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HomeUncategorizedNov. 27, 2018 Hernando BOCC Run Down

Nov. 27, 2018 Hernando BOCC Run Down

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Swearing In of Elected Commissioners

Judge Merritt read the Oath of Office, officially swearing in the incumbent Commissioners Wayne Dukes and Jeff Holcomb for another term serving Hernando County. 


Attorney/Client Executive Session to Discuss Proposed Settlement Related to Case of Christopher Soto vs. Hernando County (Docket No. 18-03-BCC)

The session, described as a “Shade Tree Meeting” was closed to the public, however was recorded by a court reporter. 

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An executive attorney/client session will be held to discuss Hernando County’s ongoing Grievance No: 17-9547 and Federal Mediation Conciliation Service Case No. 181013-00437 as to a possible settlement in the Christopher Soto matter on November 27, 2018, at 8:45 a.m., or as soon thereafter as may be heard in the County Administrator’s Conference Room of the Hernando County Government Center, 20 North Main Street, Room 265, Brooksville, Florida.  The attending parties shall be all members of the Hernando County Board of County Commissioners: Wayne Dukes, Steve Champion, John Allocco, Jeff Holcomb, John Mitten; Hernando County Administrator Leonard Sossamon; County Attorney Garth Coller and Doug Noah, as attorneys for Hernando County.  The executive attorney/client session is closed to the public. (Docket No. 18-03-BCC)


County Administrator Len Sossamon asked the board to approve an addition to the Agenda to approve an $1850.00 contract with Audio Visual Support Services, Inc to supply audio services for the Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony on the Old Courthouse lawn, which will take place on  December 6, 2018.

Commissioner Wayne Dukes moved to add the item to the top of the Consent Agenda to be pulled for discussion.  The addition was approved 5-0


County now owns TreeUmph! course and equipment

Authorization to Bid and/or Purchase at Public Sale of Personal and Intangible Property Owned by CSC Holding Group LLC, and ADVX, LLC, d/b/a TreeUmph! Adventure Course Located at 6440 Cedar Lane

The board discussed the wisdom and feasibility of bidding on the now-defunct TreeUmph! Adventure Course that closed in October.  Not wanting to be a government competing with small private businesses, the members discussed alternative solutions, including the resale to a private business which already runs such a course. 

Hernando county owns the land, so the items up for sale include harnesses, ropes, cables, and all other equipment contained.

The board voted unanimously to send Land Manager Paul Mollé to the auction, if for nothing more than to represent the county since they own the land. Mollé returned at the end of the meeting, congratulating the commissioners on their ownership of the course and equipment for approximately $150,000.  The maximum authorized purchase price was $200,000.  The funding for the purchase came from the Reserve fund. 


Countryside Village Mobile Home Park

Vicki Goers of Countryside Village Mobile Home Park brought to the board’s attention the poor condition of the park.  Goers brought photos of roads in need of repair, a clubhouse which has wires protruding from a drop ceiling with missing tiles, and septic-system backup described as affecting the entire property.   According to Goers, the attitude of the park owners is, “If you don’t like it, get out.”

Kettering Road

Bill Loomis asked each commissioner and County Administrator Len Sossamon if they had received email dated March 29, 2017 from Brian Malmberg regarding the paving of Kettering Road and County Line Road and how it was paid for. 


Kettering Road
None of the commissioners could answer Loomis’ question immediately, and  Commissioners John Mitten and Allocco stated they would look for the email in question. 

Countryside Village Mobile Home Park- FDEP Lift Station
In response to Vicki Goers about Countryside Mobile Home Park, Commissioner John Allocco stated that he has been in touch with others about a lift station that is privately owned and not being maintained.   Allocco advised that the lift station and it’s maintenance is not a county or city responsibility, but is overseen by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).   Allocco added that the lift station had not been inspected since 2008, and county utilities staff went to the property to look at the station, however, is unable to do anything about the problem.

County Attorney Garth Coller advised that state agencies of water and health will need to address the lift station problem.  Because the property is located in the county, he recommended that Code Enforcement inspect the open wiring in the clubhouse.  

Hernando County Utilities  Director Gordon Onderdonk reported that the lift station isn’t a part of the county water and sewer system, however does pump to it.  Onderdonk reported that the DEP and Department of Health inspected and cleaned the lift station, but on the morning of this meeting, he had contacted those agencies again to report additional problems.

Coller reported also that in the worst-case scenario, if the property owner is unwilling to remedy the problems, they could be compelled by law, and face fines and possible jail time.   Onderdonk will send letters to the DEP and Florida Department of Health for follow up.


1. Letter From Sheriff Al Nienhuis Announcing Return of Excess Fees for FY 2017-18

Nienhuis wrote, in part, “Since Hernando County did not experience any direct effects from storms or other exceptionally labor intensive law enforcement related incidents prior to the end of September 2018, we will be returning $228,752 in unspent appropriations and $9,488 in additional revenues.”

2. Letter of Appreciation From Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council for Adoption of Memorandum of Understanding Creating Tampa Bay Regional Resiliency Coalition

The TBRPC held a signing ceremony event on October 8, 2018 officially forming the new Tampa Bay Resiliency Coalition to address sea level rise, climate change and resiliency.

“By creating this coalition of governments we are confirming that we are a region that acknowledges and responds to vulnerabilities to support the economic, environmental and cultural prosperity of this unique and highly valuable region.”

3. Notice of Special Exception Use Permit Action Taken by Planning and Zoning Commission on November 13, 2018

In 2007, the Planning and Zoning Commission (P&Z) approved a revision to a Special Exception for a Place of Public Assembly, namely a Religious Establishment to add a Daycare and Private School.  The petitioner indicated they would utilize the existing building for child care and private school.

The petitioner’s current request is to add 2.85 acres to the church campus, in order to expand the area for sports activities for the church and school.  No additional structures are proposed at this time; however, in the future the parcel may be developed with a fellowship hall and/or small gymnasium.  A revision to the Special Exception use permit would be required at that time.

4. Notification From State Department of Revenue Acknowledging Truth in Millage Certification and Maximum Millage Levy Calculation Final Disclosure Compliance

“The Department of Revenue has reviewed the millage certification documents that your taxingauthority submitted. The Department has found no violation of the certification requirements in subsections 200.065(1)-(4), (6)-(12), (14), and (15), Florida Statutes, and therefore accepts
the certification as meeting the stated requirements.”

“The Department has also reviewed the maximum millage levy calculation final disclosure documents your taxing authority submitted. The Department’s review included documents relating to the millage levying processes and the total taxes levied by your principal taxing authority and any dependent special districts and MSTUs (for counties). Based on these documents, the Department has determined that your taxing authority is in compliance with the maximum total taxes levied requirements, and thus the maximum millage levy requirements, of section 200.065(5), Florida Statutes.”

5. Transmittal of Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Trust Fund Monthly Report for October 2018

Pursuant to Hernando County Ordinance 2014-13, which established the Hernando County Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Trust Fund, the Clerk of Court and Comptroller is
providing to the Board of County Commissioners the monthly activity relating to costs and assessments imposed by the courts, collections and deposits into the Trust Fund
and expenditures from the Trust Fund.

6. Unaudited Quarterly Financial Report for Quarter Ended September 30,2018

A summary of un-audited financial information from selected items cumulative through the second quarter ending September 30, 2018 of the fiscal year was submitted.


1. Affordable Housing Program State Housing Initiative Partnership Program Special Needs Loan Agreement and Land Use Restriction Agreement With Habitat for Humanity Hernando County for Non-Profit Construction Funding

Commissioner John Allocco had questions about the item, and asked if it was a state mandate.  Hernando County Housing Authority Executive Director Don Singer explained that part of the state funding must be spent on special needs housing.  This partnership is one of a number of ways to meet this requirement.

Commissioner John Allocco asked if there was a particular program for Veterans, to which the expert responded that there are specific programs for homeless Veterans, however, the majority are served under the “Special Needs” category.

2. Appointment of Sandra M. Brown to Fine Arts Council Until December 31, 2022
3. Construction Drawings for Cortez Oaks Phase 1A Section 1
4. Reimbursement to Property Owner for Overpayment of Hernando County Fire Rescue Non-Ad Valorem Assessments From 2015 Through 2017
5. Request Submitted by Dawn Center of Hernando for Utilization of Government Center Parking Lot on December 5, 2018, for Overflow of New Injunction for Protection Attorney Program Office Grand Opening
6. Resolution Granting Continued Area of Operation Authority to Escambia County Housing Finance Authority for Operating Single-Family Mortgage Revenue Bond Program
7. Revised State Aid to Libraries Grant Agreement for FY 2018-19 Funding and Certification of Hours, Free Library Service and Access to Materials Form
8. Settlement in Case of David L. Merritt and Lynette M. Merritt, as Trustees of the Merritt Family Trust Agreement U/TD 8/29/2007 vs. Hernando County; Louis F. Mlecka and Phyllis A. Mlecka (Case No.: H27-2017-CA1191)
9. Settlement of Workers’ Compensation Claim in Case of Joseph Midili vs. Hernando County
10. State-Funded Grant Agreement With State Division of Emergency Management for Analysis of Hazardous Material Storage Sites and Associated Budget Resolution
11. Subordination Agreement of Mortgage for Patricia A. Herzog Through Homeownership Down Payment Assistance Program
12. Subordination Agreement of Mortgage for Sandy D. Francisco Through Homeownership Down Payment Assistance Program
13. Transmittal of List of Accounts Payable Disbursements for Weeks Ended November 2, 2018, and November 9, 2018
14. Updated Memorandum of Understanding Between University of Florida and Hernando County for Extension Services to Include Summary of FY 2019 Proposed Projected Annual Expense Budget
15. Various Code Enforcement Public Nuisance Abatement Special Assessment Liens
16. Various Interim Disposal Special Assessment Liens
17. Various Satisfactions of Code Enforcement Public Nuisance Abatement Special Assessment Liens
18. Approval of Minutes for Regular Meeting November 05, 2018

The board added #19 – the funding discussed earlier to contract an audio company to provide service at the Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony.

Hernando County Broadcasting Director Rick Foti described the plan as reinforcing the sound system the county already has in place.  Live Oak Theatre and a local church assists Foti’s group with the project each year. 

Last year, Foti described the sound as “marginal” with close to 5000 people attending the event.  

The board approved the measure 5-0.




1. Master Plan Revision Petition Submitted by Rock Properties, Inc. (H1827)

Pianta presented the Master Plan Revision request by Rock Properties, Inc. to include specific C-2 use, an automobile service establishment.   The property is on the eastbound side of Cortez Blvd, approximately 900 feet from Evergreen Woods Trail. 

Commissioner John Allocco had concerns of automotive repair noise coming from the property in close proximity to patients recuperating at Health South.  

Noise mitigation is a condition of the Planning and Zoning Commission (P&Z) approval, which states, “The petitioner shall provide an 8’ high PVC fence along the eastern boundary with a minimum 10’ landscape buffer and enhanced landscaping inside the fence. It was the intent of Planning and Zoning Commission to recommend additional landscaping for sound attenuation which would exceed the minimum requirements of the landscape Code.”

Pianta reported that patients at Health South with the most severe limitations are located furthest from the proposed project.  The remaining concern is an outdoor visiting area.

With fencing and tree buffers for noise abatement, the board voted 4-1 to approve, with Commissioner John Allocco voting against the petition.



2. Proposed Ordinance Repealing Disturbing Sound Regulations in Connection With Alcoholic Beverage Licensed Locations

In response to an issue raised by the owners of the Riverside Restaurant in a recent meeting, the county Legal Department suggested a repeal of Hernando County Code Article II, Section 4-21 through and including Section 4-27 regulating sound emitting from these establishments that serve alcohol. 

Deputy County Attorney Jon Jouben termed the old ordinance the “Bubba the Love Sponge ordinance” after an area disc jockey drew attention with excessive noise coming from his establishment which served alcohol.  The county responded by creating the ordinance that no establishment that serves alcohol shall have any noise audible to the outside.

The board voted unanimously via roll-call vote to repeal the ordinance, leaving in place the original noise ordinance, which relies on the use of decibel meters and allowed hours for enforcement.


See: County administrator outlines legislative agenda, state funding priorites  



Budget Resolution Recognizing Purchase Orders Carried Over From
FY 2018

Approved 5-0


Seventh Amendment to Aviation Ground Lease With Raytheon Company
for Use of Airfield at Brooksville – Tampa Bay Regional Airport for Testing
of Portable Radar Systems.

Approved 5-0


1. Award of Professional Services Agreement No. 19-PS0029 With LRB Consulting Group for Consulting Services to Hernando/Citrus Metropolitan
Planning Organization (Cost: $55,600)

Approved 5-0

2. Award of Sole Source Purchase to Arrow International, Inc., for Purchase of Needles and Drills for Hernando County Fire Rescue EZ-IO
Intraosseous Infusion System (Cost: $35,000.00)

Approved 5-0

3. Purchase of Uninterruptible Power System From Presidio Networked Solutions for Technology Services (Cost: $127,488.48)

Approved 5-0


1. Cooperative Funding Agreement With Southwest Florida Water Management District for Culbreath Road Area Flood Relief Project

Approved 5-0

2. Installation of Additional Street Lights Within Spring Hill Street Lighting Municipal Service Benefit Unit

Approved 5-0


1. Commissioner John Allocco

Allocco stated that he’d received many calls and emails from people surprised to learn about the change in garbage collection prices and procedures in the universal mandatory area.   Allocco asked Len Sossamon if affected people will be receiving notices on their upcoming utility bills explaining the change. 

Gordon Onderdonk said there will be an enclosure in the January Utility bills, explaining that the garbage bill will no longer appear on this bill, rather that it is paid in full on the property tax assessment. 

2. Commissioner Jeff Holcomb

Praised Supervisor of Elections Shirley Anderson.  Holcomb said that a few years ago, Anderson asked for upgraded equipment.  “As we see in those two counties … to the south that old equipment, bad processes, bad procedures … it’s just heartwarming knowing that we have confidence in our Supervisor of Elections.”

3. Commissioner John Mitten

Recalled his time spent assisting the canvassing board.   Regarding the Republic Services bill being moved to property owners’ taxes, he spoke of a resident who asked if she could volunteer at a library to defray her cost.   “That’s the level of pain with these added costs that we continue to place on the residents.”

Mitten then said he had forgotten to pull an item from the Consent Agenda, and proceeded to speak about a roundabout in the plan for Cortez Oaks Phase I.   “I don’t like roundabouts.  I think they’re unsafe.”  Mitten acknowledged conclusions of scientific studies, and conceded that he is not an engineer.  “(The studies) say that they do reduce fatalities at major intersections where there’s high speed.  But those same studies also show that there are increased fender-benders while some drivers not knowing when to yield, when not to yield.”  

4. Commissioner Wayne Dukes

Did not have any closing remarks.

5. Chairman Steve Champion

Discussed extra parking at boat ramps in Hernando Beach.  Champion said the real problem is figuring out how to pay for them, and there are opinions that the board should use impact fees for the funding.  

Administrator Len Sossamon said the item will appear on the agenda on either December 11 or 18, 2018.

6. County Administrator Leonard Sossamon 

Reiterated the meeting date for the State Legislative Agenda that was held on December 3, 2018.   

Kiwanis of Brooksville Christmas Parade was held on Saturday December 8, 2018.

7. Deputy County Administrator Jeffrey Rogers

Did not have any closing remarks

8. County Attorney Garth Coller

Following directly after Commissioner Holcomb, Coller praised the members of the canvassing board, on which he served during the last election. 

Of Judge Kurt Hitzemann, Coller said,  “Most judges back away from the Canvassing Board for obvious reasons;  it’s thankless and long hours.  But Judge Hitzemann is one of the most knowledgeable judges in the state about elections law.”

Publicly thanking the entire team, Coller mentioned the statewide recount – where the team lost an entire weekend, plus a holiday, “But it came out very well for Hernando County.”



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