BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
MINUTES November 6, 2001
The Baker County Board of Commissioners met in regular session with the following members present:
Chairman Clifton Barton
Vice Chairman Fred Raulerson
Commissioner Alex Robinson
Commissioner Julie Combs
Commissioner Mark Hartley
Also, present were: Attorney Terry Brown
County Clerk Al Fraser
County Manager Josie Davis
Chairman Barton called the meeting to order and led in the flag ceremonies. Commissioner Hartley led in prayer.
Mr. Donald Combs, Director of the Recreation Department, presented his quarterly status report. Some of the projects his staff has recently been active in are as follows:
Ø A new Snapper Lawn Mower was purchased in August 2001.
Ø The Recreation Department has been approved to purchase a Field Groomer, which will cost approximately $8,000 and will be demonstrated within the next few days for consideration. This piece of machinery will be used to move and groom clay on the ballfields.
Ø The Recreation Department has erected 1200 feet of chain link fence at the Fairgrounds, and installed a new Riding Arena Forum. In addition, the department has erected 1100 feet of fence at the new Health Department.
Ø Mr. Combs has been assisting Ms. LaViece Smallwood at Heritage Park, building a 30' x 40' Picnic Shelter
Mr. Combs stated new light poles are needed at Minger Field and the poles have been laying on the field for five months, while attempting to obtain free crane rental. Today, Mr. Combs contacted Johnson’s Crane SVC, Inc. in Jacksonville and was advised he can rent a 40-ton crane for $115 an hour. The work should be completed within six hours at a cost of approximately $700. The poles need to be erected as soon as possible, since ball practice begins in January. The Board agreed to the rental of the crane.
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Mr. Combs stated the bathrooms at Knabb Sports Complex are not usable and have to be remodeled. It was Mr. Combs recommendation that a crew strip everything out, install new fixtures and tile the floors. The cost will be approximately $1,000 per bathroom. There are two which must be renovated and the Board agreed to the improvements.
Mr. Combs advised, Officer Don Pettyjohn and Officer Pat Knowles, from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation, has requested an Ordinance be written and passed by the Board in order to enforce the rules and regulations of the Little St. Mary’s River Park. Attorney Brown advised he has been working on an Ordinance and it will be faxed to him during the meeting for review by the Board.
Ms. Claudette Gray, from Community Alliance, presented a quarterly status report. One member of Children and Families’ Community Alliance of Northeast Florida, Ms. Barbara Williams, resigned and the alliance is looking for a replacement. Ms. Gray related the priorities for Baker County as follows:
1. Quality Foster Care
2. Adult Mentally Ill Care in the community
3. Residential (Transitional) Housing for 18-21 years old
4. Dental Care and Medication for the Indigent
5. Transportation (Baker County does have the B-Line Express, which is really benefiting the county) Other counties still have insufficient transportation
Ms. Holly Mann, Treasurer of Baker County Little League, was present, to relate her concerns regarding the Little League fields, but advised Mr. Donald Combs already addressed these issues. Ms. Mann was very appreciative of Mr. Combs and his assistance. Ms. Patricia Burnsed, Vice President of Little League for fourteen years, related concerns regarding the unacceptable condition of bathrooms at the Little League fields. The Baker County Little League (11and 12 years old) has been selected to host district and regional tournaments for the next two years. Twenty out-of-town teams will be arriving to play in Baker County. Representatives from out of town will be arriving in February or March to inspect the county facilities, and the work must be completed prior to that time, in order for Baker County to be able to accept hosting the tournaments. There are 500 players in the league. With family members, approximately two thousand people must have access to these restrooms, which are not currently accessible to the disabled. The season will begin March 1, 2001. Chairman Barton asked Mr. Combs to get a price on making the restrooms accessible to the disabled and advise the Board.
Ms. Peggy McCollum, Director of the Emily Taber Public Library, presented a brochure of ‘Visit Florida’ for Board approval. Ms. McCollum would like to put the flyers in hotels, welcome stations on I-10, the Olustee Depot, and Restaurants and Service Stations near the Interstate. The advertising and printing have been done for ‘Visit Florida’ (not for the brochures) and the Jacksonville organization asked Ms. McCollum for a pamphlet, to represent Baker County and be presented to those who call regarding the North Florida Experience, which is made up of four counties. It is Ms. McCollum’s recommended that 10,000 be printed by the Economy Printing Company at the cost of
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$2,898. The Tourist Tax account, with a balance of $34,000, will finance the printing. Commissioner Hartley recommended a picture of the Battle of Olustee appear on the back of the pamphlet. Commissioner Combs made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Hartley, to allow the Tourist Tax
to fund the project, and allow Economy Printing to print 10,000 copies. The motion carried unanimously.
Mr. Davis presented the bid results for the Steelbridge Road project (El Nino Drainage Improvements, Grading and Paving). Seven companies submitted bids with the lowest bid from K.T. Carter Contracting. The bids were as follows:
COMPANY BID A ALTERNATE B
K.T. Carter Contracting $614,806.80 $636,126.00
Anderson Columbia Co., Inc. $645,382.06 $661,016.14
Jensen Civil Construction, Inc. $663,973.20 $688,253.40
Vallencourt Construction Co. $677,864.30 $700,960.10
FGI Inc. $736,607.00 $757,572.32
J.B. Coxwell Contracting, Inc. $783,839.02 $802,108.39
Harlis R. Ellington Construction $837,671.05 $860,533.96
Mr. Fletcher spoke with Mr. Davis regarding concerns he had with the low bidder, K.T. Carter Contracting. The company has been in business one year and has not contracted any sizable jobs. However, the company has brought in key personnel from other companies who are qualified and capable. Mr. Fletcher was familiar with the companies and he agreed to their capabilities. Mr. Fletcher’s recommendation was to award the bid to the second lowest bid, Anderson Columbia Co., Inc., Alternate B. Mr. Davis read the bidding requirements which stated, “All contractors bidding on this project must be pre-qualified with the Florida Department of Transportation in Tallahassee.” Mr. Musgrove, from K.T. Carter Contracting, related that Mr. Fletcher waived this stipulation. Mr. Davis reported Anderson Columbia Co., Inc. questioned if K.T. Carter Contracting met this qualification and also related, Mr. Fletcher did not mention this at the bid opening. However, he did mention it at the pre-bid conference as a requirement.
Chairman Barton asked Attorney Brown for his input regarding the one company which was not pre-qualified with the state. Attorney Brown advised we can waive qualifications or certain requirements at the pre-bid conference. However, he is unaware if this took place. It was his recommendation that the Board makes inquiries to see if Mr. Fletcher waived the requirement. The Board cannot award the bid to someone who is not the low bidder on the basis of inexperience. On the other hand, if Mr. Fletcher did not waive this pre-condition, the Board has a legal obligation to award the contract to the best qualified bidder. The Board reserves the right to waive technicalities and other things in the best interest of the county. Following a lengthy discussion, Chairman Barton advised, the Board will speak with Mr. Fletcher, who is currently out of town, and will award the bid at the November 19, 2001 Board meeting. The decision will be made with consideration to the two lowest bids.
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Chairman Barton called for election of a new Chair and Vice Chair of the Board for FY 2001/2002. Commissioner Raulerson nominated Commissioner Combs and Chairman Barton closed the nomination. Commissioner Raulerson made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Robinson, to elect Commissioner Combs as Chair. The motion carried unanimously. Commissioner Robinson nominated Commissioner Hartley for Vice Chair and Chairman Barton closed the nomination. Commissioner Robinson made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Raulerson, to elect Commissioner Hartley for Vice Chair. The motion carried unanimously.
Mr. Davis requested a Public Hearing be set for November 19, 2001 at 5:01 p.m. to hear public comments regarding a Land Use and Zoning Change submitted by the Northeast Florida Regional Planning Council, who is handling it for the Baker County Development Commissioner (Ginger Barber). Commissioner Robinson made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Raulerson, to set the public hearing. The motion carried unanimously.
Mr. Davis requested a Public Hearing be set for December 4, 2001 at 4:01 p.m. to hear public comments regarding amending Ordinance No. 91-7. Ordinance No. 2001-24 will amend section 3 of Ordinance No. 91-7 to provide for Administrative Fines, Costs of Repair and Liens. Mr. Bob Hathcox, Building Official, explained the need to amend section 3 of Ordinance No. 91-7 and advised Attorney Brown has been assisting him with the amendment. Commissioner Robinson made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Raulerson, to set the public hearing. The motion carried unanimously.
Mr. Davis requested approval by the Board to appoint Ms. Phyllis Rosier and Ms. Margaret McGauley as Mediators for Baker County and ratify mediation agreements signed by Ms. Rosier and Ms. McGauley and executed by Chairman Barton October 16, 2001. Mr. Fraser related Baker County has no mediators currently and the county needs local mediators. Commissioner Combs made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Raulerson, to appoint Ms. Rosier and Ms. McGauley as mediators for Baker County and to ratify the mediation agreements. The motion carried unanimously.
Mr. Davis advised, several weeks ago there was a meeting at the old Health Department, with Florida Power & Light Company, to discuss a Landscape Easement to allow FPL to install trees and bushes required by the City of Macclenny. FPL did not have room to install these outside the southern part of their fence and the county agreed to allow FPL to go 6' from the crest of the southern part of the ditch to set the trees. The appraiser appraised the property value at $5-$6 a square foot. However, on the Post Office Construction site, the county had a pole on the Lowder Street side that had to be moved because it would interfere with the design of the entrance. The cost of relocating the pole was $24,210, which Mr. Dave Cobb, Major Customer Manager for FPL, waived, allowing the work to be done with no cost to the county. Commissioner Robinson made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Combs, to waive the cost of the Easement as a swap for the cost of the power line. The motion carried unanimously.
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Mr. Davis requested Board approval to appoint Ms. Cindy Norman and Mr. Waldo Brock to fill two vacancies on the Code Enforcement Board. Both have agreed to serve. Commissioner Robinson made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Hartley, to make the appointments. The motion carried unanimously.
Mr. Davis presented a letter from Mr. Charles H. Bronson, Commissioner of Agriculture at the Florida Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services, requesting that each county budget funds for a Mosquito Control program. Chairman Barton asked Mr. Davis to make inquiries regarding the cost to fund the Mosquito Control Program for a county the size of Baker County.
Mr. Davis presented a Proclamation for ‘Day of Decision’ from Community Hospice of Northeast Florida, Inc., who is asking each county to officially proclaim November 10, 2001 as ‘Day of Decision.’ Commissioner Combs made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Hartley, to designate November 10, 2001 as ‘Day of Decision’ for Baker County. The motion carried unanimously.
Mr. Davis requested permission from the Board to consider payroll deduction for membership in the YMCA. With twenty or more county employees enrolling, the fee of $120.00 for a family will be cut in half. Mr. Davis would like to enclose an information flyer in the next paycheck asking each person to respond, if interested. The Board agreed.
Mr. Davis presented the 2002 Holiday Schedule for approval. The Board approved.
Chairman Barton advised CNB Bank submitted the lowest interest for the loan on the new Garbage Truck purchased by the Road Department. The information was as follows:
Make Year Model New/Used Serial No. Amount
Mack 2002 RD688S New 1M2P267C42M061435 $94,268.42
Total Amount of Truck: $94,268.42
Minus the Down Payment: $28,500.00
To Be Financed: $65,768.42
SUBMITTED BIDS FOR INTEREST RATE
Nextran Corporation 5.82%
SouthTrust Bank 4.18%
CNB National Bank 3.63%
Commissioner Raulerson made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Robinson, to finance the balance with CNB at 3.63%. The motion carried unanimously.
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Mr. Davis presented a Notice of Intent to Participate in the action by Liberty County Board of County Commissioners and the Liberty County School Board verses the Department of Banking and Finance. This is relevant to the National Forest Revenue. Approximately 45% of Liberty County is made up of national forest and the county is appealing, to the Department of Banking and Finance in Tallahassee, to reconsider the way the money is distributed. Each county is currently funded with the best 3-years as the deciding factor, allowing 276.1 thousand for Baker County and 451.4 thousand for Liberty County. The Forest Service is recommending that the bank considers the past 14 years in their allocations. Baker County would receive 255.2 thousand, which is split with the school and Liberty would receive 310.8 thousand. Liberty County is asking Baker County to join them in supporting their appeal in opposition to the 14-year consideration. If Liberty County is successful in going to the 3-year average, Baker County would receive $126,000 more in a six-year period. Liberty County has retained a law firm to file the appeal with the cost between $2,000-$3,000. Franklin and Wakulla counties have already agreed to support Liberty County and Mr. Davis is recommending that Baker County join these counties, with assistance in paying the legal fees, since the counties will greatly benefit from the 3-year average. Mr. Davis attempted to call Ms. Paula Barton, School Superintendent, to see if the School Board would be willing to pay half of the county’s portion, but Ms. Barton was out of town. Commissioner Robinson made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Raulerson, to adopt the Notice of Intent to Participate. The motion carried unanimously.
Attorney Brown presented a proposed Ordinance, for review by the Board, drafted by his office for Judge Williams. The Ordinance will enable the judge to impose an additional fine on drug and alcohol cases and the funds will be used to finance additional treatment facilities and programs within the county. Attorney Brown related, Judge Williams is setting the percentage. State law says the percentage can be equal to the amount of the regular fine for the offense. Attorney Brown advised, the proposed Ordinance states on page 3: “The Court is authorized to order a defendant to pay this additional assessment if it finds that the defendant has the ability to pay the fine and the additional assessment and will not be prevented thereby from being rehabilitated or from making restitution.” Chairman Barton set a workshop at 4:00 p.m. November 19, 2001 to discuss the issue further.
Attorney Brown presented a proposed draft of an Ordinance imposing rules and regulations for Little St. Mary’s River Park and asked the Board whether to make violations of the rules a criminal misdemeanor or a civil infraction with a fine only. The Board agreed to the fines and Attorney Brown will have the final Ordinance ready for the next meeting of the Board November 19, 2001.
Commissioner Combs related, due to a financial hardship, William and Amy Flanders, from Olustee, who received Down Payment Assistance from the S.H.I.P. program, are requesting a subordination agreement, in order to take out a second mortgage for repairs needed on the home. Ms. Flanders is 100% disabled due to rheumatoid arthritis and Mr. Flanders has injured his leg. Commissioner Combs made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Hartley, to approve the subordination agreement. The motion carried unanimously.
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Commissioner Raulerson advised he has spoken to Mr. Bob Hathcox, County Building Official, regarding the County Flood Ordinance. The Federal Flood sets a base elevation and the county base is one foot higher. Commissioner Raulerson would like the Board to consider lowering the County Base Flood Level to be consistent with the Federal Flood Level. Commissioner Raulerson made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Combs, to lower the County’s Base Flood Level to be consistent with the Federal Flood Level. The motion carried unanimously. Mr. Hathcox will prepare an Ordinance for Attorney Brown to this effect.
Commissioner Raulerson related, Mr. Roland Cope, Building Inspector, resigned and Mr. Hathcox is without an assistant. However, Mr. Cope was involved in the Weatherization Program and would like to continue working with the field work in the program. Mr. Davis advised, Mr. Cope would work as a contract employee and it was Mr. Davis’ recommendation that the county pay Mr. Cope $15 hourly from the fees set aside for this purpose in the Weatherization Program. Mr. Davis assured the Board there is money in the budget to hire a full-time building inspector as well. Commissioner Raulerson made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Hartley, to authorize Mr. Cope to work with the Weatherization Program. The motion carried unanimously. Commissioner Robinson made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Raulerson, to advertise to hire a new building inspector. The motion carried unanimously.
Mr. Fraser advised space is needed for probation hearings on Tuesdays and inquired if the meetings could take place at the Agriculture Center. The Board agreed.
Chairman Barton presented two Resolutions from the Council on Aging. Resolution No. 2001-34 and Resolution No. 2001-35 are for the funding of the B-Line Express. Commissioner Robinson made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Combs, to adopt Resolution No. 2001-35. The motion carried unanimously. Commissioner Robinson made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Combs, to adopt Resolution No. 2001-34. The motion carried unanimously.
Chairman Barton asked for Board approval for his signing at the E.O.C, on an emergency basis, a grant for $45,000 for hazardous waste with a match of $12,500. The E.O.C has $10,000 and, if the grant is approved, $2,500 will need to be taken from the grant fund for the balance of the match. Commissioner Robinson made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Combs, to approve the Chairman’s signature on the grant. The motion carried unanimously.
Commissioner Robinson made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Combs, to approve the minutes of October 15, 2001. The motion carried unanimously.
Al Fraser, Clerk to the Board Clifton Barton, Chairman