BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
SEMINOLE COUNTY, FLORIDA
AUGUST 25, 2015
The following is a non-verbatim transcript of the BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS MEETING OF SEMINOLE COUNTY, FLORIDA, held at 9:30 a.m., on Tuesday, August 25, 2015, in Room 1028 of the SEMINOLE COUNTY SERVICES BUILDING at SANFORD, FLORIDA, the usual place of meeting of said Board.
Chairman Brenda Carey (District 5)
Vice Chairman John Horan (District 2)
Commissioner Robert Dallari (District 1)
Commissioner Lee Constantine (District 3)
Commissioner Carlton Henley (District 4)
Clerk of Court and Comptroller Maryanne Morse (late)
County Manager Nicole Guillet
County Attorney Bryant Applegate
Deputy Clerk Erin Leben
Pastor Charles Higgins, Jr., Westview Baptist Church, Sanford, gave the Invocation. Commissioner Horan led the Pledge of Allegiance.
Maryanne Morse, Clerk of the Circuit Court and Comptroller, entered the meeting at this time.
The Business Spotlight video for The Aviation Institute of Maintenance was presented.
AWARDS AND PRESENTATIONS
Agenda Item #1 – A-1148-15
Dr. Walt Griffin, Superintendent of Seminole County Public Schools, addressed the Board and distributed an informational handout (copy received and filed). Dr. Griffin stated the Commissioners have heard a lot about testing and about Seminole County Public Schools being a little disruptive in their approach in that they are not going to accept the status quo. They want to do something different for their students and for their citizens because that is what is most important to them.
Dr. Griffin explained that Florida has transitioned to the Florida Standards and they now issue the Florida Standards Assessment (FSA). The Florida Standards are aligned over 90% to Common Core Standards. He noted the Florida Standards Assessment is aligned to both Common Core and to Florida Standards.
Dr. Griffin stated Seminole County Public Schools (SCPS) issued the FSA last spring like every other district in the state of Florida. He stated he knows some of the Commissioners and the Seminole County School Board members heard from very concerned citizens about the amount of time students are being tested. Dr. Griffin advised SCPS is not afraid of accountability; they welcome accountability. They were just ranked number one for advanced math and science in the entire state. He explained they are afraid of a loss of valuable instructional time to test, the loss of valuable purchases of millions of dollars’ worth of computers that should be utilized in classrooms but are being tied up for extensive testing. He is also concerned with the fact that 29 days of middle school and 31 days of high school were disrupted due to testing.
Dr. Griffin advised they want to ensure that whatever recommendation they make, they get the results back in a timely manner. He stated Seminole County administered the FSA in spring and as of August 25th, they have still not received the results. He explained that means they have placed their students in summer school and in courses based on their own data. Dr. Griffin stated he wants to be crystal clear that getting these results is going to take an extra-long time because they have to “norm” the Florida Standards item by item, do a test spec, as well as validate the administration of the test. He stated they do not have test results yet, so by the time they get those test results, SCPS will be well into their second week of school.
Dr. Griffin stated the School Board wants to bring forth a solution. He referenced a letter from Seminole County Public Schools to Commissioner Pam Stewart, Florida Department of Education (FDOE). Dr. Griffin stated they are asking Commissioner Stewart for her support because this would take a legislative change, a change in the law. They know what they are asking for is not in the statute right now, and that is to back away from this time-consuming test that still has not been validated and consider the use of a nationally normed test. He stated they gave the examples of the Iowa Tests of Basic Skills (ITBS), PSAT/SAT and added there are many different off-the-shelf tests that would work.
Dr. Griffin stated they do not believe that one test should be so high stakes. He explained that right now in order for a student to earn a diploma, they have to meet a certain cutoff score in reading on the Florida Standards Assessment. They believe that making one test so high stakes is wrong because students can earn their graduation by proving themselves academically in a variety of ways. He discussed options to the FSA that would allow students to earn their diplomas. He reiterated the idea of one test being such a high stakes test, whether it is the FSA or something else, is not in the best interest of the students.
Dr. Griffin stated Seminole County Public Schools has been very vocal in bringing forth a solution and trying not to complain. He advised that elected officials have asked them what they could do differently and the whole purpose of this was to spur on discussion across the state. He noted that has taken place. He expressed their appreciation of the BCC’s consideration of supporting the School Board's position. He stated he is very proud of the members of the School Board and noted their depth of knowledge is right where his is. They have worked side by side on doing what is best for the students of Seminole County.
Chairman Carey thanked Dr. Griffin for his presentation. She stated she knows they are trying to be positive about this and offer solutions; unfortunately, they are not being well received, at least originally. She hopes they can change the minds of some of the people in Tallahassee.
Upon inquiry by Commissioner Dallari, Dr. Griffin advised they are asking for a short letter indicating the BCC’s support for the School Board's solution. Commissioner Dallari agreed that something needs to happen. He stated he has read the letter to Commissioner Stewart in great detail and added he has had several conversations with Dr. Griffin as well as members of the School Board to discuss this issue. He stated something needs to be done and thinks this is a good first step. He believes the BCC should support the School Board in this endeavor and would like to see what the other Board members would like to do. He mentioned hopefully the BCC can sign the existing letter.
Commissioner Dallari stated he thinks as Dr. Griffin is reaching out to other school board districts, the BCC should be reaching out to other counties asking for their support as well as getting their state lobbyists involved. He opined this is something that is very important, not just to the School Board, but to the entire County and all the citizens of the state of Florida.
Chairman Carey asked Dr. Griffin if he addressed this issue at the Florida School Boards Association (FSBA) Conference. Dr. Griffin responded yes, the School Board members have sent this letter out to the entire congregation, the entire Florida School Boards Association. He added he will be speaking at the FADSS (Florida Association of District School Superintendents) at the end of September. Chairman Carey noted that two of the Commissioners are active in the Florida Association of Counties (FAC). She thinks this could be discussed there as well as some of the task forces because this is an ongoing issue. She remarked that a big part of why businesses want to locate in Seminole County is because of the high quality schools. She noted it is important to get this right.
Commissioner Henley stated he thinks the Board should adopt a Resolution in support of this effort. He believes the amount of lost instructional time is significant, as well as being disruptive. He commented American schools already have the shortest school year of all the industrialized nations and then their instructional time is shortened even more with this disruptive testing, which is driven by the vendor because it is quite a lucrative business to the manufacturers of the tests. He noted that the Iowa Tests were used in the 50s. He stated they are still a good measure, much better than the expensive tests that are given now that have not been validated, but they are promoted by the vendors and are extremely expensive. Commissioner Henley advised he thinks the Board needs to do what they can to help the legislators become educated to deal with this appropriately. He commended Superintendent Griffin for taking the time and the initiative to try to bring about a positive change.
Commissioner Horan stated he read Seminole County Public Schools’ letter. He advised he read the Commissioner's response and was disappointed in her response both in substance and particularly in tone. He stated he is in favor of a Resolution or letter or whatever the Board wants to do in support of the alternative proposals.
Commissioner Horan stated when there is a situation where there is a brand new testing protocol, the computers do not work, and then they do not get the results back and never review them with the students before they are back in school, and that does not make any sense to him. He opined it also does not make any sense that the Commissioner says the standardized tests that have been used for decades are not really good bases for measuring student assessment now, but then they give a bonus to some teacher who may have scored highly on the ACT or the SAT years ago. He feels even though this is Seminole County Public Schools’ bailiwick, he does not have any problem supporting them in this because he thinks they are on the right path.
Commissioner Constantine stated he has had a number of conversations with Dr. Griffin regarding the concerns with testing both before he left the Legislature and now. He explained the Legislature started the testing because there were not any standards to judge by and people continued to call Florida one of the worst education systems in the United States. Today, in looking at various rankings, Florida is much higher. He advised he has always been proud of the fact that Seminole County is so far above almost all the other 67 counties with the exception of a couple.
Commissioner Constantine stated he thinks the problem that has occurred is that they see the results of certain testing, which brought success, and then everybody rushed to do more and more testing. He advised there is a balance and they have gone far over that. He added he has seen that in the last four or five years where they have really gone way over in this testing and it has moved from education to actual testing and that is all they really care about. He stated he is in support of the Resolution requesting alternatives and solutions that is being proposed today.
Chairman Carey commented that from a timing standpoint, she thinks a letter would be much quicker because the next time the Board will be together to approve a Resolution would be the second meeting in September. She requested the County Manager work with Dr. Griffin's staff to draft a letter. She thinks attaching the letter from Dr. Griffin to Commissioner Stewart and sending it to the Governor, all the Cabinet members, legislators and Department of Education would be important. Commissioner Dallari agreed to the letter and added he thinks it would be prudent due to the time element. He advised he thinks the Board should also send out an additional letter with the Chairman’s signature to the surrounding counties asking them to assist in this important issue.
Chairman Carey requested Commissioner Horan and Commissioner Constantine bring this up in their roles at the Florida Association of Counties to try to get this issue as an item of discussion. She stated she knows the quality of the schools is important to most of the counties. She noted while it is not the Board’s responsibility, it is an important thing for the counties in Florida; and she thinks that they would all like to have it a little easier, certainly if they have students in school. She opined it is really sad that students who graduated last year did not get their test results yet because who knows if that may have changed something or not. She stated she thinks it is not fair to the families that have students in the school system that they cannot even get the test results before that year ended and the next year has started. She opined there is a lot of work to be done.
Chairman Carey reiterated her request that Ms. Guillet work with Dr. Griffin's staff to draft a letter, attach Dr. Griffin’s letter, and send it to the Governor, the Cabinet members, legislators and Department of Education. She stated they will try to get the letter out this week.
Motion by Commissioner Horan, seconded by Commissioner Dallari, to authorize the County Manager to draft an appropriate letter to the Commissioner of the Florida Department of Education, copied to the legislative delegation, the Governor, the Cabinet members, and neighboring counties, asking for their support; authorize the Chairman to execute the letter; and to raise this issue with the Florida Association of Counties.
Districts 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 voted AYE.
Commissioner Dallari stated before they move on, he wanted to mention that the owners of Wekiva Island, Mary Sue and Bill Weinaug were present. He announced on August 23rd, Wekiva Island was the focus of the Travel Channel’s program “America’s Secret Swimming Holes.” In the portion of the program featuring Wekiva Island, Ms. Weinaug described Seminole County as a great place to live and play. Commissioner Dallari thanked Ms. Weinaug. He commended Mr. and Mrs. Weinaug on what they have done with that little piece of heaven.
Chairman Carey stated SGTV is looking for content and she thinks they can work out the details with national channels such as the Travel Channel to allow SGTV to use and replay things that have featured Seminole County on other channels.
Commissioner Constantine commented Sunday is not the first time the episode aired and it has been shown quite a few times. He added every time Ms. Weinaug gets on camera, she does not stop talking about the positives of Seminole County.
COUNTY MANAGER’S CONSENT AGENDA
With regard to public participation, no one spoke in the audience spoke in support or in opposition to the Consent Agenda, Items #2 through #31, and public input was closed.
Nicole Guillet, County Manager, stated there is an add-on, Item #2A, Collective Bargaining Agreement with the Seminole County Professional Firefighters Association. Chairman Carey submitted her ex parte communications regarding Item #2A into the record.
Commissioner Henley requested that Item #20, acceptance of the Orlando North/Seminole County rebranding initiative, and Item #22, Agreement with the Central Florida Sports Commission to provide enhanced sports business development, event booking, and sports marketing services for the Seminole County Sports Complex and other Seminole County recreation and sports venues, be pulled for a separate discussion.
Commissioner Constantine requested that Item #2, Contract for Sale and Purchase of Land for property located at 2907 through 2925 U.S. Highway 17-92 with Ramy Properties; and Item #25, Settlement Agreement regarding Cove Lake Dredging Project and Riverbend Park with Sweetwater Oaks Homeowners Association, Inc. be pulled for a separate discussion.
Motion by Commissioner Horan, seconded by Commissioner Constantine, to authorize and approve the following:
County Manager’s Office
2A. Authorize the County Manager to execute the Collective Bargaining Agreement with the Seminole County Professional Firefighters Association, Local 3254, A-Unit. (A-1205-15)
Human Resources Division
3. Approve the benefit plan changes/renewals for Florida Blue, HealthEquity, Allstate, and Solstice; and authorize the County Manager to execute the renewal Agreements. (A-1175-15)
4. Approve and authorize the Chairman to execute the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Cooperation Agreements with the Cities of Altamonte Springs, Casselberry, Lake Mary, Longwood, Oviedo, and Winter Springs. (A-1139-15)
Community Assistance Division
5. Approve and authorize the Chairman to execute the First Amendment to the Seminole County/SafeHouse of Seminole County Emergency Shelter Program Subrecipient Agreement, extending the term date to March 31, 2016. (A-1132-15)
6. Approve the acceptance of the 2015-2016 renewal grant award from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for the Continuum of Care (CoC) Grant Program in the amount of $117,975; and authorize the Chairman to execute the Agreement on behalf of the County in accordance to Administrative Code Section 22.20 D(a)(2). (A-1129-15)
7. Approve the acceptance of the 2015-2016 renewal grant award from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for the Continuum of Care (CoC) Grant Program (Shelter Plus Care 1) in the amount of $357,043; and authorize the Chairman to execute the Agreement on behalf of the County in accordance to Administrative Code Section 22.20 D(2)(a). (A-1128-15)
Community Development Division
8. Adopt appropriate Resolution #2015-R-142, appointing Alton Williams, Melvin Philpot, Kip Beacham, Sheron Binkley, Joshua DeVinney, and Jay Zembower, to the Seminole County’s Affordable Housing Advisory Committee (AHAC), as required by Chapter 420, Part VII, Florida Statutes, including Chapter 420.9076 as well as Section 40.267 of the Seminole County, Florida Code of Ordinances and Section 4.4 of the Seminole County Administrative Code. (A-1146-15)
9. Approve and accept the Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP) monthly snapshot/report and properties acquired by Seminole County Government. (A-1134-15)
10. Approve and authorize the Chairman to execute the State Housing Initiatives Partnership (SHIP) Program Annual Report and Local Housing Incentives Certification form for the State Housing Initiatives Partnership Program (SHIP) Annual Performance Report (APR). (A-1133-15)
Planning & Development Division
11. Approve the plat for the Griffith Estates Subdivision containing 3 lots on 20.3 acres zoned A-5 (Rural Zoning Classification/Rural Subdivision Standards), located on the north side of Lake Harney Road, approximately 1,100 feet west of Harney Heights Road; W. Duane Griffith. (A-1103-15)
12. Adopt appropriate Resolution #2015-R-143, vacating and abandoning a portion of a platted 8-foot drainage easement on Lot 136, Steeple Chase, as recorded in the Public Records of Seminole County in Plat Book 78, Pages 59 through 63, more particularly known as 4007 Equine Cove; David Williamson. (A-1041-15)
13. Approve and authorize the Chairman to execute the Memorandum of Understanding with RB Jai Alai, LLC regarding the components and conditions to be considered based upon the recommendations of the Oxford Road Long Range Redevelopment Plan, on property generally located on the southeast quadrant of the SR 436/U.S. 17-92 intersection; Jim Sellen, VHB, Inc. (A-1152-15)
14. Approve the appointments of Terrence McCue as representative and Debra Smith as alternative member to the South Seminole North Orange County Wastewater Transmission Authority Board (SSNOCWTA); and authorize the County Manager to transmit a letter to Mr. Ed Gil de Rubio, Executive Director of the South Seminole North Orange County Wastewater Transmission Authority advising him of the appointments. (A-1178-15)
Solid Waste Management Division
15. Approve and authorize the Chairman to execute a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity for Perma-Fix of Florida, effective from October 1, 2015 through September 30, 2016. (A-1119-15)
16. Approve and authorize the Chairman to execute Certificates of Public Convenience and Necessity for companies as follows: Comfort House, Inc.; Conex Recycling Corporation; GLE Scrap Metal-Florida, Inc.; Keller Outdoor, Inc.; Orlando Waste Paper Company, Inc.; Pronto Dumpsters, LLC; Trademark Metals Recycling, LLC; and USA Services of Florida, Inc., effective from October 1, 2015 through September 30, 2016. (A-1108-15)
17. Approve eight new Utility Easements; five Access Easements; and a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Florida Power & Light Company for the reconstruction of overhead power lines to be realigned on the Yankee Lake Property. (A-1031-15)
Greenways & Natural Lands Division
18. Approve and authorize Chairman to execute an Agreement with Archangel Ancient Tree Archive for the collection of samples and cloning of the “Lady Liberty” bald cypress tree. (A-1104-15)
19. Approve and authorize the Chairman to execute an Ingress and Egress Access Easement Agreement with Doris B. and Richard Holcomb for easements located along common property lines with the Seminole County Sports Complex facility. (A-1160-15)
Tourism Development Division
21. Approve and authorize the Chairman to execute a Tourist Tax Funding Agreement with Central Florida Softball Organization in the amount of $9,600 for the 2015 ASANA Softball World Series to be held October 19 through 24, 2015. (A-1157-15)
23. Approve and authorize the Chairman to execute the First Amendment to the Tourism Sports Marketing Agreement with the Central Florida Sports Commission to provide additional funding for startup costs associated to increased marketing and business development efforts related to the Seminole County Sports Complex in the amount of $19,274.50. (A-1181-15)
24. Adopt appropriate Resolution #2015-R-144, and authorize the Chairman to execute a Local Funding Reimbursement Agreement, and a Three-Party Escrow Agreement with the State of Florida, Department of Transportation, for the widening and reconstruction of State Road 46 from Mellonville Avenue to State Road 415. FDOT Financial Management Numbers 240216-2-52-01 and 240216-2-A8-01. (A-0859-15)
26. Approve and authorize the Chairman to execute appropriate Resolution #2015-R-145, implementing Budget Amendment Request (BAR) #15-105 in the amount of $25,419, to reduce the Adult Drug Court Grant carryforward from FY2013/14 to FY2014/15 to match the approved Adult Drug Court grant award total. (A-1107-15)
Budget and Fiscal Management Division
27. Approve and authorize the Chairman to execute appropriate Resolution #2015-R-146, implementing the Budget Amendment Request (BAR) #15-104 through the General Fund to reallocate $12,227 of operating budget for the creation of a secondary egress within the Five Points Radio Transmitter Site. (A-1147-15)
28. Approve and authorize the Chairman to execute appropriate Resolution #2015-R-147, implementing Budget Amendment Request (BAR) #15-108 through the General Fund to recognize revenue from the Orlando City Soccer Club utility reimbursement and appropriate budget in the amount of $21,818 for Sylvan Lake Park. (A-1126-15)
Purchasing & Contracts Division
29. Award IFB-602281-15/TLR, Term Contract for Annual Hose Testing Services for Public Safety to 1st American Fire Services, Palm Harbor; and authorize the Purchasing & Contracts Division to execute the Agreement. (A-1131-15)
30. Award IFB-602315-15/TLR, Term Contract for Fuel Storage Tank Inspection and Repairs to Petroleum Equipment Construction, Inc., Apopka; and authorize the Purchasing & Contracts Division to execute the Agreement. (A-1099-15)
31. Award IFB-602317-15/TLR, Term Contract for Exterior Window Cleaning to Awnclean, USA, Inc., Tampa; and authorize the Purchasing & Contracts Division to execute the Agreement. (A-1100-15)
Districts 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 voted AYE.
Agenda Item #2 – A-1182-15
Regarding Item #2, the Contract for Sale and Purchase of Land for property located at 2907 through 2925 North U.S. Highway 17-92 with Ramy Properties, LLC, Commissioner Constantine stated he asked this item be pulled to highlight this particular issue because the County is purchasing a piece of property on 17-92. He advised Bruce McMenemy, Deputy County Manager, has been the individual negotiating the purchase.
At the request of Commissioner Constantine, Bruce McMenemy, Deputy County Manager, addressed the Board to state when asked by Commissioner Constantine if this is a purchase the County has to make right now, he thinks the answer is no and added there are very few purchases the Board has to make at any particular time. Mr. McMenemy stated this is a purchase that is very prudent given the property, the location, and the fact that they were able to negotiate a very good arrangement where they are basically getting the property about 16% less than market value. He stated with the County Manager's assistance, they have put together a list of options where the County can use this property for a variety of different things. He opined strategically, this is a prudent purchase looking forward.
Upon inquiry by Commissioner Constantine, Mr. McMenemy stated this property is being purchased through the Solid Waste Fund. Chairman Carey commented that is because the property is adjacent to the Central Transfer Station. Mr. McMenemy advised he thinks this is a very prudent use of those funds in that those funds right now are not productive in the sense that they are generating a lot of interest. The amount of interest the County earns in those funds in very miniscule. He opined to use funds in this fashion is extremely prudent for the Board to look down the road, look for items and uses that will be very beneficial to the citizens going forward. He commented the Board has always had the view of very forward thinking and he thinks this is just another example.
Commissioner Constantine explained the reason he brought this up is sometimes when they are doing these things that are farsighted and looking to the future, it should be spotlighted instead of just put on the Consent Agenda because it is important that people know what the County is doing and why they are doing it, especially when they are purchasing property of this amount.
Motion by Commissioner Constantine, seconded by Commissioner Horan, to approve the Contract for Sale and Purchase of Land for property located at 2907 through 2925 North U.S. Highway 17-92 in unincorporated Seminole County, Parcel ID: 21-20-30-5AP-0000-0020, and Parcel ID: 21-20-30-5AP-0000-002A, for the purchase price of $3,750,000 from seller, Ramy Properties, LLC.
Under discussion, Commissioner Horan stated he wanted to put this into context so that everyone understands that this is a piece of property that is contiguous to the County’s Central Transfer Station. He explained this purchase will then allow the County to have a contiguous and continuous piece of property between SR 419 and U.S. 17-92, which will improve or has the potential to improve the traffic flow and ease of circulation through the Transfer Station for the public. He added it will also give the County some opportunities for other co-locations or co-uses.
Commissioner Henley echoed Commissioner Horan’s comments regarding traffic improvements. He noted this is not the first time the Board has looked into purchasing that property. Several years ago they considered it, but in being patient, he thinks they got it at a better price. Commissioner Henley added that at the time, they looked at the Nissan property as a potential property as well. He opined this is a good and wise purchase. He thanked Mr. McMenemy for what he has done. Chairman Carey commented it is certainly a well-positioned piece of property. She added that this is also an opportunity to repurpose a former dealership that has been closed.
Districts 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 voted AYE.
Agenda Item #20 - A-1144-15
Regarding Item #20, request to approve and authorize the acceptance of the Orlando North/Seminole County tourism rebranding initiative to include tourism logo and tourism organization name as recommended, Commissioner Henley advised he is not interested in trying to change anybody's mind; he simply wants to register a “no” vote.
Motion by Commissioner Horan, seconded by Commissioner Constantine, to approve and authorize the acceptance of the Orlando North/Seminole County tourism rebranding initiative to include tourism logo and tourism organization name as recommended.
Districts 1, 2 and 3 voted AYE.
Chairman Carey and Commissioner Henley voted NAY.
Agenda Item #22 - A-1154-15
Commissioner Henley stated he requested Item #22, performance-based Agreement with the Central Florida Sports Commission, be pulled so he can register a “no” vote. He stated he thinks it has been discussed enough.
Motion by Commissioner Dallari, seconded by Commissioner Constantine, to approve and authorize the Chairman to execute a performance-based Agreement with the Central Florida Sports Commission to provide enhanced sports business development, event booking, and sports marketing services for the Seminole County Sports Complex and other Seminole County recreation and sports venues.
Under discussion, Commissioner Constantine stated he is in support of this agreement, but wanted to reiterate the concerns he voiced at the Budget Work Session regarding the mishmash of different groups that are involved. He stated they have discussed this and he understands that staff is going to be very careful. He just wanted to once again make sure that everyone understands that they will be watching closely and making sure people are not stumbling over one another or taking the opportunity to say that something is not their job in putting these different programs with various parties. He restated he is very concerned about this. He stated he trusts that staff knows how they are going to put this together and added the County Manager has assured him that she is on top of it.
Commissioner Horan stated he thinks all five Commissioners have the same concerns regarding the different parties. He stated there are a number of parties who are going to be involved in business development, marketing, sponsorship, naming rights, et cetera, of the Sports Complex. He advised he shares Commissioner Constantine’s concern that not only the parties not be siloed, but that they communicate effectively with each other.
Commissioner Horan stated he has discussed this at length with staff and this is going to be a contract administration responsibility of the very good people the County has in Parks & Recreation and the managers of the Sports Complex. He expressed he has every confidence that the people involved are highly professional and highly committed. He stated they are going to be continually communicating, and added they are all going to be dedicated to the success of making maximum use of the business development for the Sports Complex and also expanding our Tourism as it should be into the leisure market.
Districts 1, 2, 3 and 5 voted AYE.
Commissioner Henley voted NAY.
Item #25 - A-1137-15
Commissioner Constantine noted Jason Howard, President of Sweetwater Oaks Homeowners Association, was present. He stated he requested Item #25, Settlement Agreement regarding Cove Lake Dredging Project and Riverbend Park with Sweetwater Oaks Homeowners Association, Inc., be pulled for discussion to compliment Mr. Howard on bringing his concerns forward and his persistence in working with staff. He commended staff on their work to find a solution that makes both the Homeowners Association and the County very comfortable in the outcome.
Motion by Commissioner Constantine, seconded by Commissioner Horan, to approve and authorize the Chairman to execute the Settlement Agreement regarding Cove Lake Dredging Project and Riverbend Park with Sweetwater Oaks Homeowners Association, Inc. for the sum of $15,737.50.
Districts 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 voted AYE.
CONSTITUTIONAL OFFICERS’ CONSENT AGENDA
Agenda Item #32 – A-1150-15
Motion by Commissioner Constantine, seconded by Commissioner Henley, to approve the following: Expenditure Approval Lists dated July 27 and August 3, 2015; Payroll Approval List dated July 25, 2015; the BCC Official Minutes dated July 28, 2015; and Board execution of the 2014 Property Tax Roll Final Report, identifying errors, insolvencies, double assessments and discounts.
Districts 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 voted AYE.
The Board noted, for information only, the following Clerk’s “Received and Filed”:
1. Performance Bond #1961795 for Private Roads in the amount of $698,608.43; Performance Bond #1961796 for Water and Sewer Systems in the amount of $136,102.85: Bellevue Plat; and Title Opinion.
2. Development Order #15-27500025, Alcoholic Beverage License, Saint Anejo Mexican Kitchen & Tequileria, Joel Rios.
3. Board of Adjustment Approval Development Orders as follows: #15-30000035, Setback Variance, Quail Circle, Kevin T. and Shannon N. Ehrlich; #15-30000036, Setback Variance, Poinsettia Drive, Sebastian Forbis and Sandra N. Forbis-Rosenheimer; #15-30000041, Setback Variance, Canal Point Road, Lora C. Costantini; #15-30000039, Variance, Jasmine Road, Jessica & Chad Robinson; #15-30000040, Variance, Tala Loop, Mohamedraza & Shabnum Moledina; #15-30000042, Variance, Ranch Road, Thomas S. Deckrow & Holly A. Johnson; and #15-32000003, Special Exception, Haven Drive, Lutheran Haven Nursing Home & Assisted Living Facility, LLC.
4. Denial Development Order #15-30000038, Setback Variance, Milinda Lane, Kenneth R. and Vonda Sexton.
5. Utility Easement with Orangewood Christian School, Inc.
6. Bill of Sale for the Acceptance of Potable and Reclaimed Water and Sewer Systems for the project known as Steeple Chase, Ph 2, Tract N, Taylor Morrison of Florida, Inc.
7. Parks Contract for Services with Darryl Brett Porche.
8. Amendment #2 to Work Order #10 to PS-1666-07, Inwood Consulting Engineers.
9. Amendment #1 to Work Order #73 to PS-4388-09, Inwood Consulting Engineers.
10. Work Order #91 to PS-4388-09, HNTB Corporation.
11. Corrected Closeout to Work Order #18 to CC-5075-10, AJC Construction.
12. Amendment #1 to Work Order #6 to PS-8146-12, CDM Smith, Inc.
13. Amendment #1 to Work Order #23 to PS-8186-13, Hazen and Sawyer, P.C.
14. Amendment #2 to Work Order #28 to CC-8199-12, C.E. James, Inc.
15. Corrected Closeout to Work Order #25 to CC-8199-12, C.E. James, Inc.
16. Amendment #1 to Work Order #58 to RFP-8312-12, Chief Inspection Services.
17. Closeout to Work Order #6 to CC-9184-13, Central Florida Environmental Corp.
18. Change Order #1 to Work Order #6 to CC-9184-13, Central Florida Environmental Corp.
19. Change Order #1 to Work Order #15 to CC-9192-13, Linton Enterprises, Inc.
20. Corrected Closeout to CC-9276-14, Central Florida Environmental Corp.
21. Work Order #2 to PS-9738-14, E Sciences, Inc.
22. Change Order #3 to CC-9909-15, CMI Environmental, LLC.
23. Amendment #1 to RFP-602203-15, Raynor Shine Services, LLC.
24. Amendment #1 to SS-602231-15, PublicStuff, Inc.
25. Master Lease Purchase Agreement #2719216349 with Hewlett-Packard Financial Services Company, Inc., as part of RFP-602268-15.
26. Bids as follows:
IFB-602315-15 from Petroleum Technicians, Inc.; Petroleum Equipment Construction, Inc.; Guardian Fueling Technologies, Inc.;
IFB-602317-15 from Ace Building Maintenance & Marble Restoration, Inc.; Liberty Services; Tribond, LLC; Florida Cleaning Systems; D&A Building Services, Inc.; BAS of Florida, LLC; A1 Orange Cleaning Service Co. Inc.; Awnclean, USA; and
IFB-602318-15 from American Fire Company; Space Coast Fire and Safety, Inc.; DynaFire; Protective Systems Holdings LLC; Cintas Fire Protection.
Districts 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 voted AYE.
Agenda Item #33 – A-1095-15
Pamela Lynch, Business Development Manager with Economic Development, addressed the Board to present a request to consider approval of a Resolution recommending that Paylocity Corporation be approved as a Qualified Target Industry Business; and approval of the County’s required Local Financial Support of $88,000 over FY2016/17 through FY2023/24, as local participation in the QTI tax refund program.
Ms. Lynch reviewed details of the Qualified Target Industry Business program. She reviewed the request as outlined in the agenda memorandum. On July 9th the City of Lake Mary approved their equal participation of $88,000 at their City Commission meeting. She advised staff recommends approval of the request and offered to answer any questions the Board may have. She noted Jim White, Director of Accounts with Paylocity Corporation, and Casey Barnes, Vice President, Business Development, Orlando Economic Development Commission, are present as well.
With regard to public participation, no one in the audience spoke in support or in opposition and public input was closed.
Motion by Commissioner Horan, seconded by Commissioner Constantine, to adopt appropriate Resolution #2015-R-148 recommending that Paylocity Corporation be approved as a Qualified Target Industry Business; and approve the County’s required local financial support of $88,000 over FY2016/17 to FY2023/24, as local participation in the QTI tax refund program.
Under discussion, Commissioner Constantine commended Ms. Lynch on getting these programs tighter and addressing many of the criteria he has asked her to address.
Districts 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 voted AYE.
COUNTY MANAGER AND STAFF BRIEFINGS
Agenda Item #34 – A-1127-15
The Board noted, for information only, the Informational Budget Transfer Status Report for FY2014/15 (July 2015).
COUNTY ATTORNEY BRIEFING
Bryant Applegate, County Attorney, reported that late last night he found out the Putnam County Environmental Council’s challenge to the Fourth Addendum to the St. Johns River Water Management Plan will not be heard at next week's Florida Land Water Adjudicatory Commission (FLWAC) meeting and it has been rescheduled for September 29th. He advised he will keep the Board posted on any changes.
Upon inquiry by Chairman Carey regarding public comment, Mr. Applegate stated the response he received last night is that they will not arrange for any telephonic comment. He stated he is working with Nick Porter, de la Parte & Gilbert, P.A., to see what can be done. Chairman Carey clarified that her question is whether FLWAC will hear public comment and if the Board can talk to them. Mr. Applegate replied they are trying to find that out.
Upon inquiry by Commissioner Horan, Mr. Applegate confirmed the proceeding on September 29th is a hearing, and he does not think it is going to be a quasi-judicial hearing. Commissioner Horan stated he read the inquiry to Ed de la Parte, de la Parte & Gilbert, P.A. Commissioner Horan advised they want to make sure they are telling people the right thing. He stated it will be a hearing, there will be testimony, and the Legislature has made it clear that the public has to be able to have access to comment at any particular proceeding, even though it may be quasi-judicial. He stated he thinks that is what Chairman Carey's inquiry is. Commissioner Horan advised he knows they are in uncharted territory because what the Legislature has provided in recent iterations may not necessarily be consistent with the case law in the areas.
Mr. Applegate advised Mr. del a Parte and Mr. Porter are working on this every day and added they send him messages frequently. The rules have not been finalized yet, so he cannot tell the Board what type of hearing with certainty it is going to be. He stated they are working on it.
Chairman Carey stated she is just trying to determine if the Board will be able to discuss this matter with the Cabinet and the Governor who will be hearing the matter. Commissioner Horan stated that is a different issue. Chairman Carey stated she understands, but that is her question and she still has not gotten an answer. Chairman Carey stated she thinks the public would like to comment on the issue and she certainly would like to comment on the issue. Mr. Applegate advised the initial response he received was that prudence would say that the Board should not communicate individually with the members of FLWAC. Chairman Carey requested Mr. Applegate notify the Board when he receives an answer on whether the public will be able to comment because they have a lot of people asking about that.
The Board recessed the meeting at 10:15 a.m., reconvening at 1:30 p.m., with all Commissioners and all other Officials, with the exception of Deputy Clerk Erin Leben who was replaced by Deputy Clerk Terri Porter, who were present at the Opening Session.
PROOFS OF PUBLICATION
Motion by Commissioner Dallari, seconded by Commissioner Horan, to authorize the filing of the proofs of publication for this meeting's scheduled public hearings into the Official Record.
Districts 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 voted AYE.
FY2015/16 BUDGET SUBMITED BY
SEMINOLE COUNTY PORT AUTHORITY (SCOPA)
Agenda Item #35 – PH-2015-068
Proof of publication calling for a public hearing to consider approval of the Seminole County Port Authority (SCOPA) FY2015/16 Budget, received and filed.
Andrew Van Gaale, SCOPA Administrator, addressed the Board to present the FY2015/16 SCOPA Budget. He stated he would like to start by reviewing the current year and asked the Commissioners to follow along on SCOPA Memorandum #2238 included in the agenda memorandum. He reviewed revenue and expenses and reported they are on track to meet profit projections of $587,741 or 33%. He added that out of this current year’s budget, 2014/15, they will be presenting a check for $1 million to the BCC in October of this year.
Mr. Van Gaale then covered the predicted operational revenue for FY2015/16 and advised it reflects a slight increase over the current year’s budget. Their predicted expenditures also show an increase because they are embarking on master planning and surveying with their consulting engineer to address flooding issues. He stated the bottom line in their operational budget for 2015/16 totals $3,787,542 and that brings a predicted profit for next year of $320,220 or 18%.
In regard to their Total Cash Budget, Mr. Van Gaale reported that a $300,000 transfer to the Seminole County General Fund is considered in this budget bringing the cash balance, inclusive of restricted and non-restricted cash, to $1,985,924 as of October of this year. He recited the projected revenues and expenses and the transfer to the General Fund and stated this brings a restricted and non-restricted cash balance in September 2016 of $2,006,144. He clarified that restricted cash generally includes deposits and that is roughly about $200,000.
Matthew Brown, SCOPA Chairman, addressed the Board and stated that one item that has been brought up is their contribution to the County, and it is something last week that the SCOPA board voted on unanimously to look at again, after they have closed their books on September 30th; 60 days beyond that they should be done with an audit of the books. This will give them a good picture of where they are and the ability to make an additional contribution to the County above and beyond the $300,000 capital transfer. He stated he would like the Commission to rest assured that they are partners and appreciate the help given to them by the Board, and they want to continue to do a good job.
Commissioner Horan said he wanted to confirm Mr. Van Gaale’s report that if at the end of this year, based upon their projected budget and a payment of $300,000 to the County, they will have a cash reserve of a little over $2 million. Mr. Van Gaale confirmed that was correct. Upon further inquiry, Mr. Van Gaale explained that about $175,000 in deposits is included in the total cash, and they are liabilities although only about 15% to 20%. Commissioner Horan then stated their unrestricted reserves then are about $1.8 million.
Chairman Carey stated that clearly they have a very healthy reserve. They do not receive the payment from the Port until the end of the year; at the September meeting, they will get the million dollars for the 2014/15 year. And then at the mid-point when they close the books, the Chairman said the SCOPA board will look at the $300,000 contribution again. She said historically, the last time the County got $300,000 was in 2006. She stated from that time forward, the amounts were $1 million; $950,000; $600,000; $800,000; $550,000; $450,000; and $500,000 so it has varied but not gone below $450,000 since that point in 2006.
Commissioner Horan stated he would like to discuss this and that part of the consideration here is that the Port Authority has a $1.8 million budget and they also have $1.8 million in reserves. He added he does not believe the Port Authority has a major capital improvement plan. If they did, it would have had to be approved by the BCC, and he is not quite sure what the purpose would be. He confirmed with Mr. Van Gaale that the Port Authority’s assets are on the County’s financial statements. Commissioner Horan stated that in looking at SCOPA’s financial statements from last year, they had $2,389,000 in cash and cash equivalents, and he presumed that included the restricted cash. Mr. Van Gaale replied that it did. Commissioner Horan then stated that total capital assets are somewhere in the neighborhood of $7.6 million and total assets are close to $10 million.
Commissioner Horan added that in terms of the purpose of the Port Authority and the function that it serves within the county, the question he has is why do they have such a large amount of reserves sitting there when the County is fighting every year with their own general reserves to maintain a certain level to ensure they don’t impair their bonding rating, etc.
Mr. Van Gaale explained they, in fact, do capital improvement planning. This year they did go through a CCNA process and selected a consulting engineer, CPH, Inc., to address their flooding and their 40-year-old infrastructure needs. He stated they still have an open drainage system that is in dire need of repair. They also have tenants several times a year that have flooding in their buildings, which is a big liability. He added that the reason for their capital reserves is to address their aging infrastructure. As new developments surround the Port, more water comes through it; and he has pictures, videos and data to support the conclusions of the water intrusion. He said they have new development all around them that are approved with closed drainage systems and adequate ponds, but the Port is still on a 40-year-old system of old concrete pipes and open drainage, and it is a liability and a maintenance issue.
Mr. Van Gaale continued his explanation and stated they now have a
Commissioner Horan stated the Port Authority operates well and efficiently. He questioned that in terms of the County’s assets, whether this is the best and highest use of the land and wondered how much should be invested in that piece of land for this particular function that is producing $300,000 per year. Mr. Van Gaale replied that it is an incubator for the County where small businesses can move out of their garage. He stated since he took over in 2006, the County’s annual return is about $735,000. Commissioner Horan commented that his questions should not be interpreted as pejorative because he thinks it is operating very well.
Commissioner Horan stated the question is whether this is an efficient use of assets that are on the books of about $8 million to $9 million a year of which he does not know the market value. He said he knows small business incubation is important; the Board thinks it is important which is why they spend about $300,000 a year on an incubator project. They also have a small business investment through Seminole State College, etc. and through economic development, so they understand the value of that. He added the Port Authority has been in existence for decades and had a certain purpose. He opined that Mr. Van Gaale is looking at it as he probably should, that he has a going operation and what can they afford to “pay” somebody else. However, Commissioner Horan stated he is looking at it from the viewpoint of there are $2 million in reserves there and what is that being used for. So, whether or not they really need to maintain that level of reserves is a question in his mind because the County is fighting year after year to maintain theirs.
Mr. Van Gaale stated that he believes once the engineering is completed, they will see a depletion of capital reserves to enable the Port to survive another 40 years. He added that their tenants and users deserve modern, efficient facilities. Commissioner Horan stated that the question of whether or not that capital improvement should be made is really a decision the BCC should be making. Mr. Van Gaale responded that they have an income-producing asset that has zero debt and an annual return, historically since he started, from $700,000 to $750,000. He added it is an aging facility that they continue to rehab and believes it is a wise choice; it serves a public purpose of incubating small businesses. He stated there are many success stories; they stay in Seminole County and there is growth in the area because of the job creation.
SCOPA Chairman, Mr. Brown, stated that some people say they should sell the property and that the Port Authority is in competition with local people. The problem is that the only other port or marina in the area is Sanford, which is owned by the City. Also, back in the 1970s, people entered into long-term leases. He added that the Board would be surprised at what the value of those leases is for the marina. Also, it is not where they could give notice and those lessors would leave; literally, the value of the Port would be taken by those people that hold leases beyond 50 years. He explained that they entered into 100-year leases to be able to pay for the Port back in the 70s, which were continued when it was sold about 10 years ago, the marine aspect of it. He added that if something happens to their buildings, they lose their income; they don’t tax people, they get it from income. They do not have enough to replace their buildings, but they have enough to be prudent maybe if 25% of them became damaged due to a hurricane or something like that. He said they would be faced with about a 10% deductible on those buildings. They just went through a bankruptcy with a major tenant and lost a lot of money, so there are things that make them a little tighter on the budget strings. He can only assure the Board that anything they do not have plans for will come back to the County.
Mr. Brown opined that it is a bit of a jewel to have a port; today they may not have to have that, but they don’t know what the future holds also. He certainly hopes they hold onto it, and there was a time that he didn’t agree with that and honestly questioned why they were competing with the “guy next door” who has warehouses. But then they find themselves at 90% occupancy, which tells him they are not the cheapest in town, and they try to be competitive with everyone in the neighborhood, and they are competitive. He concluded that some of the reason for keeping a little extra money is to be prudent, and there is a value to the Port. He opined he does not know, as a Seminole County resident, if they would actually come out ahead because of the long-term leases.
Chairman Carey commented that clearly if they were going to look at selling the asset, the leases would be part of the value to the person who is purchasing it because people buy property all the time that have existing leases and as part of their due diligence, they make a determination if they think it is worth it or not. She stated she thinks the longest term lease out there is the marina, which had a 99-year lease, so there is probably about 50 years left on that.
Mr. Van Gaale stated he knows their board is committed to getting the money to the County at the end of the year and he is confident that they will have it.
Upon inquiry by Commissioner Horan, Ms. Guillet advised that the contribution is in the budget for $500,000 this year. She suggested that the Board allow her to work with Mr. Van Gaale as they move forward, not just on the issue of what the ultimate contribution will be for this fiscal year but also on some of the questions that have been raised here today. She knows that the Port Authority had talked about involving the County a little bit more in their budgeting process as they move forward too. She added that Mr. Van Gaale has assured her that he thinks he will be able to find some additional funds for the County. Also, the Authority was very open last year when the Board asked them to up their contribution, and they showed that they want to be a good partner. With the Board’s approval, she stated she could work with Mr. Van Gaale and maybe try to come up with even some ongoing protocols for how they deal with the issue of surplus funds and budgeting matters.
Chairman Carey stated there was a time when the Port Authority did not give any money to the BCC; she advised that it started after a long-range master plan of how the Port would operate over a 10-year period of time. They started with a small contribution of $300,000 with the request that $150,000 of that would go towards supporting the incubator. She added that drainage has always been a problem there and they do have about $375,000 addressed for site work and drainage, not counting the study portion of it. Also, roof replacement is an ongoing issue there. She feels confident the SCOPA board will go back and look at this again, and hopefully, they will come up with a policy about how to look at this moving forward knowing that this is a concern of this Board.
Commissioner Dallari suggested that Mr. Van Gaale also have their consultant look at their capital improvement plan in regard to stormwater, and he is assuming that should also include the roads because they maintain the roads as well because they are all private. He questioned when the CIP will be formalized. Mr. Van Gaale advised they are into contract now and will start planning stakeholder meetings with the major users, the marinas, and Millennium Motor Coaches which leases 100,000 square feet. Upon inquiry by Commissioner Dallari, Mr. Van Gaale stated he intends to go into the next budget process with some firm engineering numbers in a five-year plan to address these issues. He added there are intersection improvements off of Orange Boulevard that need to be done because they are very hazardous.
Commissioner Dallari explained he is bringing this up because not only should it be a multi-year plan, but both the County and the Port need to be working together to see how they can piggyback projects because there may be some value with the scale. The Commissioner stated while the County Manager and her staff are looking at the budget, they should be looking at the CIP as well. He opined that the Port is a true asset to this county and they all know you have to keep your infrastructure as sound as possible if you can afford it, and it needs to be an ongoing and multi-year process. He said he is glad they are actually looking at it and that these dollars will be earmarked for that and he believes it is very prudent to do that.
Chairman Carey stated they will also have a great opportunity to redevelop the site where Acme Recycling was which is right there at the west entrance to the Port and that is the company they were talking about that went into bankruptcy.
With regard to public participation, no one in the audience spoke in support or in opposition.
Motion by Commissioner Dallari, seconded by Commissioner Constantine, to approve the Seminole County Port Authority (SCOPA) FY2015/16 Budget, as described in the proof of publication, and as presented with the caveat that SCOPA will work with County staff to relook at their numbers (contribution to the County) at year end as well as their CIP (Capital Improvement Plan).
Districts 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 voted AYE.
TUSCAWILLA ESTATES REZONE/Central Florida Housing Partners, LLC
Agenda Item #36 – PH-2015-166
Proof of publication calling for a public hearing to consider adoption of an Ordinance enacting a Rezone from R-1AA (Single Family Dwelling) to PD (Planned Development) for a 31-lot, single-family residential subdivision on 13.29 acres, located on the east side of Tuskawilla Road, approximately one-half mile north of Aloma Avenue, Central Florida Housing Partners, LLC, received and filed.
Joy Giles, Planning & Development Division, addressed the Board to state that the Applicant proposes to develop a subdivision with a maximum density of 3.99 units per acre for a total of 31 lots. She discussed the landscape buffers proposed, an internal road, and stated utilities will be provided by Seminole County.
Ms. Giles advised the Planning & Zoning Commission voted unanimously to recommend approval of the Rezone and staff also recommends approval of the request.
Randy Morris, with RM Strategies, Inc., addressed the Board to advise that their engineer, Luke Classon with IBI, is also in attendance. He thanked staff for working with them diligently and stated that this issue was before the Board about a year and a half ago as an original straight zoning. He said they’ve come back with a PD and want to walk the Board through a few things about that.
Mr. Morris displayed a PowerPoint presentation (received and filed) showing first the site location and then a Future Land Use Map. He stated this shows the future land uses are compatible with the surrounding properties to the east, west and south. He then displayed Conceptual Plan 1 and stated the original concept plan that was approved by the Board was straight zoning. He explained it shows thirty-one 90-foot lots, which was compatible with all the projects around it, but unfortunately it would have wiped out all of the wetlands that are on the property and the wetlands do have value. He added the current site has been vacant for decades; it has a falling-down barn on it, some horses, goats, and at least six dump sites or more of construction debris. They met extensively with the surrounding homeowners; they had an almost three-hour meeting attended by about 30 people from Bear Creek HOA and from Tuskawilla Acres.
Conceptual Plan 2 was displayed and Mr. Morris stated that this is their concept plan and they are making the densities a little lower. He pointed out the wetlands and stated they are preserving the wetlands and putting green space around the wetlands. They are putting in a retention pond that would then feed the wetlands on an overflow basis that would help the wetlands on both sides off of the property. The plan basically then is to shrink the lot size a little bit.
Mr. Morris showed Tuscawilla Estates PSP Site Plan and stated this is the full site plan. They are also bringing at the same time, their actual PSP site plan so the Board can see what they are going to build, which is what the staff will be approving at the same time, not a promise for the future. And, staff is reviewing right now the final engineering.
Mr. Morris advised that one of the concerns that came up with the homeowners is the traffic. He displayed Traffic Concerns and stated if you go to the south at the Bear Creek entrance, that right now there are U-turn movements occurring where people are going down Tuskawilla to a day care site and some retail further to the south. When they reverse trajectory, they will pull the first U-turn where there is a no-left-turn lane, and in the morning when most of these U-turn movements occur, those drivers cannot get out and make their left turn move. Mr. Morris said they studied this, and they have talked to staff and the District Commissioner. They believe the following solution they are asking the County Engineer to look at, and indeed he is studying this, deals with putting in a “No U-turn” sign and moving that U-turn either up to where their entrance would be, because there would be a far less number of units or peak-hour trips, or putting a “No U-turn” movement there if they choose to and going further north where there is a left-turn lane and a stacking capacity. He added that it is a safety concern and a convenience concern.
Mr. Morris displayed the Aerial Overlay Plan Rendering slide and explained they are proposing a gated community and pointed out there is plenty of stacking capacity to pull in and out of the development. He noted that the homes will back up to the current homes all the way around. On the Entry Gate Rendering, Mr. Morris said they are putting a masonry fence and a gate on the Tuskawilla side, and then around the rest of the property, there will be a six-foot-high vinyl fence. Also, he reiterated what was in the staff report, that they will be putting in a 10-foot buffer. They are proposing that the fencing and the buffer be maintained by the HOA. Currently the fencing around this site, on many of the properties, is maintained by the individual homeowners, and many of those fences are in need of repair.
The Home Model Renderings slides were displayed. Mr. Morris advised that the median price range of the homes will be from $475,000 to $525,000, which is roughly $250,000 above the average-priced home to the east and south. He reviewed the square footage shown on the renderings and the elevations.
Commissioner Dallari thanked Mr. Morris for bringing the U-turn issue to his office because he had not been aware of it. He submitted into the record a scope of services (received and filed) with Kittelson & Associates. They are evaluating where the U-turn should be located. He also submitted a copy of an email (received and filed) from Mr. Morris regarding some of the responses to neighbors.
With regard to public participation, no one in the audience spoke in support or in opposition and public input was closed.
Commissioner Dallari requested that Brett Blackadar, County Engineer, speak to the schedule of the scope of services from Kittelson & Associates. Mr. Blackadar addressed the Board to advise they just submitted it into Purchasing at the end of last week, so it should get executed in the next few days. He added he believes they gave about two months for that. Commissioner Dallari stated then they should have an answer sometime in the calendar year. He asked Mr. Blackadar to confirm that the U-turn they are discussing is an issue. Mr. Blackadar advised that is why they are studying it, and they have had complaints from citizens that it is a concern for them. Therefore, they are collecting crash data and traffic counts, and analyzing the different options.
Commissioner Dallari questioned whether, in the interim, there was any issue with putting a “No U-turn” sign at the first intersection. Mr. Blackadar stated they would have to sign two intersections as “No U-turn” because there is no left-turn lane at the next intersection either. Commissioner Dallari explained that Mr. Morris had asked whether they could put a “No U-turn” sign there right now. Mr. Blackadar said he has not looked at it yet, but his initial thoughts are that it would not be a good idea.
Motion by Commissioner Dallari, seconded by Commissioner Horan, to adopt Ordinance #2015-20 enacting a Rezone from R-1AA (Single Family Dwelling) to PD (Planned Development); and approve the associated Development Order and Master Development Plan for a 31-lot, single-family residential subdivision on 13.29 acres, located on the east side of Tuskawilla Road, approximately one-half mile north of Aloma Avenue, as described in the proof of publication; Central Florida Housing Partners, LLC, Applicant.
Commissioner Dallari added the caveat to his motion that they continue working with and keeping informed the Applicant and homeowners with all the information from Kittelson & Associates. The Seconder agreed to the amended motion.
Districts 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 voted AYE.
213 BRYNWOOD LANE/Nancy Tron
Agenda Item #37 – PH-2015-104
Proof of publication calling for a public hearing to consider an appeal of the Board of Adjustment’s decision to deny a request for a rear-yard (east-side) setback variance from 30 feet to 6 feet for attached storage (Structure #1); a rear-yard (east-side) setback variance from 30 feet to 2 feet for a covered room and attached sheds (Structure #2); and a rear-yard (east-side) setback variance from 30 feet to 2 feet for container storage (Structure #3), in the R-1AAAA (Single Family Dwelling) District for property located on the north side of Brynwood Lane, approximately 460 feet north of Wayside Drive, and more particularly known as 213 Brynwood Lane, Nancy Tron, received and filed.
Denny Gibbs, Planning & Development Division, addressed the Board to present the request and reviewed the timeline as outlined in the agenda memorandum. She advised that Brynwood was platted in 1988 and is made up of half-acre lots. Per Chairman Carey’s request, Ms. Gibbs displayed the diagram of 213 Brynwood Lane Site Plan that depicts the three structures where the variances are being requested. She listed the variances that were denied by the BOA. She further explained that Structure #1 currently has a Code Enforcement lien imposed for unpermitted construction and it encroaches 24 feet into the required 30-foot rear-yard setback and 4 feet into a 10-foot drainage easement. She added that if the variance is granted for this request, the Applicant is aware that they will be required to vacate a portion of that drainage easement in order to retain Structure #1. She then reviewed the encroachments into required setbacks of Structures #2 and #3.
Chairman Carey stated she had asked Ms. Gibbs yesterday about the breach in the wall along Henderson Lane. Ms. Gibbs explained that the access rights to Henderson were removed for the lots that are adjacent to Henderson; there is a note on the plat. Chairman Carey clarified that they were not supposed to have access to Henderson Lane.
Ms. Gibbs advised that two adjacent property owners spoke at the BOA meeting in opposition. She added that the BOA denied this request. Also, the County received a Notice of Appeal by the Applicant’s representative, Rob Keeler.
Rob Keeler, 213 Brynwood Lane, addressed the Board to state the neighbors in opposition did not wish to be present today, and the neighbor to the west of the property has moved. He stated they have four letters (received and filed) from neighbors all around the property stating they do not object to the requested variances.
In regard to similar requests, Mr. Keeler stated that on July 27, 2015 along with other cases from this year, -41, -25 and -77, all were approved by the Board of Adjustment with no opposition on those cases; but nonetheless, they have very similar situations with setbacks to a great extent. He added that this Commission also heard on May 12 a very similar situation and overturned a previously denied variance, Case #19-PH-2015-069.
Mr. Keeler displayed photos of their back yard (received and filed). One photo showed the side of the house where the neighbor lived that has since moved. He added that this neighbor was the main opposing party at the May meeting. Mr. Keeler explained that the neighbor’s concern was with the vehicles in front of the yard. At the time, they had eight vehicles, and from time to time they did park one at the end of their driveway. He explained they only have about 16 to 20 feet of frontage out of the entire cul-de-sac.
Candace Keeler, 213 Brynwood Lane, addressed the Board to state they have spoken to the new neighbor who has reviewed their request for a variance and has signed a letter stating that he has no objections and is in favor of the BCC approving the variances. She referred to four letters (previously received and filed) from neighbors in support. She added that the other neighbor that was in opposition at the BOA meeting is not in attendance but has stated as of today that he will no longer object to the Keelers’ request for a variance.
Mr. Keeler displayed a photo showing the fence separating him from the neighbor that objected but has since sold his home.
Chairman Carey stated that the biggest issue she has is that they have a lot of unpermitted construction. She said she has been out to the site and it is walled and difficult to see, but it can certainly be seen from the air and can be looked at historically to see what has been added. She confirmed that the two storage buildings were permitted but the connection made between the two and the building behind those was not. She questioned whether they intend to move the shed in the northwest corner of the property. Ms. Keeler responded that it is going to be removed.
Chairman Carey stated they have asked for a variance for a metal container that is “slammed” up against the back wall. Ms. Keeler explained that it is a storage trailer and when it was delivered, it was taken off of the trailer that it sat on. She said it is like having a 40-foot travel trailer or even a large boat; it can be put back on the trailer that it came on, which will raise it up and it can be moved in and out. She added that they put it on the ground because they did not want it to be an unsightly obstruction to anybody in the area. They had it painted to match the house before it was ever delivered so it would not be noticeable. She pointed out on a photo that the trailer sits behind the two permitted structures. Upon inquiry by Chairman Carey, Ms. Keeler stated they are using the metal container for holiday decorations storage and there is no electricity in it. Upon further inquiry, Ms. Keeler advised that there is no Homeowners Association. She added that she was not aware that it had to meet any setback requirements because it is something she considers to be a portable, removable storage trailer that came on wheels.
Upon inquiry by Chairman Carey, Mr. Keeler stated in regard to the unpermitted construction, the engineering drawings are in for review but when it got to zoning, there was a setback issue which is what perpetuated this variance request. Ms. Keeler explained they built the structures without applying for a permit and were cited, and then they applied for the permit and were told they must obtain a variance to meet the setback requirements.
Commissioner Henley read the following from the agenda memorandum, “The addition and other structures could have been designed to stay within the required setbacks….” He asked Ms. Gibbs to point out the structures that statement refers to. Ms. Gibbs advised there were ways they could have designed the structures that would encroach less into the setbacks. Ms. Keeler stated they had considered moving Structure #1 to the front portion of their home, which would only require a 10-foot setback requirement; however, their neighbor has many unpermitted structures that back up to that area. They thought it would look unsightly to have another structure go in that same existing area, so they set it back where it would not be visible. She added that the other structures could have been designed and reconfigured differently.
Ms. Keeler stated that if they do not receive approval today, they would have to saw cut the roofline that adjoins the two buildings that were permitted and they would have to do the same thing to Structure #2. She added that the trailer would have to be disassembled and relocated to the other side of the yard. She stated that unfortunately, one of the complaints noted in the BOA minutes from one of the neighbors was the ongoing construction. Ms. Keeler stated they just want to come into compliance and agreed that they failed to do what they should have.
Commissioner Dallari questioned staff as to whether there were any drainage implications with respect to the easements. Ms. Gibbs advised that there are not because they are not encroaching that much into the drainage easement. She said they would vacate the exact portion that it is encroaching. Commissioner Dallari confirmed that staff believes that this would not inhibit or have any issues when it comes to storm drainage in and around this area. Upon inquiry by Chairman Carey, Ms. Gibbs advised it is a county easement. Chairman Carey stated then that staff would have to go and review that to make sure it would not cause a problem for the subdivision before they would agree to the vacate. Ms. Gibbs stated they have already looked at it.
Ms. Keeler asked that the Board consider the four letters in support of their request and thanked them for their consideration.
Chairman Carey opined the Applicants have done a very good job of blending every storage building they have built with the house. She questioned whether the storage container is a violation of the Code. Ms. Gibbs stated they do not have a temporary storage consideration; it would be viewed as a permanent shed that would have to meet the setback requirements.
Upon inquiry by Commissioner Horan, Ms. Keeler advised that the trailer is 8 feet by 40 feet. She stated they could put it back on the flatbed trailer and she does not believe it would then violate any code requirement in the research they’ve done and in what their attorney has looked into. She thinks it would be the same as her neighbor who has a very large travel trailer. She added they could vinyl it or whatever they had to do to make it look more like what they have there.
Ms. Keeler questioned whether they would avoid having to meet the setback requirements if the container goes back on a flatbed trailer. Ms. Gibbs advised the Board that Ms. Keeler is citing things that staff would consider ordinary accessory structures like RVs and they are permitted to be stored, but if this container were put on wheels, it would be considered contractor’s equipment storage but she would have to do more research. She added, though, that she does not think they can draw a comparison between an RV and semi-truck trailer; they do not even allow that in some commercial zones.
Commissioner Horan stated that the container is not really acting as a trailer and questioned whether it sits on a foundation of any sort. Ms. Keeler responded that it is like a shipping container and there is a small space underneath it, but there is no concrete slab. Commissioner Horan said then it is acting like a building but it is not permitted as a building. He stated it is very large and his concern is that it is acting as a building but has not gone through any reviews for safety, fireproofing, and things like that. Ms. Keeler stated if the variance is approved, they would go through the same proper building channels that they would need to as far as what would be required; whether it needs to be anchored down or whatever would be allowed or not allowed.
Commissioner Dallari questioned whether anyone had looked at the container from a fire-prevention, safety standpoint. Ms. Gibbs advised not that she is aware of, but if it goes through permitting, Fire would have an opportunity to look at it at that point.
Chairman Carey asked whether there was anything in the Code regarding the placement of these storage containers as a permanent structure because they are being used a lot these days for homes and different things. Ms. Gibbs stated there is nothing in the Land Development Code but maybe in the Building Code. Commissioner Constantine said the Building Code does have non-permitted structures. Ms. Guillet added that it would be addressed as any other structure; instead of calling it a storage container, call it a shed; it would go through building review just like anything else. Commissioner Horan stated he is more concerned about public safety than he is about the variance.
With regard to public participation, no one in the audience spoke in support or in opposition and public input was closed.
Chairman Carey stated she has been out to the site and they have done a very good job of building these structures, even though they were unpermitted, and tying them into the house. She added they do back up to Henderson Lane, which there is no house immediately adjacent to them there. On the rear side where they have the storage container and also the other unpermitted Structure #2, it backs up to a drainage easement between it and the church, so she does not really think that they are creating any hardship on a neighbor with those items.
Chairman Carey said she is concerned, as has been stated, about public safety. She added she heard the Applicants say they are going to remove the structure in the northwest corner, and so if they are willing to remove the northwest structure, the Chairman stated she would be willing to support the variance request to overturn the Board of Adjustment’s decision to deny the request for Structures #1, #2 and #3 for the setbacks subject to the drainage easement being vacated; all of the necessary permits being applied for within 30 days of the approval if this is approved by the Board.
Motion by Commissioner Carey, seconded by Commissioner Dallari, to overturn the Board of Adjustment’s decision, thereby granting a request for a rear-yard (east-side) setback variance from 30 feet to 6 feet for attached storage (Structure #1); a rear-yard (east-side) setback variance from 30 feet to 2 feet for a covered room and attached sheds (Structure #2); and a rear-yard (east side) setback variance from 30 feet to 2 feet for container storage (Structure #3), in the R-1AAAA (Single Family Dwelling) District for property located on the north side of Brynwood Lane, approximately 460 feet north of Wayside Drive, and more particularly known as 213 Brynwood Lane, as described in the proof of publication; Nancy Tron; Approval Development Order.
Under discussion, Commissioner Dallari stated they are applying for a permit but that does not mean the permit will be granted. Chairman Carey responded if the permit is denied, they will need to remove the structure or bring the structure into compliance. Commissioner Dallari commented that it could take more than 30 days to get the permit. Ms. Gibbs advised they will have to get the vacate done before they can issue a building permit and it would be two months before it would get to the Board.
Chairman Carey amended her motion to state the Applicants must apply for the building permit within 60 days, and if the building permit applications are denied, then the variance will go away. In addition, the northwest structure needs to be removed before they apply for the permits.
The Seconder agreed to the amendment.
Commissioner Horan opined that if the Applicant had come to the Board before the construction, they probably would have granted the variances at that time. His concern is about the trailer. He stated he is not quite sure that the criteria under the Land Development Code for the granting of variances apply well to these situations because this house is oriented in such a way that these setbacks do take away a lot of the property. He added that other than the trailer, it looks like there was an attempt to really build substantial structures that probably will be permitted.
Districts 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 voted AYE.
Chairman Carey asked that Ms. Gibbs get with the Applicants to ensure they clearly understand these terms.
Chairman Carey submitted ex parte communications into the record.
Meloney Lung, Assistant County Manager, addressed the Board and stated she provided each member with a copy of the draft 2016 State and Federal Legislative Priorities (copy received and filed) for their approval. She met with each Commissioner, their Lobbyist and staff that deal with these issues. She said she is requesting comments and approval in order to have these available for the September 9th Legislative Delegation meeting.
Chairman Carey stated the Board is aware that they are in need of a veterinarian for the Animal Services Board and they have received an application.
Motion by Commissioner Horan, seconded by Commissioner Henley, to adopt appropriate Resolution #2015-R-151 appointing veterinarian, Dr. Stephen Wiseman, to the Animal Services Board for a one-year term beginning August 25, 2015.
Districts 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 voted AYE.
Chairman Carey advised that she met with FDOT Secretary Jim Boxold on Wednesday, August 12th. They were further discussing the desire of the Central Florida Expressway to acquire the four missing pieces including the section of SR 417 in Seminole County. He told them that he was interested in having a discussion about an exchange and not interested in having a discussion about a purchase.
Secretary Boxold presented them with a proposal of how the Department would look at putting a value on the properties for discussion. They took that back to the Central Florida Expressway Authority board and they agreed that rather than stopping the process at this point, they would like to review the evaluation process and come to some terms with the Department of Transportation regarding that and continue to at least put a value on the assets both at the Turnpike and the Expressway Authority. Then once they get that and have some idea of how close staff estimates are, they will then go back to the table and continue to have the discussion. They have heard from other people in the Tallahassee offices of Transportation, not in the Secretary’s office but others in the Governor’s office and other places, that while everyone understands Secretary Boxold’s position, that it may be that other positions will be taken at some point in time. They are going to try to continue through with the process. She stated it is the desire of their board to continue to try to purchase those assets rather than do an exchange, so she will keep this Board posted on how that continues to move forward.
Chairman Carey stated she believes all the Commissioners have received a copy of the letter from Laura Kelley, the Executive Director of the Expressway Authority, inviting them to their September 10th board meeting to participate in their long-range plan. She added that this has been the customary practice of the Expressway Authority. In the past because it was simply Orange County and Orlando, many times nobody participated in those but now that it has a more regional approach, she believes they will see more agencies that will have an interest in hearing about the various items.
Chairman Carey remarked she was proud to announce that Ed Burford, their Veterans Services Officer, has been recognized by the Orlando Business Journal as one of the 2015 Veterans of Influence. He will be receiving that award in September.
Chairman Carey stated of special note, Michael Ertel, Supervisor of Elections, will also be recognized for that award.
Chairman Carey advised she had the opportunity to attend the event for the Zoo on Saturday night, “The Great Catsby.” She added that Commissioners Horan and Constantine were there as well, and it was a very lovely event. She said the theme was “Catsby,” so it was a Gatsby theme with a cat twist. It was a great cause and they had a good turnout again to support the Zoo.
COMMUNICATIONS AND/OR REPORTS
The following Communication was received and filed:
1. Copy of letter dated August 20, 2015 from Chairman Carey to Noranne Downs, FDOT District5 5 Secretary re: name change of SR 415 to East Lake Mary Boulevard. (C: Seminole County BCC Members, Nicole Guillet, A. Bryant Applegate)
DISTRICT COMMISSIONERS’ REPORTS
Motion by Commissioner Dallari, seconded by Commissioner Horan, to adopt appropriate Resolution #2015-R-149 appointing Anne West to the Library Advisory Board to finish out a two-year term ending January 1, 2017; and adopt appropriate Resolution #2015-R-150 in appreciation of David Pollack for his service on the Library Advisory Board.
Districts 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 voted AYE.
Commissioner Horan stated he is very happy to give a report in regard to the Boys & Girls Clubs. In 2012, they were looking at the two clubs in Seminole County, which are part of the 30 clubs that are part of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida. At that time, the two clubs were being supported by the rest of the organization to the tune of about $100,000 per year; they were running at a $100,000 deficit. As of fiscal year ending July 31, 2015, the two clubs of Seminole County ran a $363,000 surplus and are now looking at new properties and an additional location and partnerships. He added they have done a great job with the new board of directors and new fundraising. An organization here in Seminole County, Toptech, has become a major benefactor. He stated the Sheriff’s Office has been very instrumental in assistance, financially and otherwise. He wanted to report that because they are one of the Community Services agencies that receives aid from the County, so they are taking their dollars and leveraging them well.
Commissioner Horan advised that he and Commissioner Constantine will be going to the Florida Association of Counties (FAC) Policy and Legislative meeting, which this year are being combined because the Legislature goes into session early. It will be a three-day conference on the 26th, 27th, and 28th. He stated there will be a number of speakers who will be presenting including the Chief Financial Officer, Jeff Atwater, and there are a number of different Legislators who will be talking with them. Commissioner Horan said they will be reviewing the legislative priorities for FAC, many of which are consistent or related to the County’s legislative priorities. He added he will bring up at the Finance, Tax & Administration meeting that he chairs the issue relating to the school testing issue. Hopefully, they will get a resolution from FAC on that.
In regard to the Central Florida Partnership, Commissioner Horan reported that he attended a wonderful leadership conference last week at which Commissioner Dallari spoke; he was one of the presenters. He explained that it treated transportation and there are about six of these leadership conferences that Central Florida Partnership has been sponsoring. This one on leadership was particularly good and he has distributed the materials to the Commissioners’ offices. He said what is particularly interesting is how the Value Study that was done two and a half years ago is dovetailing into all of the different issues that they have treated, but they all seem to come back to transportation. He added this was keynoted by Commissioner Dallari in his presentation when he pointed out the fact that a lot of these things do not have any kind of real basis immediately; they are all things that will go far beyond our lifetimes and they are courageous decisions they have to make now and those courageous decisions are usually in the area of transportation, because they cost much immediately but don’t get the benefits immediately.
Commissioner Horan advised that he also attended the Central Florida Hotel Lodging Association luncheon a couple of weeks ago. One of the presentations was particularly insightful and that was the presentation of the sales tax impact of tourism. For example, the sales tax revenue in Orange County related to tourism alone is equal to the total amount of sales tax collected by 52 counties in the State of Florida. Commissioner Dallari commented that it was a really good presentation.
Commissioner Horan announced that the Spring Hammock Basin Management Plan, which has to be done every 10 years, has been completed and there will be a public meeting at 6:00 p.m. tomorrow evening.
Commissioner Constantine thanked Ms. Guillet, County Manager; Ruth Hazard, Environmental Services; Bryant Applegate, County Attorney; Bruce McMenemy, Deputy County Manager; Edward Bass, Resource Management Director, and his staff; and he complimented Chairman Carey for taking the lead on this issue many months ago by helping to get $20,000 from the FWC (Fish & Wildlife Commission) to reduce the price for the first 500 customers for bear-resistant containers.
Commissioner Constantine stated that since April, only 370 individuals have used the bear-resistant containers and have taken advantage of this program. As there is a continued increase in the bear/human incidences, he said he believes it is time to take a bolder step. He added that only universal use will significantly reduce the property damage and the threat to the health and safety of the citizens, pets and wildlife in the area. This combined with an education component, he believes, would have a significant improvement for protection of the citizens.
Commissioner Constantine remarked that people will continue to encroach on wildlife habitats. He stated the statewide increase in the last decade of bear/human incidences has been 400%. Also, 99% of the bear/human incidences in Seminole County occur on the west side of I-4. He advised that the FWC sent a letter along with additional information (copy received and filed) that he distributed to the Commissioners. He then read excerpts from the correspondence. He stated that he also included in the information the current requirement of Environmental Services Department’s Solid Waste Management Division for both Advanced Disposal Services and Waste Pro. Additional documentation includes the Wingfield North HOA’s “Bear-Wise” Community Policy and an educational flyer. Commissioner Constantine read from the flyer and cited statistics of bear interactions before and after the use of bear-resistant trash cans resulting in a reduction of bear/human conflicts of 95%. He pointed out the significant difference shown in the pie charts on the document.
Commissioner Constantine stated that also included in the information packet is a map showing all the incidences on the west side of I-4, a larger map of Seminole County with all of the incidences on the west side, and a Resolution from the FWC.
Commissioner Constantine proposed that they initiate through staff an investigation of universal bear-resistant containers on the west side of I-4 with an education component, which the FWC and the Central Florida Zoo have agreed to take on. In discussion with the haulers, both Tim Dolan of Waste Pro and Regina Caronia of Advanced Disposal, as per both the FWC agreement and good business practices, would be receptive to having universal containers on the west side of I-4 and to continue the contract at no additional cost. Right now Wingfield is spending $60 per year, so that would go to a zero-dollar increase.
Commissioner Constantine discussed the purchase of approximately 25,000 cans through the Solid Waste Trust Fund. He reported on his discussion with Tolar, the preferred manufacturer, and advised that the 96-gallon can that both Advanced Disposal and Waste Pro use would be less than $150 and less than $140 for 64-gallon cans. He added of course they would either do a sole source or an RFP and that would be something staff would be involved with. Today, they spent $3.75 million on land, of which he said he was fully in favor of, from the Solid Waste Trust Fund. He opined this is as close to a nexus for the Solid Waste Trust Fund as you can find; they have $29 million as of today. He stated it is a renewable resource each year bringing in between $13 million to $16 million, which is the same amount as the budget.
Commissioner Constantine continued stating they used $3 million plus from the fund for LED lights for the Sports Complex with a 15-year return. He said as Mr. McMenemy stated, it is not productive for the money to just sit there. With the FWC willing to help find grants and other dollars in addition to having $18 million in the Landfill Trust Fund, which also does not look like they are going to be needing for years. They have plenty of money in those trust funds to look at a solid waste proposal which would provide bear-resistant containers.
Commissioner Constantine explained that if staff chose to have a return on that money, they could charge $1 a month for everybody on the west side through an MSBU, which would be a total of $12 per year and this would generate a revenue of $276 million based upon $150 per can, which it will be less than that. At 25,000 cans, they would get a return of their investment plus the interest they still have on the LED lights in less time than they will for the LED lights. The LED lights will be in 15 years; this would be in approximately 13 years.
Commissioner Constantine said he is asking that they direct staff to evaluate, research and investigate a proposal to provide bear-resistant garbage containers to all Seminole County solid-waste customers on the west side of I-4 and bring back a recommendation to the Board.
Upon inquiry by Commissioner Horan, Commissioner Constantine advised that the Resolution from the FWC was done in June of this year.
Commissioner Horan thanked Commissioner Constantine for his leadership on this. He said he believes it is difficult to exercise leadership on this because they, as a Seminole County Commission, do not have jurisdiction over wildlife management; the Florida Wildlife Commission has that jurisdiction. He said it saddened him because there was very little they could do in the wake of the bear attacks that were occurring because wildlife management is outside of their jurisdiction. He stated he is gratified that the FWC has finally issued a rule whereby they can fine people who are feeding bears or who should know that they are feeding bears, and that may include putting their garbage out in such a fashion that they must know the bears are going to be attracted to it. He added that it is in the jurisdiction of the FWC; and the reason they have a problem out there is those neighborhoods have been there for two or three generations of bears. The bears are now habituated to the neighborhoods and are coming to the neighborhoods for food, and the bears have lost their fear of human beings. He added that this is a problem of wildlife management that they did not create.
Commissioner Horan stated that he has no problem with staff taking a look at this to see what they can do in partnership with the Florida Wildlife Commission who now has passed a rule. He said he has significant reservations about compelling people to do anything that they can do in their own self-interest or spending millions of dollars. If they have to spend millions of dollars to require people to have bear-resistant cans, he needs to know from staff what the cost is and what the benefit is. He cautioned they are trodding on fields where they have trod before and getting the State to cooperate with them may be difficult. He added he has no problem with staff taking a look at this, especially in light of the fact that the FWC has now come up with this Resolution and a regulation where they will actually be able to fine people for willingly feeding bears.
Chairman Carey stated she wanted to back up for a second on where the FWC is; the Board had asked them to help with the voluntary program, and their response was $20,000. She said she wanted to publicly thank the County’s two haulers, Advanced Disposal and Waste Pro, who worked very closely with her and staff and the FWC to select a can that they could manage, which is a 64-gallon can. She explained that their trucks were not really equipped and they had to retrofit them, which they did at no cost. However, it does take longer because with a bear-proof garbage can, you have to stick your finger in a hole and pull a trigger to open the lid. It takes a couple of minutes with these guys in gloves to get off the truck and so there is a cost from the haulers. She stated she has talked to them and they are willing to look at it when their contract comes up, which is two years from now, if the Board wants to go in that direction.
Chairman Carey stated this has been an ongoing discussion about what they should do. She also knows that there are a lot of people that live on the west side, herself included, who do not have an issue with bears and their garbage cans because they take their garbage down in the morning and the bears have already come through because they come through at 5:30 in the morning when it is still dark.
Chairman Carey agreed with Commissioner Horan about the bears being humanized and said they are really not afraid at all. She explained that she has a bear that traverses her back yard, down the side of her property, through the neighbor’s property and across Markham Woods. She told a story about her grandson and his cousin playing and screaming in the pool and a bear came around the corner close to where they were in the pool, the mother screamed and the kids screamed, and the bear never turned around or even looked at them. She said they do have some issues and she is not sure of the solution.
Chairman Carey stated that mandating everybody on the west side of I-4 have a bear-proof garbage can is not something that she is interested in taking up. She added that she heard from a lot of people on the east side of the county when this first came up that they were not interested in their tax dollars being spent to pay for garbage cans for people on the west side, so that is when they started the voluntary program. She opined that this has worked pretty well; there are 370 people that use them, one complete neighborhood who chose to do it is Wingfield North. All of the neighborhoods have talked about this, including her HOA, and have looked at it and questioned whether they should make something mandatory for their neighborhood, and most of them have chosen not to because people do not want government intervening and telling them what to do with their garbage.
Chairman Carey continued stating they have a very limited staff and they made a lot of staff cuts years back, and to have staff spend time doing this now when they are two years out from their haulers’ contracts, she does not think is timely. She would like them to look at it as an option when they renew the garbage contract. She added if the FWC is so concerned about this issue, then she thinks they need to step up to the plate and help fund it. She said she had a House member call one time and say they should make it mandatory, and she told them if you go find $4.5 million at the State to get the garbage cans, the County would be happy to distribute them. She stated she does not think this is just their problem alone and not everybody has a problem. She added she appreciates and hears what Commissioner Constantine is saying about trying to get staff to look at this, but she would ask the County Manager whether she really has the staff power out there to spend time trying to determine this. She added that it would be great if everybody did what they were supposed to do with their garbage, but they do not need bear-proof garbage cans to do that.
Chairman Carey advised they distributed the education piece of this through the Markham Woods HOA and they distributed the bear-wise document that this County printed; it is also online so people can see it. The Zoo is doing the educational piece of this, and she thinks it is very good that the FWC is working with them to have that educational component. She stated they also have a study going on right now, which is not concluded, about bear traversing. The FWC has been trapping and putting video collars on the bears. She explained she had an opportunity to watch what they do and they put on GPSs if they are large enough and they weigh, measure and take blood samples. They are trying to determine how far these bears are going for a food source. So there are a lot of things going on and she thinks in the next year, they will have some more answers and maybe that is a better time to look at it.
Commissioner Constantine stated in any situation you can ask for more and more data. He has presented that there is a 400% increase in incidences in Florida and that 99% of all incidences are happening on the west side as shown on the map. There are escalating incidences of bear/human encounters. There is not a week that goes by that there is not another situation from as small as a pet being attacked to an incidence on Friday where a cub that was run over on I-4 caused a traffic situation. He added that he spent his own time researching this; Jay Zembower and other interested citizens have spent time putting this together. He added that he has talked with the County Manager all the way through this letting her know that he was doing this and that he would present it when he felt he had the information, and it is not something that would take a long time to put together.
Commissioner Constantine stated he is not suggesting that they tell citizens on the west side that they must pay for these garbage cans; he is trying to find a way with the FWC, who is obviously from their letter going way beyond what they did originally, and with the haulers, who were working with them in June which is much different than when Commissioner Carey was talking to them in March and April. He explained that both the haulers see the benefit for this now and not in 2017. They see the benefit and have said they would be more than willing to do whatever modification is needed and work with this Board. This is something that he needs approval for. He wants the staff to at least take a look at this to bring back an honest appraisal, not based on what one person feels or another person feels but based on the fact that they spend money from the Solid Waste Trust Fund on many things and they have a large surplus. If there is any nexus at all related to the Solid Waste Trust Fund, it would be just like the recycling containers providing for the health, safety and welfare of the citizens, private property, and the wildlife that he believes all of them hold dear. He stated the latest survey is that 80% of Floridians are against the bear hunt.
Motion by Commissioner Constantine, seconded by Commissioner Horan, to direct staff to take a look at providing bear-proof garbage cans to all residents on the east side of I-4, and bring it back as to whether or not it is feasible.
Under discussion, Chairman Carey stated she is not against this, but she is against using taxpayers’ dollars to buy garbage cans for one of the wealthiest sections of this county. Commissioner Constantine responded it is also the poorest; Commissioner Horan remarked it does include Bookertown. Chairman Carey continued that the reason they have a surplus in Solid Waste is because of what they charge their citizens to pick up their garbage. She added then if they have a surplus and want to give it back to the community, they could reduce the fees that are charged for garbage pickup, which would be a full service to everyone. She stated they have made it available to the citizens to have an option to purchase a garbage can at cost if they would like to and to pay a simple fee of $6 per month to have that service. She added that most people don’t know they also offer a service for $10 where you can have your garbage picked up at your door.
Commissioner Carey advised that as recently as last night, the haulers are willing to continue to do this for a fee; they are not willing to do it for free because it takes too much time for their people to open these garbage cans, and they cannot do it for the fee they are charging now. She added if the majority of the Board wants to open up those contracts in advance, they can do that; otherwise, they will come up in two years and they can talk about doing it then.
Commissioner Dallari stated that if they need to do this, they need to have a joint work session with the FWC so they are all on the same page. They also need to, in the work session, have an understanding of the Solid Waste Fund. He opined that a lot of people may not understand that that money has to be earmarked for the landfill closure as well as other things; it is not just a fund that can be used as the Board sees fit. Commissioner Henley added that it is also vital in case of a hurricane; for example, it took $54 million to put this County back together some years ago. Commissioner Dallari said there are a lot of commitments, moving parts and a lot of restrictions here.
Commissioner Dallari stated he is not opposed to staff looking at this, but they need to be setting the parameters so they all understand how this will move forward and how they are comparing apples to apples financially so the east side and the west side residents are not financially slighted.
Chairman Carey stated if there is a majority interested in discussing this further, maybe the first step would be to have a joint work session with the FWC because the Board needs to understand what “skin they would put in the game.” At the same time, they could have Solid Waste see what the dollar allocations are for the closure for the landfill, and also what the true surplus is and how they could make those adjustments. She opined that public information meetings will be important on this.
Ms. Guillet stated that if the Board is going to direct staff to get more information, she said she would like to better understand what their expectations are. She added that they can give some information; however, they do not have biologists on staff. She said she cannot answer the question that Commissioner Horan posed earlier about what benefit you get for the cost from a managing-wildlife standpoint. She added if they want staff to come and tell them what they are going to get for a $2.5 million investment in cans with regard to what impact it is going to have on protecting the bear population, they cannot tell them that. She stated she would like the Board to understand they will spend as much time as the Board wants them to to get whatever information they need to help them make decisions, but she hopes they understand that they have limitations from an internal resource standpoint. Commissioner Dallari stated that is why he brought up having a joint work session with the FWC.
Chairman Carey stated that the FWC has had whole neighborhoods in Debary where they have gotten bear-proof garbage cans and it solves the problem there but the bears just move to the next neighborhood. It is a complicated issue and they need to clearly understand it from the FWC. She opined the FWC would love for everybody in the state to have a bear-proof garbage can, but unless the Legislature passes that kind of an ordinance, that is not going to happen.
Commissioner Constantine commented that one reason he made the motion to give this to staff is that he does understand. And, he has talked to the County Manager about the fact they would need to talk to the FWC and others. The FWC is very excited about it and they want to cooperate; they want to see what they can do to help. Because Seminole County is at the epicenter of this problem, as the FWC quoted, they think that if they can find a way to solve the vast majority of the incidences here, then they can take that into other places. He agreed with Chairman Carey and said if it is not universal or an actual barrier, the bears will just go someplace else as they have done with Wingfield North, they have gone further south.
Commissioner Horan reiterated that this is
a public safety issue and his first responsibility as a county commissioner is
public health and safety. He does not
feel fully informed on this issue and he said he needs the cooperation of the
State, which is the Florida Wildlife Commission, which now has a Resolution
saying that they want to work with them and help them. He said he agrees with Chairman Carey that
the proof will be whether the
Chairman Carey questioned whether Commissioner Constantine would agree to withdraw his motion with the idea that they would agree to have a workshop, and then the next step would be based upon what comes out of the workshop. They could give staff better direction about what it is the Board wants them to look at as a potential solution. Commissioner Horan added that it would also provide an opportunity at the workshop for public input.
Commissioner Constantine stated he wanted to raise the level of conversation about this issue because it continues to perpetuate out in the community. He added if his fellow commissioners feel more comfortable sitting down with the FWC as a first step, he is fine with that. As Commissioner Horan said, this is very timely; he opined this is the right time to bring up this issue. They have the opportunity with the FWC ready to come in and to work with this Board. He said they all see they have a problem and it is something they should address in whatever manner they can.
Commissioner Constantine withdrew his motion and the Seconder agreed.
Motion by Commissioner Constantine, seconded by Commissioner Dallari, to schedule a work session with the Florida Wildlife Commission and to direct staff to put together information on the issue of bear-proof garbage cans with the FWC.
Under discussion, Commissioner Henley stated they will not solve the problem because if the bears lose their food source in one place, they go somewhere else, so they are simply moving the problem. If after all the meetings and studies, they decide they are going to take the money out of the Solid Waste Fund, he suggests they have staff look at, in order to be fair to not only the people on the west side but to those on the east side who have contributed, how much they can reduce their fee in order to equate to what they are spending in order to buy those containers in order to move the bears somewhere else.
Chairman Carey suggested they wait for the workshop and get the information as they try to move the ideas forward. Commissioner Horan commented he likes the workshop idea because he wants the opportunity to meet with the FWC, who is the organization with jurisdiction over this issue, about how they solve this public safety problem. Chairman Carey remarked that to really understand bears, she strongly encourages anyone to reach out to Mike Orlando with the FWC; he is their bear expert and the one that they rely on.
Districts 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 voted AYE.
Chairman Carey advised she has a Central Florida Homeless Commission retreat on Friday, August 28th and it is a planning session. They will have discussion on key issues affecting homelessness and they plan to conclude with specific objectives for the next three to five years on addressing homelessness.
Chairman Carey reported that at the Mayors & Managers meeting, they had an opportunity to have a presentation from Dr. Ann McGee, Seminole State College President; they are celebrating their 50th Anniversary. She shared the following facts: Seminole State has 30,000 students, five Bachelor degrees that are industry-specific, their economic impact to this County is $430 million annually, and 92% of their AA graduates transfer to UCF, which is approximately 9,000 students a year that are graduating from Seminole State and going on to UCF. Also, they have a national model with Seminole County Public Schools that includes college readiness, career pathways, duel enrollment and honors articulation.
Chairman Carey wished everyone a happy and safe Labor Day.
ITEMS FOR FUTURE AGENDA
Chuck O’Neal, 101 Stag Ridge Court, addressed the Board to state he is a resident of Longwood on the west side of I-4 and would be directly impacted by the demand for bear-proof trash cans on the west side. He currently is one of the 370 people that purchased a bear-proof trash can. He pays $5 extra per month for the waste haulers to collect that.
Mr. O’Neal stated he would gladly urge and accept this Commission’s leadership on this issue. He agrees with Commissioner Horan that this is a public safety issue. On October 24th if nothing changes, there will be armed hunters around their neighborhood shooting at bears. He wondered what happens when they miss a bear and whether they will be coming to his house. He asked what if they shoot the bear and not kill it; now they have an injured bear.
Mr. O’Neal said that in looking at the jurisdiction issue, the FWC does not have jurisdiction over waste management, but this Commission does; this is their jurisdiction. The FWC cannot handle waste management issues.
Mr. O’Neal stated that he and his fellow neighbors on the west side of I-4 are asking that this Commission show leadership on this issue. If they want to have a meeting with the Florida Wildlife Commission, that is great, but he thinks they should do it sooner rather than later because time is running out for them. A recent poll showed that 86% of the citizens do not want this hunt, and his neighbors do not want this hunt.
Chairman Carey stated she does not think the hunters will be coming to the neighborhoods and believes they will be going to the state lands. They approved this hunt, but the problem is in the neighborhoods, not where the hunt is going to occur. So, what impact does killing bears in the Ocala National Forest really have on those on the west side of I-4. Again, this will not address the neighborhood issue and that is what they are really trying to understand.
Mr. O’Neal stated they asked the FWC this question, “Where will the hunt occur?” The FWC explained the hunt will occur in Seminole State forests and places like that, but it also can occur on any private property with the permission of the homeowner. They asked whether there is a minimum size for that private property, and the FWC responded there was not. He said then if you authorize a hunter to be on your lot, he can hunt a bear on your lot; where the bullet goes, they have no idea. So this is an issue that will be in their neighborhoods because it has been broadcast to the world where the bears are; they will be in Seminole County. This is a public safety issue and it needs to be addressed now.
Chairman Carey advised she will get Mr. O’Neal’s address to respond to him regarding the bear-hunt issue.
Speaker Request Form received and filed.
There being no further business to come before the Board, the Chairman declared the meeting adjourned at 3:40 p.m., this same date.