Sept. 25 County Commission Meeting Run Down- part 1

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Sept. 25 County Commission Meeting Run Down- part 1

Sun, 10/07/2018 - 18:23
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PROCLAMATIONS & RECOGNITIONS

Recognition of Weeki Wachee River Rangers for Volunteer Cleanup Efforts Along Weeki Wachee River
RES-2018-129 : Resolution Proclaiming October 5, 2018 as Florida Manufacturing Day
RES-2018-130 : Resolution Recognizing Emilio "Sonny" Vergara for Years of Service on Fine Arts Council
RES-2018-131 : Resolution Recognizing Terlep Chiropractic for Significant Contributions to Hernando County

HERNANDO COUNTY SCHOOL DISTRICT SUPERINTENDENT UPDATE TO THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS

More buses proposed as solution for dangerous walking conditions 
 
Hernando County School District Interim Superintendent John Stratton announced a new Parent Academy Community Center located at Fox Chapel, offering mental and physical health services to parents with a child enrolled in the Hernando County School system. 

Ryan Bradley, a new student board member has been chosen to join the Hernando County School Board to represent the student body of Hernando County. 

Stratton also commended the Hernando County Fire / Rescue for their response and professionalism while responding to a fire at Explorer K-8 on 9/24. 

Commissioner Wayne Dukes:  "We've discussed over the years the lack of sidewalks for kids walking to school.  Especially since the two-mile rule came into effect.  So we were looking at that, and we discussed it at length, and sidewalks are really hard to fund, because normally DOT is part of that program ... they're almost as expensive as building roads. So, I just kinda floated the idea that based on how much it's going to cost us, and how long it's going to take to provide every school with a nice way for kids to get there without getting hurt... and we look at the dollar value ... it might be cheaper to buy you buses. I would like someone to look into that, because if we could do something, even if we had to go in and do some sort of loan system... it's quicker and safer than waiting.  We've got sidewalks (planned) that have been on the books for years. "

BOCC Chairman Steve Champion mentioned the queing issue;  private vehicles in line to drop off and pick up students. "Drive down Barclay, in front of Powell (Elementary) at four o'clock, and see that mess out there."

Commissioner John Allocco: "I know some of these schools are older schools that have been there for a long time.  I hope that moving forward that the county and the school board can work together when new schools are going to be developed, so that we can make sure all the queing is not on the roads ... there are certain areas of that county that, frankly, I don't even know how they're even able to exist when school's in session ... basically the road's blocked for an hour-and-a-half."

BOCC Chairman Steve Champion also mentioned that school sidewalks are a prioritized above other projects in Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) meetings.

School Board Chairman Mark Johnson commended the board on the sidewalk project on Deltona Blvd. near Deltona Elementary.

CONSENT AGENDA

RES-2018-132 : Acceptance of Federal Emergency Management Agency FY 2019 Assistance to Firefighters Grant Award and Associated Budget Resolution

Annual Certified Budget for FY 2018-19 Funding Request for Mosquito Control Operations to be Submitted to State Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services

Application to State Division of Library and Information Services for Library Services and Technology Act Public Library Innovation Grant

Appointment of Melissa Kehler as Member to Tourist Development Council Until December 31, 2022

Low Income Pool Letter of Agreement Between Hernando County on Behalf of Premier HealthCare Group and State Agency for Health Care Administration for FY 2018-19

Satisfaction of Mosquito Control Nuisance and Pestiferous Arthropod Special Assessment Lien Filed Against Property Owned by James H. Bragg

Transmittal of List of Accounts Payable Disbursements for Weeks Ended September 7, 2018, and September 14, 2018

Updated Capital Assets Policy No. 07-04

Minutes of Aug 28, 2018 9:00 AM

Minutes of Sep 4, 2018 5:01 PM

Minutes of Sep 11, 2018 9:00 AM

Added to the agenda was the presentation of his lost service ring to Army Special Forces Lieutenant David Keith. This story appeared in the 9/28 issue of the Hernando Sun. 

Further Discussion: 
Appointment of Melissa Kehler, the newly hired Executive Director of Chinsegut Hill Retreat as Member to Tourist Development Council Until December 31, 2022 - Each board member welcomed Kehler to the TDC, recognizing her community involvement and supporting her appointment. 

Kehler announced that on October 6, 2018 the community is invited to visit Chinsegut Hill for an art show and jazz fest.  On Veteran’s Day, Monday, November 12, a free brunch will be held for Veterans and their families. 

If you’d like to be a sponsor for the Veteran’s Day Brunch, please see information on https://chinseguthillretreat.com/contact-us/, https://www.facebook.com/ChinsegutHillRetreat/

Consent Agenda items approved unanimously.

CORRESPONDENCE TO NOTE

Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Trust Fund Monthly Report for August 2018

Letter From US Department of Homeland Security Regarding Update of Flood Insurance Rate Maps and Flood Insurance Study

Notice of Conditional Use Permit Action Taken by Planning and Zoning Commission on September 10, 2018

Notice of Purchasing Policy Exceptions for August 2018

Notice of Special Exception Use Permit Action Taken by Planning and Zoning Commission on September 10, 2018

Transmittal From Clerk of Circuit Court and Comptroller Audit Services Department of Audit Report for Utilities Department Billing and Collections

Transmittal of Sterling Hill Community Development District FY 2018-19 Final Adopted Budget and Meeting Schedule
 

ITEMS BROUGHT TO THE BOARD BY PARKS AND RECREATION MANAGER HARRY JOHNSON

Renewal of Franchise License Agreement With Guest Services Management, LLC, d/b/a Boating in Florida, to Utilize Rogers Park to Remove Kayaks Associated With Rental Business at Weeki Wachee State Park 

As reported in the 9/28 issue of the Hernando Sun,  Boating in Florida’s contract was renewed for one year after contract amendments, including a mandate for a full-time Deputy to patrol the  Weeki Wachee River, funded by Guest Services /  Boating in Florida.

Renewal of Concession License Agreement With Flohana, LLC, for Concessionaire Services at Bayport, Jenkins Creek, Linda Pedersen Park, and Pine Island

Contract Renewal was granted.  Roger’s Park is no longer a part of the contract.

CITIZEN'S COMMENTS

Asia Moore of Weeki Wachee River Rangers:  "... don't see why GIS can't send a staff member down every hour to clear the congestion that is there, and to make sure that people aren't partying and camping off a $50 fine for four hours.  By the time most of these people are halfway down the river they're exhausted because most of them are inexperienced, and they're just sitting there resting, because they don't know what to do. The short-run take-out point is a piece of property that was taken from the community, and we are no longer allowed to access as residents, because it was closed down by Southwest Florida Water Management District (SWFWMD) I believe. Now the county's putting in a road so they can have a short run, but no private residents can access that part.  I don't understand why Florida state parks isn't running the kayak launches themselves and why we're hiring a company from another state to run it for us, who doesn't truly understand the value of what's going on at Weeki Wachee.  The boats are an issue, the issues with the rope swings... those swings have been there for decades.  That's one of the things that the residents have loved about it.  You cut down a tree, it’s going to happen to another tree ...  I think the solution is keeping someone on the river that's patrolling it, and I think GIS with 744-thousand in three months can gladly give the county for us to hire someone to specifically stay on the  Weeki Wachee year-round." 

Phyllis Fitzpatrick of Weeki Wachee River Rangers:  "... Whenever the short-run (exit point) has been constructed, I feel that should be there only point to get out, to stop using Roger's Park.  When you go to Roger's Park, the first thing you're at is the kayak ramp. That's where Guest Services are at [sic]. They monopolize that ramp.  The general public are told to go down and use the boat ramp to put their personal kayaks in."

BOARD/STAFF RESPONSES

Commissioner Jeff Holcomb:  "... Law enforcement is what I see as our only option, or no option at all.  I would like to see more education to help people use their kayaks better.  Let's allow folks that want to do good on the river ... let's ask (Guest Services) to allow those folks on the river, and help those folks help the river.  Let's get (Guest Services) to pay for some of these things.  We'll ask the Sheriff's department to come up with a good solid number.  Let's ask someone in (Parks and Recreation) to be there at Roger's Park to (address some of the issues)."

 BOCC Chairman Steve Champion:  "I think private citizens should be a priority, period. If (Guest Services) has to shut down their operation to allow a private person to put their kayak in ... they should."

The commission discussed the parts of the contract that they wanted to re-negotiate with Guest Services, doing business as Boating in Florida. While the meeting proceeded, representatives from  Boating in Florida and county staff left the meeting to amend the contract.    As reported in the 9/28 issue, the board voted unanimously to renew Guest Services with the stipulations of one more full-time Hernando County Sheriff’s Deputy, funded by Boating in Florida.
 

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