MAY 22, 2001

The Board of County Commissioners of Leon County, Florida, met in special session with Chairman Winchester presiding. Those in attendance were Commissioners Thaell, Maloy, Proctor, Sauls, Grippa and Rackleff. Also in attendance were County Attorney Herbert W.A. Thiele, County Administrator Parwez Alam, and Deputy Clerk Sandra C. O'Neal.

Chairman Winchester thanked the citizens for the turnout, and explained that the setup of the Town Hall Meeting agenda would include status reports and citizens would have an opportunity to provide input.

Invocation was provided by George Farr, followed by the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag led by Commissioner Jane Sauls

Chairman Winchester introduced County staff as follows: County Attorney Herb Thiele, At-Large Commissioner Cliff Thaell, District 5 Commissioner Bob Rackleff, At-Large Commissioner Rudy Maloy, District 2 Commissioner Jane Sauls, District 4 Commissioner Tony Grippa, District 1 Commissioner Bill Proctor, and County Administrator Parwez Alam. Other staff members were present and would be introduced as they speak.



  2. Assistant to the County Administrator, Vincent Long, provided a summary of this issue, explaining that the two stations, #32 and #33, were established at the direction of the Board on March 21, 2000. Direction had been given by the Board to seek the land acquisition for the stations through donation. Mr. Long advised that much of the undeveloped land in the Lake Talquin area is property belonging to the United States Department of Forestry and staff is currently working with the US Forestry on a Special Use Permit (SUP) for the long term use of the two sites to establish the stations. Both sites are in various stages of development. Community Development staff has conducted the initial environmental assessment on both properties and Facilities Management staff are developing site plans and engineering and design work. Mr. Long introduced Richard Smith from Emergency Management and Rainey Oustz, Captain of the Lake Talquin VFD, and noted that they would be available for any questions and that the fire truck was outside for citizens to see.

  4. Alan Rosenzweig gave a brief overview of the entire budget process noting that a public hearing would be held July 24, 2001, at 6 p.m., so that citizens would have a chance to provide input. One issue, in particular, that Commissioner Sauls had requested, is for staff to look at funding utility expenses at the community centers, which is included in the tentative budget. Chairman Winchester advised that there is one speaker, Mr. Laurie Youngblood, but he expressed that he would like to speak at the end of the meeting.

  6. Laurie Ringquist, Director of Administration, provided a brief summary of this item, advising that plans are to have the Fort Braden Branch Library opened in the fall of 2002. Sarah Johnson, Library Extension Supervisor, gave a presentation on the new branch library, noting that staff has taken public suggestions into consideration. She reported the following: There would be children’s programs working toward school readiness; public access computers with Internet; a reference section for homework assistance; the literacy program is in effect at the main library; and the usual library materials. Ms. Johnson stated that there would be opportunities during the summer for public input and that staff would be available tonight for questions. One citizen inquired as to when the public meeting would be held, and Ms. Johnson responded that it would take place sometime this summer, before designs are completed.


  8. Kim Dressel, Director of Management Services provided a summary and advised that Public Works provides grounds maintenance and Facilities Management provides building maintenance. She advised that that some of the most recent improvements are: a new roof, heating ventilation and air conditioning system, termite treatment, wheelchair accessibility ramp, renovated restrooms that are ADA compliant, interior and exterior painting, interior finishes, installation of a fire system and roofing replacement on a portable building there. As explained by Ms. Dressel, staff is in the process of pursuing retrofits to the potable water system and the floor is scheduled for renovation later this year. Tom Brantley, Director of Facilities Management and Corey Presley, Construction Manager were introduced to the audience and they would be available for questions.

  10. Kim Dressel, Director of Management Services expounded on this item indicating that with the cooperation of FSU/FAMU School of Engineering, the County has developed a site at the Health Department that includes an electrical hookup, water and sewer for the mobile health unit. A schedule is available on the County’s website showing where the mobile health unit will be visiting in the County. Commissioner Sauls reported that the Mobile Health Unit has already been making visits to the Fort Braden community for approximately two months. The visits are on the same day as the Elder Care meals at the Community Center.

  12. Kim Dressel, Director of Management Services, explained that this item involves a routine grounds maintenance process that occurs approximately five times a year. A citizen inquired about the location of Fox Road and Commissioner Sauls responded that it is located off of Crawfordville Highway, near Lake Munson.


  14. Gary Johnson, Director of Community Development gave a brief a summary and pointed out that the majority of District 2 is rural in character. He referred to the status report listed in the agenda request and advised that the next item is associated with this one.

  16. Gary Johnson, Director of Community Development provided a summary of this item noting in particular the use of Policy 2.1.9, which provides for subdivisions and limited partition subdivisions. He reported that other activities of development have been for type A and type B (non-residential) development and that water and sewer development drives the type B developments. Mr. Johnson would be available to answer questions.

    Craig Fletcher, local resident, advised that a large part of development in this area is curtailed because much of the land is owned by either State or Federal Government. He explained that he is attempting to divide a 50-acre track and it would be necessary to remove some trees and suggested that the tree protection ordinance be revisited. Mr. Fletcher voiced concern with the tree removal permits and the severe restrictions, indicating that oftentimes when attempting to save a tree, the roots are cut which causes further damage to trees. He recently attended an Urban Forest Seminar, which highlighted the problems with tree ordinances. Staff was directed to investigate the concerns referenced by Mr. Fletcher.

    A citizen in the audience expressed concern regarding the traffic problems on Highway 20 due to the growth of the area. Chairman Winchester responded that the issue would be addressed under item #13.

  18. Gary Johnson, Director of Community Development, provided a summary and advised that the number of addresses that have been assigned to District 2 total 14,719. Efforts have been made to replace rural route box numbers with named street addresses, and to eliminate duplicate/sound alike street names. He emphasized the importance of the endeavor so that emergency personnel can locate addresses expeditiously. To date, the addressing unit has named 175 roads in District 2, and there are approximately 20 roads left without names and there were 26 duplicate street names changed in District 2. Commissioner Sauls noted that according to the US Post Office, as of July 31, 2001, the postal service will no longer deliver mail if the street address is not being used. She further urged citizens who do not have a street address to contact the County Growth Management Office. Gary Johnson explained further that the Post Office has made every effort to notify citizens of this issue.

    Luther, a local citizen in the audience, wanted to know who was responsible for numbering the houses and pointed out that there is a numbering problem on Oscar Harvey Road—the numbers are three and four numbers and the sequencing does not appear to be sensible. Mr. Johnson responded that County staff would check into the matter.

    Another citizen, Cathy, noted a problem with sound-alike names such as Stoutamire and Ben Stoutamire roads, suggesting that it was confusing. Mr. Johnson explained that according to the policy, there was enough differences in the names to be acceptable. He further pointed out that changing road names was a difficult issue.

    A citizen asked how the County defines a "street" and a "road." Mr. Johnson pointed out that according to the County Addressing Ordinance, a street has more than three structures or more than three parcels on it.

    One citizen in the audience advised that there are other counties that have the same street names but the numbering is different.

    One speaker advised that citizens may have to call the telephone company to have the number appear correctly in the 911 system. Staff advised that County staff is still working on the 911 notification and that Richard Smith, Emergency Management Director, would address the issue.

  20. Gary Johnson, Director of Community Development explained this item and noted the environmentally sensitive areas on the map, and the particular concern with the water flowing into Florida from Georgia via the Ochlocknee River. He advised that the County has a contract with McGlynn Laboratories to monitor the pollution level flowing into the State from Georgia. The issue has not been resolved, but staff will be meeting with Georgia officials regarding this problem. The Commission has been very concerned regarding the potential impact the pollution could have on this area of the County and the County has taken action to prevent the volume of pollution that is flowing into the water bodies in Florida. Mr. Johnson also advised that there were a number of gopher tortoises in the area.

    A citizen in the audience inquired about the pollution levels and Kevin Pope, Director of Environmental Compliance, explained that the "pollution" that Mr. Johnson was referring to was the coliform levels that come from sewage sources, and at the Georgia/Florida border those levels are over State standards. Mr. Pope advised that it is being continuously monitored and documented and that by natural processes of turbulence, oxidation and sunlight on the bacteria, by the time it reaches Lake Talquin, the coliform levels are below the State standards and are not a violation. Mr. Pope stated that it is not a great concern, but is more of a long-term ecological problem for the lake, which is the reason the County is addressing the root of the problem.

    A citizen commented on the monitoring process and stated that if the problem continues over the years it will become a large problem and urged the County to stay on top of the issue.

    Chairman Winchester reported that the County is attempting to get the Georgia officials to comply with the water quality standards and negotiations are ongoing, but the County would continue to work towards a resolution even if it involves litigation.


  24. Mike Willett, Director of Public Works provided a summary of these three issues and advised that one of the functions of Public Works is road construction. He pointed out that a project may not be scheduled but it may be identified as a priority because projects are budgeted on a five-year basis. There are two intersections that have been identified for improvements in the future—Aenon Church Road and Geddie Road and they rank #13 and #14 on the priority list. The top 10 intersections are already funded. An important project for District 2 is a State, County and City Project, located at the intersection of Capital Circle and Highway 20, which widens the intersection, builds a new road to connect Jackson Bluff Road and eliminates certain turns. Mr. Willett advised that Gene Weekly from the State Department of Transportation is available to answer questions that District 2 citizens may have. Other important future projects involve resurfacing Smith Creek Road and Crooked Road within the next 24 months. As explained by Mr. Willett, Capital Circle Northwest was listed in the State program as a priority and is in the right-of-way acquisition stage, and it is possible that under Blueprint 2000 this segment of Capital Circle Northwest will be done. He further noted that bid for improvements at the intersection of Capital Circle and Highway 20 would be let in March 2002 and construction would begin next year.

    A citizen in the audience asked how far back on Highway 20 would improvements be made and Mr. Willett responded that improvements would be approximately 500 feet and the four-laning of Highway 20 to Aenon Church Road is on the cost- feasible 2020 Capital Improvement Plan, but has not been scheduled yet. Gina, a local citizen, also inquired about the improvements.


    Craig Fletcher, citizen, advised that the State funding for roads in Leon County has been inequitable and the County has been forced to fund those roads. However, he stated that his opinion is that the County is taking a band-aid approach to the road problem and there appears to be only minor improvements such as adding a turn-lane, etc. Mr. Fletcher indicated that since this is the State Capital, with two major universities, the County should be more proactive on road improvements.

  26. Mike Willett, Director of Public Works provided a brief presentation and explained that the parents have developed the Ft. Braden Park Program. The park program started across the street on an unlighted field five or six years ago, and now the residents have developed their own league starting with T-Ball and adding Little League. Mr. Willett recalled the history of the parks program in the area and noted that the park is now lighted and improvements have been made to the other ball field parks in the area. Also, the bathhouses at the campgrounds have been upgraded and citizens from all parts of the County and surrounding counties utilize the campgrounds. It was noted that the 62-acre passive park on Lake Munson is currently being developed and would be completed in the next two to three months.

    A citizen inquired about the official opening of the Ft. Braden Community Park and Paul Cozzie, Parks and Recreation Director, explained that the park is officially opened and the opening ceremony would be coordinated with the local recreation council.

    A citizen in the audience reported that the gate to the park is locked, that people wish to use the park after hours since it is lighted, and the Volunteer Fire Chief does not even have a key to unlock it. Mr. Cozzie stated that there are hours of operation and that the local recreation council schedules activities; when there are scheduled activities, the park stays open until the activities are completed. The County does not open the park and turn on the lights every evening and all County parks are open from dawn until dusk. Mr. Willett advised that it was a local decision to put a gate on the Ft. Braden Park and the County would remove the gate if the residents wished to do so, although the recreation council needs to be involved in the decision.

    A citizen appeared and stated she is part of the recreation council and the responsibility to close the park falls on the recreation council and a decision was made to close it after hours.

    Another citizen asked why the park was not open during the day. Mr. Willett explained that the park is supposed to be open during the day and it is the County’s responsibility to open and close the park daily.

    Another citizen suggested that the gate be removed. Mr. Cozzie pointed out that there are two issues: the Joint Usage Agreement with the Ft. Braden School gives the school first priority for use of the park during school hours and after school hours, it becomes a community park. He explained that he cannot specifically address the reason why the park has been closed during regular hours, that he has instructed staff to open the park in the mornings, and he would investigate the issue. Mr. Willett indicated that since the agreement with the school gives the school priority usage during school hours, this is an issue that the community should work with the school to resolve.

    Craig Fletcher explained that part of the reason for the gate is to protect the park since there have been problems with trucks tearing up the park grounds. He stated that if there are going to be organized activities on a particular evening and the County has lined the softball field, the field needs to be left that way so the activity can take place. Laurie Youngblood, a local citizen, explained that the City Parks and Recreation Department lines their fields during the day and the parks remain open. Mr. Fletcher further expressed that when the County lines a field, the community has been instructed to not allow usage except for the scheduled activity on that field, although other fields are available.

    Another local citizen inquired about the person responsible for instructing people to keep off of the lined fields. As member of the Little League, Mr. Fletcher, advised that the agreement with the County is the reason they were instructed to keep people off the lined fields and this is so that the lined fields do not get disturbed prior to a game. He further advised that the fields at the park are for the use of the community, that there are scheduled times for planned activities, and if citizens wish to use the park for a planned activity, they should check with the recreation council.

    A citizen appeared and pointed out that this is a volatile issue for the community and there is a perception by some citizens that the fields are accessible for a select few. He stated that if citizens decide to have a different league play at the park, according to the agreement with the County, they could not use the field if there were other scheduled activities going on.

    Mr. Willett indicated that it was his opinion that misinformation has been given on some issues. Mr. Cozzie explained the background, noting that the Parks and Recreation Team (PRAT) is a citizen advisory committee made up of 12 members. The PRAT took proposals from various youth baseball organizations and invited residents to attend. Each group made a proposal and PRAT sanctioned a group to provide youth baseball. It is handled in this fashion to protect the County from liability. Mr. Cozzie stated that standards are set up such as certification of coaches, etc. Due to budgetary constraints, there is not enough staff to drag, redrag and line the fields more than once a day. If a group wishes to use the field, Mr. Cozzie suggested that they contact the local recreation council to schedule a time to use it.

    A citizen in the audience stated that his group has played on unlined fields before, that there appears to be a fairness issue, and suggested that each group be treated equally. The citizen stated that he does not expect the County to line and reline the field, but his group should be allowed to play on the fields. He voiced concern that rules of the Little League restrict who the children can play with, for example, they could not play in Hosford. Mr. Cozzie noted that the reason they are trying to develop the leagues in the unincorporated communities is so they would not have to travel to Hosford to play; if the league is strengthened in the County then there is less travel time. The citizen requested that Mr. Cozzie attend some of their meetings in the future.

    One citizen announced that there is a signup time each season for all activities and that everyone is welcome and that no one is excluded.

  28. Mike Willett, Public Works Director, explained that over the next two-year period the County will either put Open Grade Cold Mix (OGCM), a wood-based product, or chemical stabilization on its dirt roads. He reported that the two roads off of Highway 20 would remain unpaved and would be chemically stabilized. The reason the two remaining roads, Vause Landing and Davis Road, have not been paved is due to lack of right-of-way and they are too narrow to pave or use any alternative surfacing.

    A citizen appeared and remarked that the area has grown and there are many roads that are not County maintained. She suggested that at some point, when population on roads grow, that the roads should be maintained by the County since the residents pay taxes. Chairman Winchester explained that there is a 2/3-2/3 Paving Program that addresses this issue. Mr. Willett briefly explained the program and how citizens are assessed the cost of the paving.

  30. Mike Willett provided an explanation of the item and noted that in order meet budget constraints, the operating hours for the two roll-off sites in District 2 have been decreased: The Ft. Braden site has been decreased from six days to five days and the Blount Road site has decreased from six days to two days. Staff is working on changes in the yard waste restrictions. The sites were made primarily to handle household garbage and procedures would have to be established for handling additional items. The rules are basically aimed at not taking in commercial waste and the limit on yard waste could possibly be expanded. Mr. Willett advised that everything that goes to the roll-off sites is eventually transferred to the landfill, and most of the traffic at the roll-off sites takes place on the weekends. Any change would require approval by the Board and could impact the budget. Commissioner Thaell requested clarification on the cutback of days of operation. Mr. Willett explained that there is no proposal for a cutback in days.

    Laurie Youngblood, a local resident, inquired about the truckload limit. Mr. Willett responded that the current limit is ½ truckload per day. He stated that he recently discarded a washer and dryer, but was only able to leave the washing machine the first day, and then he had to take the dryer the next day. Mr. Youngblood noted that this type of restrictions is an inconvenience to citizens and that a brochure was being distributed at the site that outlines the restrictions. He suggested that one site be opened up for garbage and one site for leaves, appliances, etc. Mr. Willett explained that the logic behind the limit is to control the amount of waste going to the site and advised that the brochure was being revised.

    Larry Mann, local citizen, indicated that he does not mind paying more for use of the dump if restrictions on load limits are lifted. He indicated that the Blount Road site has more space for trash, appliances, etc., and the dump on Joe Thomas Road requires residents to pick up the object and many residents are physically unable to do so. Another complaint was the difficulty in obtaining the red windshield sticker that is required for use of the site.

    Mr. Sharer, citizen, voiced concern over the hours of operation at the sites and the problem with accessibility during rainy weather. Mr. Fletcher indicated that when the dump is closed, many people would dump in the National Forest.

    Another citizen appeared and provided information on the windshield stickers.

    Commissioner Sauls directed staff to bring back an agenda item to the Board that outlines the concerns raised by citizens: one-half truckload limit, restriction on number of appliances that can be dumped at one time, availability of windshield stickers, hours of operation at the two sites, and accessibility of the sites rainy weather.

  32. Mike Willett, Director of Public Works, explained that the mosquito population has increased due to additional rainfall. He advised that in the past two years there have been approximately 6,000 calls for service and last week there have been approximately 3,000 calls for this season alone, and there are still five months left in mosquito season.

    Commissioner Sauls explained that if residents want their area sprayed they would have to call the County and make a request.

    Mr. Willett further explained State law requires that in order to spray an area, there has to be proof of mosquitoes in the area. Staff must set mosquito traps and keep a record of mosquitoes in area for a period of time when there is a request.

    A local citizen remarked that mosquito season is year-round in Tallahassee.


Mike Willett, Director of Public Works, advised that for the last six years a plan has been developed and implemented to bring Lake Munson back to a higher water quality which involves a joint project with County, State, and the Federal agencies. He explained that the major components of the project involve ditches leading to the lake, removal of a delta in the lake, and building a retention pond to divert the water in the ditches. The project also includes the cleanup of lead, a hazardous waste, at the pistol range located off of Orange Avenue.

Commissioner Proctor expressed disappointment with the project and voiced concern that the project had not focused on muck removal in Lake Munson, but rather on retrofit at Lake Henrietta. He inquired about the deviation and compared it to the Lake Jackson project.

Mr. Willett explained that the original plan has not changed and the request is in the budget for $800,000 for the project next year, and staff is applying for additional grant monies to finish removing the muck. He stated that the difference between Lake Jackson and Lake Munson is that Lake Munson can be controlled because of the dam. Mr. Willett also explained that the reason the lake will be reflooded is that the State requires this in order to keep down the vegetation growth.

Commissioner Sauls reported that due to the focus by the Legislature this year on the Everglades, there was no appropriations received for this lake, and that staff is seeking funding from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission for the project.

Commissioner Maloy inquired as to how much has been spent on the restoration of Lake Munson thus far, and how much is needed to complete the project. Commissioner Proctor asked if any money had been diverted from Lake Munson to the Lake Jackson Restoration Project.

County Administrator Alam explained that no money has been diverted from the Lake Munson Project to Lake Jackson. Chairman Winchester advised that there were funds moved from the Lake Jackson Project to the Lake Munson Project. Mike Willett pointed out that approximately $13,000,000 has been spent on the Lake Munson Project and another $6,000,000 is needed to complete it.

County Administrator Alam explained that there is a request in the budget for $800,000 for next year, although the budget has not been finalized. Mike Willett noted that the State has committed to fund the in-lake restoration and they have some money funded. Theresa Heiker, County Stormwater Engineer, explained that the State of Florida has indicated that they would move to in-lake restoration because the County has demonstrated their commitment to protecting the lake.

Commissioner Maloy wanted to know where the water from the FSU stadium goes and Ms. Heiker explained that all of the water runoff from the area goes into Lake Munson. Commissioner Maloy asked if FSU had made any commitment in assisting with the treatment of the water. Ms. Heiker stated that the Alberta Regional Stormwater Facility is a joint contract between FSU and the City, and it does provide for their future construction in the 2020 plan and retrofits 25% of the contributing basins. The City is currently studying the tributaries throughout the City to determine where it would be most cost effective to put additional treatment. Another concern raised by Commissioner Maloy was the problem with the realignment of Pensacola Street. Ms. Heiker explained that the State constructed a facility at Pepper Drive and the State has more treatment facilities that are not as noticeable as some of the ones mentioned.

Ms. Heiker explained that approximately 30 acres of muck, five feet deep, had been removed from the delta region, which was substantial. She advised that the agencies are holding back funding on any in-lake restoration until they can evaluate the habitat and then they would design the lake bottom for maximum fishery habitat and other wildlife. Once the lake is reflooded they would begin design.

A citizen inquired about the reflooding and suggested that the County wait until next year to reflood the lake. Mr. Willett explained that the State agencies require it to be reflooded to kill the vegetation; the lake has a dam and is easy to drain and it has been drained in the past a number of times for various reasons.


Kathy Dispenette, 4605 Stoutamire Road, pointed out that the school has been promised that a gym would be constructed and suggested that the Board discuss this with the school board. Chairman Winchester advised that he is the liaison for the School Board and would raise this issue. Commissioner Sauls noted that this issue has already been raised and the money has been allocated for the gym.

Luther, a local citizen, advised that another wing was supposed to be built onto the school and Commissioner Sauls agreed.

One citizen commented that it is important for children to have activities nearby to keep them out of trouble. He requested that the Board consider these issues when discussing the budget. He also suggested that the school be kept open at night and additional lights be placed in the park.

Sam Bruce, Bloxham Community, thanked the Board for their presence in District 2 and remarked that he is a member of the Fort Braden Community Center Board of Directors and expressed concern with the community center operating costs and requested financial assistance. Staff noted that there is a request in next year’s budget for funds to pay utility expenses for all of the County’s community centers. Commissioner Sauls noted that it cost $2,200 this past winter to keep the gas tank filled at the Ft. Braden Community Center. She stated that the building in Ft. Braden is unique because of its age and that it is used for many things such as the Elder Care meals, food share program, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, and neighborhood meetings.

Commissioner Proctor suggested holding back some of the money that the County gives to the United Way to fund the community centers. He suggested that the County assist with the funding and to include additional personnel for Parks and Recreation, and that these issues be addressed during the budget process.

A citizen appeared and requested that funds be devoted to large projects such as Highway 20, noting the dangerous two-lane curvy road.

Laurie Youngblood, 1905 Collins Landing Road expressed appreciation to the Board for coming to the community. He also requested that during the budget process, the Board reconsider its policy as it relates to employees taking home vehicles since rising fuels costs should be considered. Another issue mentioned by Mr. Youngblood was that it was difficult to hear speakers when the Board meetings are televised and suggested that the microphones be utilized appropriately and/or a new system may be needed.

Commissioner Sauls reported that Homestead Exemption for Seniors was approved by the Board, although it would not be on this year’s taxes, but would begin in Year 2002.


Commissioner Grippa advised that approximately 1,500 World War II Veterans die each day, that his grandfather was killed during World War II and his step grandfather was also in the war. He pointed out that the entire Commission was in support of the seniors and veterans and that the proposed memorial would be built with private funds ($40,000 has already been raised privately). The proposal is to provide a place for it in front of the Courthouse and that it be maintained. Commissioner Grippa advised that a private group is selling bricks to help with the project and proceeds would go the Veteran’s Affairs Department. A picture of the proposed memorial is included in the agenda item.

Commissioner Grippa moved, duly seconded by Commissioner Maloy and carried unanimously, to approve Option 1: support the establishment of the World War II Memorial in the Courtyard of the Leon County Courthouse.

Chairman Winchester pointed out that in order to find out what citizens want, the Board has to come to the community. He thanked the citizens for sharing the use of the school for the town meeting. It was announced that the meeting tonight has been taped and would be aired on Comcast channel 18 on Thursday, May 24, 2001 beginning at 5:00 p.m.

There being no further business to come before the Board, Commissioner Thaell moved, seconded by Commissioner Rackleff and carried unanimously (Commissioner Maloy was absent), to adjourn the meeting at 9:29 p.m.



Dan Winchester








Clerk of the Circuit Court