The Gilchrist County Board of County Commissioners, in and for Gilchrist County Florida, convened in a regular meeting on Monday, December 15, 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, Ron McQueen, EMA/County Coordinator, Ben Chumley, Planner, Linda Walker, Kenneth Sidman, Mario de Aranzeta, Carolyn Boudreau, Lou Amory, Kevin Karr, Nathaniel Yant, Willie Bass, Bronice Bass, Michael Pardoe, Michael Wiesen, John Ayers.

Call to Order:

Chairman Durden called the meeting to order at 5:10 p.m. Commissioner Gentry delivered the Invocation and Commissioner Bush led the Pledge of Allegiance.

Agenda Changes:

Additions: – County Coordinator’s Report / Report Documents

– FYI Information / NCFRPC, Water Policy Evaluation.

Motion by Commissioner Bush, seconded by Commissioner Gentry, to accept the agenda. The motion carried unanimously.

Consent Agenda:


Attorney’s Report:

Construction Licensing Board – Mr. McPherson advised a workshop is scheduled for the proposed ordinance on January 20, 2004.

Uniform Collection of Fire Special Assessment – Mr. McPherson advised this resolution will be scheduled and advertised for the January 5th meeting.

Martini Grade (SE 70th Avenue) – Mr. McPherson reported that he has received all of the legal descriptions for the storm water retention areas and the contracts are pending signatures. Mr. McPherson recommended that title searches be obtained for these properties prior to transfer of the deeds. He stated these would cost approximately $500 each. (1/078)

Commissioner Langford arrived at 5:15 p.m.

Solid Waste Contract – Mr. McPherson reported the contract with Suwannee County Solid Waste is pending more information regarding the current Alachua County contract. (1/257)

Telecommunications Tax – Mr. McPherson recalled he had been asked to check into whether or not the County is collecting the maximum amount on the Telecommunications Tax and he found that it is. He explained that non-chartered counties do not collect as much as chartered counties and municipalities.

Government Liens – Mr. McPherson discussed the question of whether government liens sunset and he explained that they do but it depends on the type of lien. Discussion was held concerning the current action to foreclose on the Johnson properties. Mr. McPherson explained that this case will be the first case brought before the Code Enforcement Hearing Officer. (1/277)

Clerk’s Report:

SHIP Subordination – Mr. Gilliam presented a subordination agreement with Capital City Bank for Otte M. Pedersen and Krista Pedersen. He explained the applicants are extending the term of their loan with Capital City Bank by an additional five (5) years in order to reduce their monthly payments. Motion by Commissioner Suggs, seconded by Commissioner Bush, to approve the SHIP Subordination Agreement for Otte and Krista Pedersen. The motion carried unanimously.


Sheriff’s Office – Mr. Gilliam referred to a letter from Sheriff Turner regarding repairs needed for the radio communications tower located at the jail. Sheriff Turner also provided a quote from MTS Communications in the amount of $7,271.54 for the maintenance on the tower and the installation of strobe lighting. During discussion the question was raised concerning the current use of the tower and if these repairs would be necessary. Chairman Durden asked Mr. McQueen and Mr. Gilliam to meet with Sheriff Turner and bring back additional information. (1/453)

Purchasing Procedures – Mr. Gilliam and Mr. Ferguson related that there has been a problem recently with receiving invoices without purchases orders. Most of these have been for purchases made by the Road Department. Commissioner Langford told the Board that he would discuss this issue with the Road Department and make sure the purchase order policy is reinstated. (1/523)

SunGard Pentamation – Mr. Ferguson reported that the conversion for the finance software is approximately 85% complete. Pentamation provided the conversion and the training for staff. The new system will be implemented on January 2nd . (1/842) Budget Entry #BE4-010 – Mr. Gilliam presented budget entry #BE4-010 in the amount of $10,178 for the General Fund. He explained this budget entry is for the Meridian Behavioral Healthcare services. Motion by Commissioner Bush, seconded by Commissioner Langford, to approve the budget entry. The motion carried unanimously. (1/926)

Mid-Month Meeting – Mr. Gilliam pointed out the mid-month meeting is scheduled on January 19th which is a County observed holiday. Motion by Commissioner Suggs, seconded by Commissioner Langford, to reschedule the mid-month meeting to Tuesday, January 20th . The motion carried unanimously.

Suwannee River Water Management District:

Mr. Edwin McCook, Public Use Coordinator, SRWMD, presented the Commission with a check in the amount of $24,174.32 which represents the annual contribution for payment in lieu of taxes.

Mr. McCook recommended that the Board follow the new proposed legislation regarding properties that qualify for payment in lieu of taxes. (1/1000)

EMA/County Coordinator:

Small County Technical Assistance Program – Mr. McQueen reported that the Small County Technical Assistance Services has awarded Gilchrist County $7,000 to assist the County in undertaking a Fire Protection Study. Motion by Commissioner Suggs, seconded by Commissioner Gentry, to approve the Small County Technical Assistance Program Study. The motion carried unanimously. (1/1158)

Hart Springs – Mr. McQueen reported that Gray Construction has not completed the punch list for the manager’s residence as of this date.

Southeast Gilchrist VFD – Mr. McQueen provided a report from Southeast Gilchrist VFD regarding the repairs for Engine-21. The original quote was $9,882.50. The final cost for the repairs is $9,002.88. (1/1293)

Easement Application for SW 35th Avenue – Mr. McQueen advised the application for the easement for SW 35th Avenue has been submitted. (1/1423)

Safety Program – Mr. McQueen provided a copy of the Management Commitment and Involvement Policy Statement for approval. He stated a Safety Meeting has tentatively been scheduled January 27, 2004. Motion by Commissioner Suggs, seconded by Commissioner Bush, to approve the Policy Statement and authorize the Chairman’s signature. The motion carried unanimously.

SE Santa Fe Avenue – Mr. McQueen referred to a letter from a consultant for the Office of Tourism, Trade and Economic Development (OTTED) regarding commencement of the SE Santa Fe Avenue paving project. The deadline for commencement is January 10, 2004 but they have recommended an extension to OTTED. Mr. McQueen stated that Mr. Mills is working on project. (1/1485)

EMS / Part-Time Pay Increase – Mr. McQueen referred to a letter from Ms. Walker regarding a proposed pay increase for part-time employees. Ms. Walker was present and explained that there is a shortage of part-time on-call Paramedics and EMTs. This shortage is being experienced by other counties as well. She recommends increasing the pay-rate for part-time on call employees in order to assure the availability of on-call personnel. She explained that a comparable incentive is needed to have these employees fill in when the full-time employees are on vacation or are sick. After discussion, the Board asked Ms. Walker to bring back additional information concerning the pay-rates for the surrounding counties. (1/1568)

The meeting adjourned at 6:00 p.m. for a scheduled Board of Adjustment meeting.

The meeting reconvened at 7:45 p.m.

Public Hearing / Special Permit Application, Cingular Wireless:

Considering the Board of Adjustment has postponed the application for variance to the mid-month meeting in March, the applicant has requested that this hearing also be rescheduled for that date.

Public Hearing / Preliminary Plat, Deer Meadows Subdivision:

Mr. Chumley presented the preliminary plat for “Deer Meadows” subdivision, phases 1, 2 & 3. The proposed plat consists of 70 lots, which will be developed in three phases. The owner/developer of the property is O’Neal Sutton of EF& I Services Corp and the preliminary plat has been prepared by Pardue Land Surveying. The property is located off of CR 340.

Mr. Chumley stated the plat is in compliance with the LDRs and he recommended approval as submitted. Mr. Michael Pardue, Pardue Surveying, was present and answered questions directed by the Board. During review of the plat, questions arose concerning the possible need for turn lanes at the entrance of the subdivision on CR 340. It was pointed out that this road is already highly traveled and the proposed subdivision is located in the vicinity of the Spring Ridge subdivision, the Spring Ridge VFD and the bottling plant. Mr. McPherson advised, that though the County’s Code does not require it, the Commission has the inherit right to require a turn lane if it finds that it is a safety issue. Motion by Commissioner Suggs, seconded by Commissioner Langford, to approve the preliminary plat putting the developer on notice that a turn lane on CR 340 at the entrance of the subdivision may be required for egress and ingress and to direct the developer and the Planner to bring back information regarding the feasibility of placing turn lanes at that location. After further discussion concerning the need for a traffic study and the acquisition of additional right-of-way if needed, Commissioner Suggs amended the motion to approve the preliminary plat for the Deer Meadows subdivision and to require a turn lane at the ingress and egress of the subdivision before the final plat is presented requiring this action due to the concern for public safety. The motion failed for lack of a second.

Motion by Commissioner Langford, to approve the preliminary plat with the stipulation to work with the developer regarding the feasibility of putting in a turn lane. The motion failed for lack of a second.

Mr. Pardue requested the Board table the application in order for him to bring back additional information. Motion by Commissioner Suggs, seconded by Commissioner Gentry, to table the preliminary plat to the January 20th meeting at 6:00 p.m. The motion carried unanimously. (2/027)

Construction Plans / Forest Grove Subdivision:

Mr. Chumley presented the construction plans for Forest Grove Subdivision, Phase I. He recalled the Board approved the preliminary plat in November. Mr. Chumley recommended approval subject to two conditions: (1) The developer must submit one signed and sealed set of construction plans to the Building Department prior to beginning construction on th site and (2) the developer must demonstrate that the construction plans have been approved by the Suwannee River Water Management District prior to beginning construction on the site.

Commissioner Gentry recalled there had been a question about the different phases in the road construction. Mr. Chumley explained their attorney was trying to submit an agreement for the Board to approve which would bind the County to approve future phases and it was determined this was not legal. Mr. Chumley stated he talked with Mr. Burt who is considering a proposal to change the LDRs to allow a subdivision like this to be approved under a master-plan concept. Motion by Commissioner Langford, seconded by Commissioner Gentry, to approve the construction plans subject to the staff recommendations. The motion carried unanimously.


The Commission asked Mr. Chumley to bring back information as to what other counties have in place for requiring turn lanes for subdivisions. (2/1236)

EMA/County Coordinator’s Report (cont.):

Chairman Durden advised that Mr. McQueen had to leave the meeting to assist with a hazardous spill in Levy County. Chairman Durden presented the County Coordinator’s report in his absence.

Final Payment, El Nino Disaster Event – Chairman Durden advised final payment from DCA has been approved in the amount of $294,882. (2/1390)

North Gilchrist VFD – Chairman Durden referred to an invitation from the North Gilchrist VFD for the dedication of their new Community Conference Room at the firehouse. The event is scheduled for December 20, 2003.

MSHA Fine – A fine was issued to the County Road Department on October 22, 2003. An invoice has been received in the amount of $249.37 for payment of the fine.

Approval for Upcoming Classes and Seminars – Chairman Durden referred to a list of upcoming classes and seminars for Board approval:

1) Pat Fischer, Solid Waste Dept. – Dodd Plenary Short Course for mosquito control. $250 for class. January 26 -30, 2004. Gainesville.

2) Pat Fischer and Lorraine Lightner – County Municipal Solid Waste Data Report

Training Session, $50. January 21, 2004. Recycle Florida Today Issue Forum,

$50. January 22, 2004, Tallahassee.

3) Ron McQueen – Fire Rescue East. January 21 -25, 2004. Registration $230, two nights lodging, $240.

Motion by Commissioner Suggs, seconded by Commissioner Bush, to approve the mosquito control course for Pat Fischer. The motion carried unanimously.

Motion by Commissioner Suggs, seconded by Commissioner Bush, to approve Pat Fischer and Lorraine Lightner to attend the County Municipal Solid Waste Data Report Training Session and the Recycle Florida Today Issue Forum. The motion carried unanimously.

Motion by Commissioner Bush, seconded by Commissioner Suggs, to approve travel request for Ron McQueen January 21 -25th . The motion carried unanimously.

Also included in the report was advisement that Mr. McQueen has been appointed to the statewide review commission for EMPA grants.

Commissioners’ Reports:

Commissioner Suggs mentioned that Mr. McPherson is working on the Solid Waste contract with Suwannee County. She also advised that Mr. Ferguson brought a purchase order to her attention from the Solid Waste Department for more shirts. The department bought shirts in March for a cost of $1,000 and the recent purchase order was for $467. Chairman Durden mentioned that he had also found out that the Solid Waste Department had ordered hats and rain jackets in the past. He suggested that the only department that should receive approval for those items is the EMS Department. The Board agreed.

Commissioner Suggs said that she had talked to Senator Smith’s office about keeping the County posted on Article V. She stated she believes he is going to take a position contrary to Florida Association of County’s position. She suggested that someone else help her with this issue since she will not be on the Board in 2005. Chairman Durden stated he will be following up on it.

Commissioner Gentry reported that he had attended the Water Congress held in Alachua County. He advised that one of the groups that spoke consisted of most of the water management districts in Florida. There were also two senators in attendance. He explained that the Senate has already made many laws regarding the water and they feel what they have done is sufficient so the Senate and the House would like to keep it like it is. The water management districts are also in agreement. He recommended that the Commission keep informed.

Commissioner Langford reported that the paving of the Peanut Road will need to be postponed until January because of the weather.

Commissioner Langford advised that he had talked with Mr. Martin about the trimmer. Mr. Martin has suggested that the County buy a mower that will mow down the limbs that have been trimmed. The chipper they have cannot keep up with the limber. A chipper would cost between $35,000 and $50,000. Levy County uses a mower behind the limber. The cost of the mower would be about $6,000. Commissioner Langford stated that he would obtain additional information and bring back a recommendation.

Commissioner Bush asked about the status of the landing pad at the jail. Mr. Gilliam advised he is waiting on the specifications before bringing it back to the Board. He explained the request was for 150'x 150'and the FAA requires 100'x 100'. The Bell Medical Center is planning on putting in a landing pad for public use and Mr. Ferguson is going to get the specifications for that pad priced for reference.

Commissioner Bush asked for the status of the sewer line to the jail. Chairman Durden advised he will be meeting with Michael Lamar and will bring back information.

Chairman Durden reported that he had attended the Legislative Hearing. He stated Mr. Ferguson was in attendance and discussed the Judicial Complex. Mr. Ferguson stated that the Legislators were in agreement that if the County cannot pay for the project it should not be built.

Chairman Durden reported that he would like to leave the Commissioner’s Committee assignments the same as the past year and if there were any objections the Commission should bring him the request to the next meeting.

Chairman Durden related that he had discussed with Mr. McPherson an ordinance changing the form of local government to include the position of County Administrator. Mr. McPherson explained that this form of government is used by 90% of Florida Counties and would involve shifting the County Coordinator’s position to that of County Administrator. He discussed the responsibilities of this position which are set forth by Florida Statute. Chairman Durden commented that the County Administrator would be over the various departments carrying out the policies and procedures approved by the Commission. He also explained that it is not wise to have the Commission involved in personnel matters considering an employee has the right to appeal to the Board of County Commissioners when any formal action is taken. Motion by Commissioner Suggs, seconded by Commissioner Bush, to schedule and advertise the proposed ordinance for the first meeting in January. The motion carried unanimously.

Old Business:


New Business:


Public Participation:


There being no further business to discuss, Commissioner Bush moved to adjourn at 9:20 p.m. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Suggs and carried.


ATTEST: Randy Durden, Chairman

Joseph W. Gilliam, Clerk