Archived Agendas

Wednesday, March 4, 1998
County Center, 2nd Floor

Recap of Wednesday, March 4, 1998, BOCC Meeting

Consent Section:

The consent agenda, containing 84 items, was presented to the Board for consideration. Five items were removed from consent by Board members. All of the items were approved as recommended by staff, with exception of the following:

I-B-10 Staff requested deletion of the agreement with the Hernando County Health Department which provides primary care to HIV+ individuals.

I-B-15 Staff requested deletion of the agreement with Operation PAR, Inc., for provision of mental health counseling services.

I-B-16 Staff requested deletion of the agreement with Veterans Administration Medical Center, Bay Pines, for provision of primary medical care services.

I-B-18 Staff requested deletion of the agreement with Di's Imani, Inc., for provision of transportation services to HIV+ individuals and their family members in Pinellas County.

I-C-5 Staff requested deletion of the agreement with Freightliner Corporation for self-performed warranty service on ambulance chassis. Item requires additional staff work.

Additional follow-up is required on the following:

I-A-6,7,&8 The Board requested that the legislative intent of County's Employers Impact Fee Mitigation Program be reviewed. John Dausman, with assistance from the County Attorney's Office, will report back to the Board on April 1, 1998, on the amount of discretion allowed in the program and provide recommendations for changes to the program.

Audience Comments:

Nine individuals spoke during the Audience Comments portion of the meeting, as follows:

Warren Nelms spoke on zoning issues and greenbelt property. He suggested that a Board of Appeals be created to review only greenbelt appeals.

Charlie Pryor thanked the Parks and Recreation Department for their assistance in helping the people of Ruskin in eliminating evasive plants. Further, he inquired about the status of the abandoned service station on Highway 41 and 1st Street and flooding in the areas of the canal that runs into Marsh Creek and the Wolf Branch which runs into the canal by the VFW Hall in Ruskin. The canal needs to cleaned. Commissioner Platt requested that staff itemize and respond to each of Mr. Pryor's statements. The County Administrator advised that a report will be provided to Mr. Pryor, with a copy to Board members. Bernardo Garcia and Kevin McConnell will research these matters and provide a report to Mr. Pryor and Board members by March 20th.

Neil Cosentino presented a resolution to the Florida Senate and House of Representatives to obtain statewide support for Florida's bid to be the venue and host state for the 30th Olympiad to be held in the Tampa Bay region in the year 2012. Also Mr. Cosentino requested that the old stadium be retained and designated for a national youth olympic training facility. No action was taken.

Al Davis complimented the Communications Department on its publications, "State of the County Message" and "Directory of Services" and for making them available to the general public. Additionally, Mr. Davis suggested that the County review the issue of term limits in the County's charter.

Henry Price, Sr., spoke regarding his water bill which was originally $500 and negotiated and reduced by the Water Department staff to $298. Mike McWeeny provided a recap of how Mr. Price's situation was handled by the Water Department. Mr. McWeeny agreed to again meet with Mr. Price. He will advise the Board in writing of the outcome of the meeting.

Jim Story spoke on public access and Cable Advisory Committee issues. The Board passed a motion to have staff report back in thirty days on the entire issue of public access the role of the Cable Advisory Committee, and issues being discussed in the City of Tampa. Frank Turano will research this matter and provide a report to the Board on April 1, 1998.

Barbara Merritt spoke on the Brownfields program and requested that the Board consider the East Lake area for revitalization. She indicated that she had written a letter to the County Administrator regarding water franchises in Hillsborough County with reference to the WCRWSA governance issue. Mike McWeeny will respond to this letter and provide a copy of the letter and his response to all Board members.

Floyd Irwin spoke on religious issues.

Ampara Nunez requested that public counsel be appointed by the Board to assist the citizens in water rate hearings in the Palm River area.

Public Hearings:

III-1 Acquisition of the Bahia Beach wastewater utility franchise.

a. The Board received the Water Department's proposal to purchase the Bahia Beach wastewater utility system; and

b. Authorized staff to tender an offer up to $1,500,000 directly to the owner and/or at the absolute auction scheduled for March 13, 1998.

Commissioner Platt suggested that consideration be given, in establishing the proposal, to the negative reports about the system which was contained in the agenda background material.

Scheduled Appearances:

IV-1 David Hurley, Chair of the Citizens Advisory Committee, presented a report of monthly activities of the CAC. During the last monthly meeting, the CAC heard presentations on jail overcrowding and the Parks and Recreation audit. The CAC took action on the nominees for the Moral Courage Award and discussed the letter received from Paul Curtis. An item will be placed on the March 18th Agenda for the Board to select from three nominations the recipient of the Moral Courage Award. Next month, a presentation on the Hartline audit is scheduled.

IV-2 Janet Wittman of S.E.R.V.E. gave a presentation regarding volunteers for the school system and requested that Hillsborough County allow employees to volunteer. This matter was referred to staff for review and report back to the Board on April 1, 1998. The review will include consideration of volunteering for other than school system projects. Sharon Wall will handle this matter.

IV-3 Gene Gardner of the Executive Director of Civil Service Board made a presentation on the Civil Service Pay Plan. The Board took no action at this time. This information will be considered during the upcoming budget process. The Board requested information on how each appointing authority handles pay for performance. Gene Gardner will be requested to prepare a written report.

IV-4 Michael F. McQueen and Robbie Bear of the Hunger Task Force, appeared and requested approval of an allocation in the amount of $15,000 which will enable the completion of the work plan. Following discussion of this matter, the Board approved an initial allocation in the amount of $15,000, with the remaining $10,000 to be raised from the religious and private sectors. The task force was requested to provide an interim report during July and a final report by September 25, 1998.

The Board suggested that the County Attorney's Office seek pro bono legal counsel to assist with legal matters, especially the creation of the task force as a 501c3 organization. Emmy Acton will coordinate this request.

Regular Agenda Section:

V-A-1 Time Warner Communications withdrew their request to transfer cable television franchises held by Time Warner controlled entities.

V-A-2 The Board approved a resolution and Board policy allowing County departments to accept credit cards, charge cards, and debit cards for payment of fees and charges for services under certain conditions. Staff was directed to seek competition for the lowest bank fee for the credit card charges. Eric Johnson will handle this matter.

V-B-1 The Board approved a budget amendment and appropriated by super majority vote, $64,625 from the General Fund Reserve for Contingency to fund 12.9% of four positions and related operating and equipment costs; realign $436,346 between the Trust Fund Reserve for Contingency and the Indigent Health Care Fund to provide for the 87.1% of four positions and the related operating and equipment cost associated with the Board's action in its October 8, 1997 workshop.

V-B-2 The Board approved the use of Indigent Health Care Surtax Revenue for purchase of capital equipment in accordance with the legal opinion from the County Attorney's Office and adopt procedures for the capital equipment procurement.

V-B-3 The Board approved the naming of the new library facility in Port Tampa area the "Port Tampa City Library".

V-C-1 The Board endorsed a County preapplication to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Environmental Justice Small Grant Program for an Environmental Bill of Rights Project.

V-C-2 The Board endorsed the concept of a grant application to the U.S. EPA for a Brownfields Redevelopment Pilot Project in the Orient/Eastlake area for further public discussion and input.

V-C-3 The Board deferred the Court Facilities Improvement Project until March 18, 1998:

V-C-4 Rate Study Audit:

a. The Board approved a 1st amendment to the Audit Services Agreement dated August 17, 1994, with Deloitte & Touche LLP, to (1) establish an audit scope pertaining to the 1997 rate-adjustment application filed by the Florida Water Services Corporation; and (2) establish an upset limit of $40,000 for performing that scope, and (3) increase the upset limit for compensation under the agreement by $40,000 to $290,000 for the current year and $1,240,000 overall.

b The Board approved a budget amendment to appropriate $13,000 from the Reserve for Contingency in the General Revenue Fund to fund expenditures related to the Florida Water rate-adjustment application.

V-D-1 The Board adopted the federal lobbying work plan for calendar year 1998. Three items were added to the list by Board members: 1) Grants for youth programs; 2) Sustainable Communities; and 3) Malathion spraying. Helen Levine will review the need to retain the item in the program concerning Moynihan funding.

The Board authorized the Chairman to write a letter to members of Congress regarding the County's official position on the ISTEA funding formula and the County's need for funding. Helen Levine will coordinate this matter.

V-D-2 The Board approved a resolution opposing the fragmentation of school districts. Helen Levine will coordinate distribution of the resolution to appropriate individuals. The Chairman will attend the Constitution Revision Commission meeting in St. Petersburg on March 12th.

V-D-3 The Board approved a letter to Congress which expresses concerns about proposed changes which would repeal all water efficiency standards in the Energy Policy and Conservation Act. Helen Levine will prepare the letter for the Chairman's signature.

V-E-1 The Board received the County Attorney's report of issues related to drafting of an ordinance regulating non-consensual towing companies and towing as outlined in agenda backup. The Board directed that this item be rescheduled on the March 18th BOCC Agenda as a report from Sheriff Henderson in an effort for the Board to determine whether the County should move forward with an such an ordinance. Emeline Acton will coordinate this matter.

Commissioners' Section:

VI-1 Board members presented reports on various boards and councils on which they serve, as follows:

Commissioner Chillura reported that over $100,000 worth of computers were donated to Salesian Sisters who deal primarily with needy children.

Commissioner Norman reported that the Amateur Sports Board is doing a great job and will likely received an award.

Commissioner Hart reported that Tampa International Airport was rated the number one airport in the nation by independent surveys. He recently had additional meetings on FEMA, in Washington, and is advising Mr. Garcia and Mr. Studer of these meetings. With regard to agricultural and EPA, he will request the County Administrator to bring the reports back on these items for another agenda. Further, he indicated that the MPO voted to continue with the Mobility Investment Study; however, he voted against it because he felt the need for additional due diligence on rail and transportation issues. He will provide more information during the workshop scheduled for March 11th.

Commissioner Platt reported that the NEP developed a list of questions for further study. She will be sharing the information on stormwater with staff for further study. She indicated that compared with other counties, Hillsborough County is far advanced in the area of stormwater.

Commissioner Turanchik reported that Hartline and MPO approved the findings of the Major Investment Study, which will be discussed in workshop session on March 11th.

VI-3 Correspondence received by the Board.

a. Commissioner Scott presented a memorandum outlining his meeting with Mayor Greco to discuss elimination of utility surcharges by the City. Additionally, Don Odom raised the issue of public counsel at the meeting held in the Palm River area on March 3rd. By motion, the Board directed that staff perform additional research on this matter and advise the Board of any available options on this matter. The Board authorized the Chairman to write a letter to Mayor Dick Greco regarding the excess surcharge charged by the City which is 1% more than allowed in the interlocal agreement. The issues of independent counsel and the absence of a current franchise will be brought back to the Board on March 18th. Emmy Acton will coordinate this matter.

VI-4 Commissioner Platt provided an update regarding "Name the Bridge Contest". No action was required.

VI-5 Commissioner Berger presented an item regarding a capacity fees appeal by Woody's Bar-B-Q. The Board voted to authorize capacity fees at the old capacity fee rate, based on the unique circumstances in this case.

VI-6 Commissioner Chillura deleted the item regarding a staff update of the County Center lighting project. Work has already begun on the project.

VI-7 Commissioner Chillura requested a deferral of the item regarding IDA Board restructuring. He requested that staff come back earlier, if possible, than staff's suggested deferral date of May 20th. Further, Commissioner Chillura inquired as to whether the County Attorney's Office provide legal counsel for a lesser amount. John Dausman and Emmy Acton will prepare a report in conjunction with this item.

VI-8 Commissioners Chillura and Berger led a discussion regarding transportation for the disadvantaged, Sable Transportation. Cretta Johnson provided a staff report on this issue. No action was required.

VI-9 Commissioner Turanchik led a discussion regarding authorization for administration to immediately procure any additional professional assistance to review applications for water use permits. This matter was referred to the County Administrator for review and recommendation. Pat Bean will coordinate this matter and report back on March 18, 1998.

VI-10 Commissioner Turanchik initiated an item regarding the status of drainage improvement projects throughout the county. This item was discussed in conjunction with item VII-5. The Board passed a motion to have staff bring back a strategy for accelerating the financing and construction of drainage improvement projects in the CIT. Staff is to bring back options on March 18, 1998, including a review of the level of the County's stormwater fee and to advise how the revenue is budgeted.

As an adjunct to this item, staff was requested to include the issue of septic tanks of this review. Commissioner Turanchik inquired as to how the County can make it easy for residents to connect to the County's wastewater system. This item will be brought back to the Board on April 8, 1998, as part of the regulatory issues report.

Commissioner Scott advised Board members that Bill Studer, Bernardo Garcia, and Pat Bean and their staff worked numerous hours, including after hours and on weekends, during the flooding emergency. He expressed his appreciation for the hard work and felt they should be recognized for their efforts.

Staff Reports:

VII-1 The Board received a staff report regarding Hillsborough County's funding responsibility/liability to boards and agencies, as requested by the BOCC on December 17, 1997. No action was required.

VII-2 Due to a staff members' illness a deferral of the GIS report was requested. This item will be rescheduled in approximately thirty days.

VII-3 Sharon Wall presented a staff report on use of temporary services. No action was required.

VII-4 The Board deferred the staff report regarding review of Mr. Paul E. Curtis's Letter of October 20, 1997, per request of Mr. Curtis. This matter will be rescheduled on the March 18th BOCC Agenda.

VII-5 Bill Studer presented a verbal update on the flooding situation in the county. Commissioner Chillura provided aerial pictures of the flooded areas in the northwest and Brandon areas to the County Administrator for referral to FEMA. Commissioner Platt suggested that workshop on where we are headed in the future be scheduled. She urged that this be a top priority of staff and suggested that it be a learning experience. This is further evidence that a countywide stormwater plan is needed. The County Administrator advised that on March 18th, staff will come back with a report on debt financing of projects. The County Administrator anticipates that the regulatory issues will be brought back to the Board on April 8, during a workshop. (Lelia Blevins will prepare a request to schedule a workshop for this item for the March 18th Agenda.)

Commissioners Norman complimented the Public Works and Public Safety staff on their response to citizens' needs during the flooding emergency. He indicated that he had received compliments on staff's work from numerous residents.

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