land Development Regulations and the Comprehensive Plan and he recommended approval. Motion by Commissioner Langford, seconded by Commissioner Gentry, to approve the final plat for Rural Haven Subdivision. The motion carried unanimously.
Construction Plans for Fox Run, Major Subdivision:
Mr. Chumley provided the construction plans for the proposed Fox Run Subdivision. He recalled the Board had previously approved the preliminary plat. He explained the construction will be one road through the middle of the subdivision with a cul-d-sac at the end. He stated the specs are in compliance with the County’s subdivision regulations and he recommended approval subject to the following staff recommendations:
(1) The applicant must provide evidence that permits from the Suwannee River Water Management have been obtained for the construction to take place on the site. This evidence should be provided to the County prior to the BoCC approving a final plat for the subdivision.
(2) All construction indicated on the attached plans must be completed by the developer as specified on the plans, and maintained by the “Fox Run Owners’ Association, Inc.” in perpetuity. A final plat should not be approved until the applicant provides evidence that the Declaration of Restrictions and Maintenance Covenants for Fox Run Owners’ Association, Inc. has been fully executed and recorded in the public records of Gilchrist County.
Motion by Commissioner Suggs, seconded by Commissioner Gentry, to approve the construction plans according to the conditions submitted by staff. The motion carried unanimously.
Attorney’s Report (continued):
Mac Johnson Properties – Mr. McPherson reported that draft Notices of Violation have been prepared and will be served as soon as they are finalized. Commissioner Suggs suggested that the notices be sent by Certified Mail. (1/3523)
Ginnie Springs vs. Gilchrist County – Mr. McPherson advised the Motion for Judgment of the Pleadings is scheduled for hearing on November 13, 2003. (2/011)
SHIP Default – Mr. McPherson referred to a copy of the letter he sent to Ms. Lindsey notifying her that she is in default of her SHIP Loan. (2/019)
Southeast Gilchrist VFD – Mr. Gilliam reported that he had been contacted about continuing termite treatment for the Southeast Gilchrist VFD station at an annual cost of $130. He advised the Board that the County does not currently have termite treatment for any of the buildings. Mr. Mike Burnett, a member of the fire department, told the Board that he does not recommend termite treatment for this building. He explained, that the building is metal with a concrete slab and should not need it and since he owns his own pest control business, he would take care of any pest control needed. Motion by Commissioner Suggs, seconded by Commissioner Gentry, to not provide termite treatment for the Southeast VFD building. The motion carried unanimously. (2/060)
Wall Mural – Mr. Gilliam presented a request from the Tax Collector’s Office employees for permission to have a wall mural painted on the wall across from their office. He referred to a sketch depicting the wildlife scene they wish to have painted. They have requested the Board pay for the cost of the mural which will be approximately $750. Motion by Commissioner Langford, seconded by Commissioner Suggs, to deny the request that the Board pay the $750 and to authorize the painting of the mural through private donations. (2/167)
Annual Request for Tax Bills – Mr. Gilliam presented a request from the Tax Collector for authorization to continue removing from the Tax Roll any tax bill that equals Twelve Dollars ($12.00) or less. Motion by Commissioner Suggs, seconded by Commissioner Bush, to approve the request. The motion carried unanimously. (2/276)
Finalized Salaries – Mr. Gilliam advised the final salaries approved for the Commissioners and Constitutional Offers is less than the proposed salaries approved during the budget process. He recommended that the Constitutional Officers be allowed to transfer the difference from Salaries to another line item. Motion by Commissioner Bush, seconded by Commissioner Suggs, to allow the recommended budget transfers by the Constitutional Officers. The motion carried unanimously. (2/293)
Sheriff’s Office, Reimbursement – For the Board’s information, Mr. Gilliam referred to a check from the Gilchrist County Sheriff’s Office in the amount of $18,873 which represents reimbursement of a major medical claim on an inmate. (2/349)
Meridian Behavioral Healthcare – Mr. Gilliam presented the renewal contract between the County and Meridian Behavioral Healthcare for FY 03/04. Motion by Commissioner Suggs, seconded by Commissioner Bush, to approve and authorize the Chairman to execute the contract. The motion carried unanimously. (2/360)
North Gilchrist VFD, Firefighters:
Mr. Don Neal, North Gilchrist VFD, addressed the Commission concerning internal problems within the Department. He stated that the Department is no longer incorporated but controlled by an executive board that is primarily elected by all members of the department including fire fighters and associate members. Recently, their board proposed to adopt a new set of by laws but many of the firefighters have concerns about the bylaws and do not want the associate members to have full control over the budget items of the Department. He explained the membership is about 25 and of that number there are approximately seven (7) firefighters. He contended that the firefighters should have more control. Mr. Neal asked the Commission to clarify who is actually in charge of the fire department. Chairman Durden stated that it depends on how the departments are set up and North Gilchrist is set up with a Board of Directors. Mr. McQueen affirmed that this is the case.
Commissioner Suggs left the meeting at 7:06 p.m.
The Board also heard comments from Rhonda Whitwood and James Whitwood, firefighters with North Gilchrist. Mr. Lee Schaltenbrand, Spring Ridge VFD and Mike Burnett, Southeast Gilchrist VFD also offered comments on the way each of their departments are organized and governed.
Chairman Durden explained to those present that the County Commission does not have jurisdiction over these matters but suggested that Commissioner Gentry and Mr. McQueen meet with the North Gilchrist VFD and discuss these issues and offer a recommendation for a resolution. (2/400)
Job Descriptions/Road Department – As requested at the last meeting, Mr. McQueen provided copies of job descriptions from various counties for the position of Road Superintendent. Chairman Durden suggested the Board review the material to be discussed at the next meeting.
EMS Holidays – Mr. McQueen recalled at a previous meeting the Board approved a list of holidays for County Employees. He pointed out that according to the EMS Union, EMS employees will have Christmas Day as a holiday too. In 2004, Christmas Day will fall on a Saturday. Motion by Commissioner Gentry, seconded by Commissioner Bush, to approve the EMS Holidays. The motion carried unanimously. (2/1783)
Road Department and Jail – Mr. McQueen advised that the Road Department and the Jail property has been annexed by the City of Trenton, therefore, the addresses will be changing. (2/1886)
DOT, State Road. 129 – Mr. McQueen advised he received a notice from the Department of Transportation that there will be a meeting on November 6th at 10:00 a.m. at the intersection of SR 26 and US 19 in Fanning Springs. The purpose of this meeting is to discuss the design process for the milling and resurfacing of SR 26 in Gilchrist County. Mr. McQueen stated that he would take them a copy of the County’s ordinance relating to markers. (2/1966)
Travel Request – Mr. McQueen requested the Board authorize Mr. Ron Mills to attend a seminar at the Central Florida Fire Academy in Ocala. The purpose of the seminar is to cover “Understanding ISOs, Fire Rating Program.” He requested approval of a room rate of $79 per night. There is no charge for the course. The expense will be paid out of Fire. Motion by Commissioner Gentry, seconded by Commissioner Langford, to approve one person to go to the ISO Course. The motion carried unanimously. (2/2049)
Commissioner Gentry suggested that Mr. McPherson proceed with preparing the contracts for the retention areas and that they be considered for approval at the next meeting.
Commissioner Gentry also suggested that the Board considered putting three (3) of the retention areas for SE 70th on the east side of the property in light of the fact that there is a dispute over the ownership of the triangle which involves Mr. Brocklebank and Mr. Ray Langford. Two (2) of the retention areas which are currently slated for the Davis’ property could be moved to the east side on Edgar Langford’s property. Doing this will save $7,500 which the County would not have to pay the Davis’ for that portion of property. Motion by Commissioner Gentry, seconded by Commissioner Langford, to change the retention areas to the east side of the property along the Brocklebank and Langford border and the Davis and Langford border and to sue for eminent domain to take these properties. The motion failed with Commissioner Durden and Commissioner Bush voting “no” and Commissioner Gentry and Commissioner Langford voting “yes.”
Commissioner Gentry discussed a request from Mr. Robert Lutz concerning rezoning of his property in order to allow a business in his subdivision to sell metal buildings. The Board agreed the applicant should initiate the request through the Planning and Zoning Board.
Commissioner Langford told the Board that he had talked with Mr. Martin and Mr. Gothard about the decision to hire a new Road Supervisor and they did not have a problem with this change. Chairman Durden suggested the Board review the materials provided by Mr. McQueen concerning a job description prior to the next meeting.
Mr. Gilliam mentioned that since the EMS Supervisor received the new vehicle, Mr. Ron Mills has been using the old EMS truck. Motion by Commissioner Langford, seconded by Commissioner Gentry, to approve the request. The motion carried unanimously.
Mr. Ferguson reported that the new grader has been delivered and the Board has received a check from Ring Power in the amount of $90,000 for the payback on the old grader.
Mr. Bud Riffle offered the Board an apology for the issues that came before them this meeting concerning the North Gilchrist VFD. He stated there are 12 to 14 firefighters currently on the roster with only a few are dissatisfied with the organization.
There being no further business to discuss, Chairman Durden adjourned the meeting at 8:10 p.m.
Randy Durden, Chairman
Joseph W. Gilliam, Clerk