May 19 1998
MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA
May 19, 1998
The Board of County Commissioners of Brevard County, Florida, met in regular session on May 19, 1998, at 5:30 p.m. in the Government Center Commission Room, Building C, 2725 Judge Fran Jamieson Way, Viera, Florida. Present were: Chairman Helen Voltz, Commissioners Truman Scarborough, Randy O?Brien, Nancy Higgs, and Mark Cook, County Manager Tom Jenkins, and County Attorney Scott Knox.
Patrick Air Force Base Honor Guard posted the Colors.
Eagle Scouts Grayson Kamm, Luke W. Godson, and Walter Carl Schnaderbeck led the assembly in the Pledge of Allegiance.
The Invocation was given by Chaplain Nevin Snyder of the Brevard Veterans Council.
RESOLUTION, RE: COMMEMORATING MEMORIAL DAY
Commissioner O?Brien read aloud a Resolution commemorating Memorial Day, and asking God to bless the souls of our departed service men and women and the Country they gave their lives to serve.
Motion by Commissioner O?Brien, seconded by Commissioner Cook, to adopt Resolution commemorating May 25, 1998 as Memorial Day in honor of the departed service men and women. Motion carried and ordered unanimously.
Commissioner O?Brien presented the Resolution to Rod Smith, Chairman of the Brevard Veterans Council. Mr. Smith thanked the Board for honoring all veterans past and living.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Motion by Commissioner Scarborough, seconded by Commissioner Cook, to approve the Minutes of April 14, 1998 and April 21, 1998 Regular Meetings. Motion carried and ordered unanimously.
REPORT, RE: FERAL CATS
Commissioner O?Brien recommended the portion of the Ordinance relating to feral cats be put on the agenda in July, 1998, to consider a revision; and it not be enforced until it is heard. He stated the current Ordinance makes criminals out of people who take care of those cats; and the County should work with those volunteers to make it a win/win situation.
Motion by Commissioner O?Brien, seconded by Commissioner Scarborough, to direct staff to schedule discussion on part of the Animal Control Ordinance dealing with feral cats, and not to enforce it until the item is heard. Motion carried and ordered unanimously.
APPOINTMENTS, RE: CITIZEN ADVISORY BOARDS
Motion by Commissioner Cook, seconded by Commissioner Scarborough, to appoint Pat Sherer, 1046 Fairlawn Drive, Rockledge, Florida 32955, to the Central Brevard Library and Reference Center Advisory Board with term expiring December 31, 1989; and Joanne Corby, 2462 Chapparal Drive, Melbourne, Florida 32934, to the Charter Review Commission, with term expiring December 31, 1998. Motion carried and ordered unanimously.
RESOLUTION, RE: PROCLAIMING DAY OF CELEBRATION FOR FILIPINO-AMERICANS
Chairman Voltz read aloud a resolution proclaiming June 12, 1998. as a day of celebration for Filipino-Americans of the declaration of 100 years of independence from Spain.
Motion by Commissioner Scarborough, seconded by Commissioner Cook, to adopt Resolution proclaiming June 12, 1998, as a day of celebration for Filipino-Americans of the declaration of 100 years of independence from Spain. Motion carried and ordered unanimously.
Chairman Voltz presented the Resolution to Romeo De La Paz. Mr. De La Paz introduced Lucie Saldana, Chairperson of the Centennial Celebration Committee, who thanked the Board for the Resolution.
REPORT, RE: LETTER FROM CONGRESSMAN WELDON ON GRANTS
Chairman Voltz advised of a letter from Congressman Dave Weldon on Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention grants ; inquired if the Board wanted to allow CBO?s to apply for those grants.
Commissioner Higgs suggested considering the item at Thursday?s meeting.
REPORT, RE: RESOLUTION FROM REPUBLICAN EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
Chairman Voltz presented copies of a Resolution from the Republican Executive Committee to each Commissioner and read it into the record, basically requesting the Board place the non-partisan issue before the electorate in November, 1998.
REPORT, RE: LENGTH OF MEETING
Chairman Voltz advised due to the possible lengthy meeting, she made several suggestions for shortening it, and provided copies to each Commissioner.
Commissioner Higgs stated there are people from Micco and Indian River County; and it would not be fair not to hear them. She stated her office told the people of Valkaria it would not be necessary to come to the meeting before 7:00 p.m. Commissioner Cook suggested setting a time to adjourn and continue the meeting to Tuesday, May 26, 1998. Commissioner Scarborough stated he does not want to keep people here until 1:00 a.m. then tell them the Commissioners are going home. Chairman Voltz advised she does not mind hearing the boaters, but it would not be fair to them to hear them then tell them the Commissioners are going home. Commissioner Cook suggested the Board set a cutoff time; and Chairman Voltz suggested 11:00 p.m.
RESOLUTION, RE: COMMENDING EAGLE SCOUT LUKE W. GODSON
Commissioner Cook read aloud a resolution commending Luke W. Godson for achieving the Eagle Scout Award and identifying his other achievements and community service.
Motion by Cook, seconded by Commissioner Scarborough, to adopt Resolution commending Luke W. Godson for achieving the Eagle Scout Award, and extending best wishes for a successful future. Motion carried and ordered unanimously.
Commissioner Cook presented the Resolution to Luke Godson who thanked Commissioner Cook, the Board, Albertsons, Home Depot, Richards Paints, his troop, parents, and family for helping him with his project.
RESOLUTION, RE: COMMENDING EAGLE SCOUT WALTER CARL SCHNADERBECK
Commissioner Cook read aloud a resolution commending Walter Carl Schnaderbeck for achieving the Eagle Scout Award, and identifying his other achievements and community service.
Motion by Commissioner Cook, seconded by Commissioner Scarborough, to adopt Resolution commending Walter Carl Schnaderbeck for achieving the Eagle Scout Award, and extending best wishes for a successful future.
Commissioner Cook presented the Resolution to Walter Schnaderbeck, who thanked Commissioner Cook, other Commissioners, fire chief, scouts, and his family for helping him with his project.
RESOLUTION, RE: COMMENDING EAGLE SCOUT GRAYSON KAMM
Commissioner O?Brien read aloud a resolution commending Grayson Kamm, son of County employee Bob Kamm, for achieving the Eagle Scout Award, and identifying his other achievements and community service.
Motion by Commissioner O?Brien, seconded by Commissioner Scarborough, to adopt Resolution commending Grayson Charles Kamm for achieving the rank of Eagle Scout, and extending best wishes for a successful future. Motion carried and ordered unanimously.
Commissioner O?Brien presented the Resolution to Grayson Kamm, who thanked Commissioner O?Brien, the Board, and all the people of Merritt Island who helped with his project.
RESOLUTION, RE: PROCLAIMING NATIONAL SAFETY MONTH
Chairman Voltz read aloud a resolution proclaiming June, 1998, as National Safety Month in Brevard County, and encouraging every individual to take extra precautions and become more safety conscious every day.
Motion by Commissioner Scarborough, seconded by Commissioner Cook, to adopt Resolution proclaiming June, 1998, as National Safety Month in Brevard County. Motion carried and ordered unanimously.
Chairman Voltz presented the Resolution to Paul Stewart, Vice President of the Cape Canaveral Chapter of the American Society of Safety Engineers, who thanked the Board for recognizing the need for safety in the home and workplace.
RESOLUTION, RE: PROCLAIMING MOTORCYCLE SAFETY AND AWARENESS MONTH
Commissioner Scarborough read the aloud a resolution proclaiming May, 1998, as Motorcycle Safety and Awareness Month in Brevard County in recognition of the need for greater public awareness of the motorcycle and its proper use on the highways.
Motion by Commissioner Scarborough, seconded by Commissioner Cook, to adopt Resolution proclaiming May, 1998, as Motorcycle Safety and Awareness Month in Brevard County. Motion carried and ordered unanimously.
Commissioner Scarborough presented the Resolution to Ben Drew, President of ABATE of Florida, Inc., who advised of their organization?s involvement with education, charities, and public safety programs; and requesting assistance to protect the freedom to ride on two-wheel vehicles.
CHECK PRESENTATION, RE: NANCY THOMPSON AND BILL BEACH OF KEEP
BREVARD BEAUTIFUL, AND PETER JURGEL OF HARRIS CORPORATION Nancy Thompson, Interim Executive Director of Keep Brevard Beautiful, advised of the success of Trash Bash ?98; stated District 4 had more volunteers and more trash bags collected; however, the check will go to District 1 charities Commissioner Scarborough selected, as District 1 had the highest percentage increase. She introduced Bill Beach as the new KBB Director and Peter Jurgel from Harris Corporation that donated the $500 for the event.
Peter Jurgel presented the trophy to Commissioner Scarborough, and noted the checks of $250 each will be mailed by Ms. Thompson to the Men?s Garden Club Circle of Titusville and Friends of the Community Library Center of Mims and Scottsmoor, which were selected by Commissioner Scarborough. Mr. Jurgel described a similar event for the municipalities, and noted the City of Titusville won for the first time and Palm Shores was the overall winner.
Commissioner Scarborough advised the Men?s Garden Club and Friends of the Mims/Scottsmoor Library both have ongoing landscaping projects, and people will be able to see the money in action. Ms. Thompson thanked Commissioner Scarborough for selecting two beautification projects.
RESOLUTION, RE: COMMENDING ANDY ROBERTS
Chairman Voltz read aloud a resolution commending Andy Roberts, honor student at Palm Bay High School, for 13 years of perfect attendance at school.
Motion by Commissioner Cook, seconded by Commissioner Scarborough, to adopt Resolution commending Andy Roberts, honor student at Palm Bay High School, for 13 years of perfect attendance, and wishing him success as he prepares to attend college to study music. Motion carried and ordered unanimously.
AUTHORIZATION, RE: MUNICIPAL REVIEW OF LOCAL OPTION GAS TAX
Motion by Commissioner Scarborough, seconded by Commissioner O?Brien, to authorize the Clerk to mail a copy of the Local Option Gas Tax allocations to each municipality, and direct staff to schedule final review of the allocations on July 7, 1998. Motion carried and ordered unanimously.
CONTRACT FOR SALE AND PURCHASE AND ADDENDUM WITH McDONALD?S
CORPORATION, RE: RIGHT-OF-WAY FOR MALABAR ROAD, PHASE II
Motion by Commissioner Scarborough, seconded by Commissioner O?Brien, to execute Contract for Sale and Purchase and Addendum with McDonald?s Corporation, to purchase right-of-way for
Malabar Road Widening Project, Phase II, at $13,000. Motion carried and ordered unanimously.
PERMISSION TO BID, AWARD BID, AND EXECUTE CONTRACT, RE: MIMS-SCOTTSMOOR
LIBRARY BUILDING RENOVATIONS
Motion by Commissioner Scarborough, seconded by Commissioner O?Brien, to grant permission to bid Mims-Scottsmoor Library building renovations, award bid to the lowest responsible bidder, and authorize the Chairman to execute the Contract with the successful bidder. Motion carried and ordered unanimously.
AMENDMENT TO LEASE AGREEMENT WITH PRIME SITE DEVELOPMENT, INC.,
d/b/a ROCKLEDGE SQUARE, RE: TAX COLLECTOR?S OFFICE
Motion by Commissioner Scarborough, seconded by Commissioner O?Brien, to execute Amendment to Lease Agreement with Prime Site Development, Inc., d/b/a Rockledge Square, for the Tax Collector?s Rockledge Office space at $5,178.96 a month. Motion carried and ordered unanimously.
PRELIMINARY AND PERMANENT SPECIFIC EASEMENTS TO FLORIDA POWER &
LIGHT COMPANY, RE: WEST MELBOURNE LIBRARY ELECTRIC SERVICE
Motion by Commissioner Scarborough, seconded by Commissioner O?Brien, to execute Preliminary Specific Easement to Florida Power & Light Company for underground electrical utilities at the new West Melbourne Library, and authorize execution of subsequent Permanent Specific Easement. Motion carried and ordered unanimously.
WORKERS COMPENSATION CLAIM SETTLEMENT, RE: EMMA BERRY
Motion by Commissioner Scarborough, seconded by Commissioner O?Brien, to approve Workers? Compensation claim settlement with Emma Berry for $74,425, including attorney?s fees, negotiated by Risk Management through Alexsis. Motion carried and ordered unanimously.
RESOLUTION AND EASEMENT TO CITY OF COCOA, RE: GOVERNMENT CENTER
Motion by Commissioner Scarborough, seconded by Commissioner O?Brien, to adopt Resolution and execute Easement to the City of Cocoa granting a waterline easement around the perimeter of the Government Center property along with ingress and egress. Motion carried and ordered unanimously.
ACKNOWLEDGE RECEIPT, RE: SPECIAL DISTRICT FINANCIAL REPORT FOR
FISCAL YEAR ENDED SEPTEMBER 30, 1997
Motion by Commissioner Scarborough, seconded by Commissioner O?Brien, to acknowledge receipt of Special District Financial Report for Sebastian Inlet Tax District, for the fiscal year that ended September 30, 1997. Motion carried and ordered unanimously.
APPOINTMENTS/REAPPOINTMENTS, RE: CITIZEN ADVISORY BOARDS
Motion by Commissioner Scarborough, seconded by Commissioner O?Brien, to reappoint Andy Tucker to the Land Use Citizens Resource Group with term expiring December 31, 1998; and appoint Billy Jenkins to replace Richard Cherry on the Emergency Management Services Planning Committee. Motion carried and ordered unanimously.
APPROVAL, RE: BILLS AND BUDGET CHANGES, AND MODIFICATION TO AGREEMENT
WITH DEPARTMENT OF COMMUNITY AFFAIRS FOR GRANT
Motion by Commissioner Scarborough, seconded by Commissioner O?Brien, to approve bills and budget changes, and execute Modification to Agreement with Florida Department of Community Affairs for an additional $6,247 of the Emergency Management Preparedness and Assistance Base Grant. Motion carried and ordered unanimously.
RESOLUTION, RE: AUTHORIZING WATER RESOURCES DIRECTOR TO MAKE
COMMITMENTS IN BREVARD COUNTY vs. DUDA & SONS, INC.
Motion by Commissioner Scarborough, seconded by Commissioner O?Brien, to adopt Resolution authorizing the Water Resources Director to make commitments for the Board on details of the operation of the South Central Regional Wastewater Facility in Brevard County vs. Duda & Sons, Inc. Motion carried and ordered unanimously.
PUBLIC HEARING, RE: SERVICE AREA EXPANSION FOR SOUTH SHORES UTILITY
ASSOCIATION, AND AMENDMENT TO VESTED SITE DEVELOPMENT PLAN FOR
INDIAN LANDINGS SUBDIVISION
Chairman Voltz called for the public hearing to consider expansion of service area for South Shores Utility Association and amendment to vested site plan for Indian Landings Subdivision.
Attorney Paul Gougelman, representing the applicant and property owner, advised in light of the long Agenda, and since the Board received briefings, he would request the application be placed in the record; and based on comments they received, Brian Sculthorp who will be developing the property will make sure the property to the north will be quitclaimed to the adjacent property owner to resolve the boundary dispute. He stated they will provide a buffer for Sea Dunes Park Subdivision; and Ed Fleis will describe the development. He gave Mr. Fleis? credentials, introduced him, and asked him if he prepared the amendment to Indian Landing; with Mr. Fleis responding yes. Mr. Gougelman asked Mr. Fleis if the amendment is in compliance with the County?s requirements; with Mr. Fleis responding yes.
Lizabeth Cassella, Director of the Utility Association for South Shores, advised the expansion of the service area was unanimously approved for Indian Landing, and the Board?s approval will avoid construction of a new sewer plant.
David Pavone expressed outrage of the vested development rights; stated he spoke to dozens of people and no one knew about it or are in favor of it; and the Board should restrict development in a fragile area such as the barrier island. He stated he tried to stop the development, but was unsuccessful; they met with the developer and ironed out some of their concerns; and although he is opposed to it, with the help of Commissioner Higgs and County staff, they were able to reduce some of the impacts on the area.
Joseph Gioffre, member of the Homeowners Association and Board of Directors, advised they approved the amendment to Indian Landings; and requested the Board consider that point.
Commissioner Higgs advised, she is a strong advocate of the Comprehensive Plan; the development will be built under the previous plan unless amended; there are a number of points in the letter signed by Brian Sculthorp; and she wants to ensure that is part of the record, as the developer agreed to a number of things.
Motion by Commissioner Higgs, seconded by Commissioner Cook, to approve the utility expansion for South Shores Utility Association and vested site plan amendments for Indian Landings Subdivision, with the developer abiding by the stipulations listed in the May 18, 1998 document signed by Brian Sculthorp and further amended by Ed Fleis, including, but not limited to the following: (1) Quitclaim lots in dispute to each affected property owner; (2) build a six-foot masonry wall within Indian Landings property at the back of Lots 9 through 17 in Block B, finished and painted on both sides, and maintained by Indian Landings; (3) install fence and landscape buffer between other lots not specified in the previous stipulation; (4) develop property as RA-2-6 for townhomes, RU-1-13 for single-family homes, and RU-2-4 for the duplex arrangements proposed to give an appearance of single-family home with mother-in-law suite; (5) commit, at the time of construction of a new roadway in Indian Landings, to remove the portion of the existing street connecting Sunset Point Landing and Sea Dunes Drive, eliminating future access to Sea Dunes Drive; (6) decrease total units from 168 to 154; and (7) prior to submittal of the engineering plans to the County for staff review, developer meet with individual homeowners affected by the road design to discuss existing conditions and impact of construction; and if mutually agreed with the homeowners to change of grade within the rear yard of Sea Dunes Park, to fill, re-grade, and re-sod at the cost of the developer. Motion carried and ordered unanimously.
PUBLIC HEARING, RE: ORDINANCE REVISING SUNSET PROVISIONS OF ORDINANCE
CREATING PORT ST. JOHN DEPENDENT SPECIAL DISTRICT
Chairman Voltz called for the public hearing to consider an ordinance revising the sunset provisions of Ordinance No. 96-30, creating the Port St. John Dependent Special District.
Don Griffin advised there is nothing better than representative government, but when it is misguided, he is opposed to it. He stated the Port St. John Homeowners Association has dictated and ran the Dependent Special District Board; he is disappointed with the lack of vision and knowledge of putting all commercial on U.S. 1; and inquired where will the children be working. He stated his letter states his main feelings; and the name of the Board should be changed to Port St. John Homeowners Association Advisory Board because anything else would be a farce.
B. B. Nelson inquired if any Commissioner attended the meetings of the District Board on zoning issues; with Commissioner Scarborough responding zoning meetings are attended by staff. Mr. Nelson stated they have a published set of rules; zoning boards are quasi-judicial; they are not supposed to have their minds made up before they get to the meeting; they should be open and listen to the facts; and they are stifling business competition in the Happenings Newspaper. He stated if it was properly run it would not be bad, but when commercial property meets all the Comprehensive Plan requirements, it gets approval from the Board of County Commissioners, but not the Port St. John Board because they have their minds made up. Mr. Nelson stated they turned down a Comprehensive Plan change after a lengthy presentation by him; they voted on that and then turned down the zoning with no presentation; and he paid $5,300 for permission to use his land which is an unfair situation. He stated they are stifling competition in their neighborhood and it is not fair or legal.
Chairman Voltz inquired what rules and regulations the Port St. John Special District Board uses; with Community Development Administrator Peggy Busacca responding they use the same rules as the Planning and Zoning Board, and there are no time limits on how long a person can speak.
Joe Stadnik stated the Special District Board was a pilot program for two years; it started on the wrong foot the first week; it is an area that wants to be a city so it should take on its full responsibility; and he does not support continuing the District, but supports them being a city.
Commissioner Scarborough advised he was not told of irregularities and has nothing to go on; and they need at least three years for a chance to serve and get through the learning curve.
Chairman Voltz stated she would not know how to prevent the Homeowners Association from running that board; with Commissioner Scarborough responding the people in Port St. John were coming to this Board every time they had a problem; it is a large and active area; and now there are less conflicts because the people making the recommendations know the property.
Commissioner O?Brien stated North and South Merritt Island should have their own boards, as well as Suntree, Viera, South Beaches, Grant and Micco; and he will support that as part of the motion and dissolve the Planning and Zoning Board. Chairman Voltz stated she would not support that. Commissioner Cook stated if people in District 2 wants to do that it that would be fine with him. He stated he is not sure two years is long enough to determine if it will work; and perhaps three years will give a better idea. Commissioner O?Brien stated it should be zoning matters only and any items this Board gives the District Board.
Motion by Commissioner Scarborough, seconded by Commissioner Higgs, to adopt Ordinance amending Ordinance No. 96-30, relating to the Port St. John Dependent Special District; specifically amending Section 13, Effective Date, to revise the sunset provisions to continue the existence of the Port St. John Dependent Special District for an additional four years; providing for a non-repealer provision; providing for severability and an effective date; as amended to continue for three years. Motion carried and ordered unanimously.
Commissioner Scarborough presented petitions to the Clerk in support of the District Board.
PUBLIC HEARING, RE: TEMPORARY USE AGREEMENT WITH ST. JOHNS RIVER WATER
MANAGEMENT DISTRICT AND UNIVERSITY CORPORATION FOR ATMOSPHERIC
RESEARCH, RE: LOCATION OF WEATHER RESEARCH EQUIPMENT ON AGRICULTURAL
Chairman Voltz called for the public hearing to consider a temporary use agreement with St. Johns River Water Management District and University Corporation for Atmospheric Research to locate weather research equipment on lands zoned for agriculture.
There being no comments or objections heard, motion was made by Commissioner Scarborough, seconded by Commissioner Cook, to execute Temporary Use Agreement with St. Johns River Water Management District and University Corporation for Atmospheric Research, to locate weather research equipment on agricultural lands from July 1, 1998 through October 15, 1998. Motion carried and ordered unanimously.
PUBLIC HEARING, RE: RESOLUTION VACATING DRAINAGE EASEMENT IN SECTION 12,
TOWNSHIP 26S., RANGE 36E. - A TO Z LAND HOLDING COMPANY, INC.
Chairman Voltz called for the public hearing to consider a resolution vacating a drainage easement in Section 12, Township 26S., Range 36E., as petitioned by A to Z Land Holding Company, Inc.
Commissioner Cook inquired if the City Gas Company?s objection was resolved; with Mario Rubello responding yes. Commissioner Higgs inquired about an objection from Road and Bridge; with Public Works Director Henry Minneboo responding the discrepancies were worked out.
There being no further comments or objections heard, motion was made by Commissioner Scarborough, seconded by Commissioner Cook, to adopt Resolution vacating drainage easement
in Section 12, Township 26S., Range 36E., as petitioned by A to Z Land Holding Company, Inc. Motion carried and ordered unanimously.
APPROVAL OF TASK ORDER NO. 4 WITH POST, BUCKLEY, SCHUH & JERNIGAN, INC.,
RE: TECHNICAL SUPPORT IN BREVARD COUNTY vs. A. DUDA & SONS
Commissioner Cook advised they reduced the secretarial rate from $45 to $40 an hour and he has a problem with that because at $12.63 an hour plus 20% benefits would be $15.91; and the difference between that figure and $40 is profit. He stated it is not a fair number.
Commissioner O?Brien advised a fair and reasonable profit margin is 12%; average salary is $16 an hour including social security, workers? compensation insurance, etc.; and $18 an hour would be 12% profit margin. He stated this Task Order is hard to swallow.
Commissioner Cook suggested sending it back to the engineering firm; with County Attorney Scott Knox responding it involves a $6.5 million condemnation case and he needs the firm. Commissioner Cook stated he has to keep in mind the taxpayers of the County and try to get reasonable rates. Commissioner Scarborough inquired if the Board could hire another company; with Mr. Knox responding it would be a bad move because they developed the site. Commissioner Scarborough recommended terminating all relationships with Post, Buckley; and stated the County may be stuck with this one because Mr. Knox needs them, but in the future it should not do business with them. Commissioner Cook recommended they be told the rates are not acceptable. Commissioner Higgs suggested setting a price that is reasonable and approving the Task Order with that amount and if it is not acceptable, they can bring it back. County Manager Tom Jenkins requested a week to talk to the engineering firm.
Motion by Commissioner Cook, seconded by Commissioner Scarborough, to table Task Order No. 4 with Post, Buckley, Schuh & Jernigan, Inc. to allow the County Manager to renegotiate the rate schedule. Motion carried and ordered unanimously.
APPROVAL OF BUDGET CHANGE REQUEST, RE: TRANSFERRING SHIP FUNDS TO
HOUSING REHABILITATION ACTIVITY, AND AMENDING SHIP HOUSING ASSISTANCE
Motion by Commissioner Higgs, seconded by Commissioner O?Brien, to approve Budget Change Request transferring $400,000 from the FY 97 SHIP Program First Time Home Buyer Activity to the Owner Occupied Rehabilitation Activity; and authorize staff to submit the budget change to Florida Housing Finance Corporation as an amendment to the SHIP Housing Assistance Plan. Motion carried and ordered unanimously.
APPROVAL, RE: COPS MORE GRANT APPLICATION
Motion by Commissioner Scarborough, seconded by Commissioner Higgs, to authorize the Sheriff to submit a grant application to Department of Justice?s COP MORE Grant Program for $751,600 to purchase mobile computers, utilizing global positioning with mapping capabilities for location, and cellular digital packet data for data transmission, and committing $250,535 as matching funds. Motion carried and ordered unanimously.
The meeting recessed at 7:03 p.m., and reconvened at 7:20 p.m.
DISCUSSION, RE: VALKARIA AIRPORT ISSUES
Chairman Voltz advised there are 41 cards from speakers who wish to address the Board on Item IV.G., Ordinance amending Chapter 18, Brevard County Code relating to Valkaria Airport; Item VI.D.1., Discussion, Repair of Runway 9/27 at Valkaria Airport; and Item VI.D.2, Approval to expand the scope of work and execute an Agreement with Florida Department of Transportation for Valkaria Airport Land Management Plan. She stated if each speaker is given 5 minutes for each item, it will take 10 hours and 15 minutes to hear all the speakers; and recommended limiting public comments to three minutes for all three items.
Commissioner Higgs advised there are people who want to speak to each item; the rules are lengthy; and she objects to limiting the time for people to speak. Commissioner Cook suggested 5 minutes for all three items. Commissioner Higgs stated that is not fair; and suggested each person be given five minutes for each item.
Motion by Commissioner Higgs, to allow the hearings to proceed in the normal manner with each speaker given five minutes on each item. Motion died for lack of a second.
Discussion continued on limiting public comments and tabling items to another meeting.
Motion by Commissioner O?Brien, to deal with the Valkaria Airport items and continue all other items until May 26, 1998 at 5:30 p.m. Motion died for lack of a second.
Chairman Voltz inquired if staff has sufficient information for the Board to make decisions on the Valkaria Airport items; with Valkaria Airport Manager Bill Plutt responding yes.
Discussion ensued on the time limit, tabling items, and suspending the meeting at 10:30 p.m.
Motion by Commissioner O?Brien, seconded by Commissioner Scarborough, to table the Valkaria Airport items until May 26, 1998, at 5:30 p.m. and nothing else be scheduled on the agenda. Motion carried and ordered; Commissioner Higgs voted nay.
TEMPORARY USE AGREEMENT WITH BYNUM AND LINDA MORRISON, AND TIMOTHY
LANDSTON, RE: ACCESS/CONSTRUCTION EASEMENT AND SPOIL SITE FOR
DREDGING OF CANALS AND CHANNELS ON MERRITT ISLAND
Commissioner O?Brien advised the request is to allow property zoned for single-family residential to be used temporarily for access easement and spoil site during dredging of canals adjacent to South Tropical Trail.
Walter Bryan advised he sold the property to Brevard County for a retention pond; and inquired how the County can use the property for something else when it bought it for a retention pond. He stated the County got another easement since he refused to grant an easement to the County; and inquired how can the County spend money to get another easement and go around his property. He stated the County received a grant to build the retention pond; and inquired if it will lose the grant.
Harold Friend, representing Riverside Homeowners Association, advised they have been waiting 12 years for the dredging; and all the boat owners in Riverside would like the project to go forward. He requested the Board approve the temporary use agreement for 120 days.
George Reynolds, member of District 2 Dredging Committee, advised of his efforts as a member of the Committee, the benefits of dredging the canals for clean water, improved environment for marine life and mammals, the dredge material being 20% silt and 80% sand, and the spoil site will produce no odor and no abnormalities.
Judy Wheatley agreed with Walter Bryan on purchasing property for one use and using it for something else; and advised of uncertainties with the rainy season, her support for cleaning the canals, and her objection to the spoil site in a residential area.
Commissioner Higgs requested staff provided the Board with a copy of purchase contract.
Barbara Marshall objected to the spoil site in a populated area near children at play and in school; and requested they use another site. She stated pathogens affect lives; what was not dangerous 20 years ago is not so today; a six-foot fence is not a big threat to someone who wants to play in the mud pile; and she is against putting the spoil site in the middle of their community.
Elizabeth Michelman did not oppose the dredging, but opposed the spoil site; inquired if one child?s health is worth the risk; and made comments of concern and asked questions as follows: (1) what provisions have the County made for worst case situations; (2) low PH due to dewatering of material and infiltration of sulfuric acid into ditches and canals; (3) why is the County not willing to cover the material as suggested by Roger Inman and Brevard Zoning Ordinances; (4) Bussen-Mayer experts concern about potential leaching suggested watering a neighbor?s tree, but what about other trees; (5) what about flooding; (6) is the project to be done during the summer when school is out; (7) what about current unknowns such as alga blooms and their impact on the human population; (8) would viral and bacterial levels evolve from dewatering of materials and become a problem for the local population; (9) would the Board put its bet on the dredging or at the source for why it needs to dredge; and (10) use of the Kiwanis Island spoil site as a model is not appropriate because it is not in a residential area.
Beverly Faulkner stated she will be adversely affected by the project; many concerns have not been addressed; and inquired if the Board wants to be responsible for negative results that could happen. She inquired what provisions were made if heavy rains integrate with the dredging, and to prevent heavy metals such as mercury, lead, or arsenic contamination possibilities. She read an excerpt from Science News, January 31, 1998, titled How Inhaled Dust Harms Lungs, on an E.P.A. statistician?s findings of air pollution on health, indicating as many as 60,000 residents die each year from breathing federally-allowed concentrations of airborne dust, and E.P.A.?s efforts to lower permitted concentrations. Ms. Faulkner advised of Dr. Roger Inman?s concerns about heavy metals in airborne particulates; and stated Brevard County has not indicated it will remove metals. She stated children, primarily those with asthma and allergies, are susceptible to the effects of dust; quoted from a letter from the County to Ms. Michelman stating the site was most feasible and economical for the project; and stated there was nothing about safety, consideration of human life, or protection of property. She quoted from Dr. Inman?s letter regarding exposure to metals in spoil materials, exposing children to dust inhalation because of the proximity of the site to an elementary school, and his suggestion that the County cover the material with heavy plastic to limit human inhalation exposure to airborne dust, and perform the work during the summer. She inquired if the County is willing to cover the material; stated there are pathogens created every day, and E-coli 127 is such a pathogen; and inquired what pathogens have been created on the rivers that fish and birds are dying from organisms that scientists never saw before. She stated the Board has a tough job to siphon out misinformation from assumptions, known truths, and pending truths to determine what is safe; and her concern about safety should also be the Board?s concern.
Albert Elebash, Chairman of the District 2 Canal Maintenance Committee, advised of the Committee?s efforts and long arduous process of evaluating all the things that were brought up by the residents; stated safety is of critical importance; and the Board?s package has information that there is no real concern regarding the spoil site. He stated what is a serious hazard is the silt in two canals that is four to five feet deep along the shoreline where seawalls exist; there are documented occasions where adults had to be pulled out because they could not get out by themselves; and if a child got into the canal, he or she could not swim or walk in that silt or climb out. He stated the County needs to dredge those canals or fence them off.
Blanche Boone stated she is not against dredging of the canals, but is against the site they decided to use; and the findings of Florida Department of Toxicology and Hazard Assessment were sent to Commissioners to convince them the project would have adverse effects on the school and neighborhood. She stated some say the material is completely benign but that is not true; there are levels of mercury, lead, cadmium, chromium, and arsenic which, while below accepted standards are still present; and airborne particles are potentially dangerous to children. She stated John Denninghoff who is in charge of the project said he would stop by from time to time but it would otherwise be unsupervised; Dr. Inman hopes the County will rethink its priorities; scientists realize today?s standards fall below levels of promoting good health; and it may be up to local governments to implement healthier standards especially for the children.
Dr. Rodney Moore stated he is not opposed to the dredging, and supports many of the previous speakers on their health concerns. He stated he has extreme concern about the health of his daughter who has asthma, as well as the health of 1,000 students who attend Tropical Elementary; and there is concern about the possible toxins in the material being unprotected from airborne dissemination. He stated he is opposed to the site, as there could be a safer site found.
Kenny Boyd stated the majority of the homes in the area were built on land from dredging of canals; and he watched them dig the canals to have dirt for the houses. He stated the school, homes, playground and soccer fields are all on dredge material; and people are concerned about the dust coming up from the project, when their homes are built on the same stuff if not worse. He stated he supports the dredging.
Commissioner O?Brien advised the comments are very disturbing; in the agenda package is the results of tests conducted by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry of soil samples collected and analyzed by the Harbor Branch Environment Laboratory which indicated the contaminants detected in the soil samples do not exceed ATSDR?s comparison values and respective background levels for each chemical; therefore, the soil does not pose a health threat if it is temporarily stored adjacent to the school. He stated background statement of issue from Department of Health and Human Services says analytical results indicated that none of the VOC?s and SVOC?s were detected in the samples; however, low concentration of metals were detected. Commissioner O?Brien advised the natural soil concentrations for arsenic is 1 to 40, lead is 2 to 200, chromium is 1 to 1,000, and nickel is 5 to 500 across the country; the samples from the soils were 3.2 of 40, 3.3 out of 200, 22 out of 1,000 and 7.1 out of 500; Brevard County has 22 milligrams per kilogram when the rest of the country is somewhere between one and one thousand; so it is at the very low end of the natural scale in the natural background of heavy metals, and he cannot buy the arguments brought up this evening because the concentration of metals detected in the samples were not at levels of health concern. He stated the FAA wrote a letter that they are not concerned about birds invading the fill site and it is not in the plane path; it is common knowledge even to FAA that birds do not flock to sandy sites; they flock to garbage dumps, but this is not a garbage dump; and it is more or less a big sand pile. He stated atomic bombs, pathogens, etc. are nothing more than scare tactics; the concerns are not credible or even close to credible; as for heavy rains, there is a part in the contract that allows the overflow to go into the canal; and low PH and sulfuric acid infiltration concerns are unfounded. He stated it will not smell; there is no good reason to cover the material; if the summer is dry, they may put sprinklers out to keep the top damp so there is no dust blowing around; and Bussen-Mayer did a study that if they take samples along the way and find some leachate going to the trees, they will sprinkle the trees and keep the freshwater impoundment. Commissioner O?Brien stated Department of Health said viral bacteria does not exist whether it is green, black, brown, gold, mustard, or any kind of algae because once it hits the sand it is gone forever; Kiwanis Island is a legitimate model; it was far enough away that if there were problems it would not insult the neighborhood; but there were no problems, no birds flocking around it, and no odors; and it is only about 100 feet from the pavilion at Kiwanis Island Park. He stated his source of information is the Department of Health and Human Services which did a fine study; and Brevard
has no heavy metals to remove, or they would be removed. Commissioner O?Brien stated it is always "not in my backyard"; that is what is happening here; it will look nice once it is done and will not be so bad; and it will be done during the summer to alleviate uncalled for fears such as E-coli and heavy metals that do not exist in the sand. He stated it is not toxic and there is documented proof of that; it is a safety problem, but not for the children at school; and the safety problem is if someone falls into the canals he or she may drown. He noted the people who work on the dredge, pipeline and spoil site do not wear hepa masks or filters because they are not breathing anything bad; and it has been proven beyond any doubt there are no metals, bacteria, or viruses in the sand. He stated the School Board had no comment; most of the homes on Merritt Island as well as the schools are built on spoil from dredging; 80% of Merritt Island is spoil material because it was a swamp with a dirt road down the middle; and they took spoil from Sykes Creek and all the canals they dug to build homes and schools on top of them. He stated cleaning the canals is good for the manatees to rest, covert, give birth; it is good for water quality of the Indian River; this project is one of the most important projects for Merritt Island; the Board made promises that it was interested in the quality of the Indian River; and this is the beginning of cleaning up that river.
Chairman Voltz advised she visited the site and saw the canals; they need to be dredged because there is a greater risk to have them full of silt; animals, kids and adults could get stuck in the mud and drown; and inquired how big is the spoil site; with Surface Water Improvement Director Ron Jones responding the site is a three-acre parcel. Public Works Director Henry Minneboo responded there will be two berm areas, one for filtration and one to collect solids; and approximately 1.5 acres will be used of the three-acre site. Chairman Voltz inquired if it would be closer to the road than to the school; with Mr. Minneboo responding yes. Chairman Voltz inquired when the project will be completed; with Mr. Minneboo responding within 60 to 90 days, but there are some constraints as it relates to the borrow pits.
Commissioner Cook inquired what are the provisions to restrict access to the site, and will there be ongoing monitoring; with Mr. Minneboo responding yes, someone will always be there when equipment is running and while they are discharging; and they have agreed to fence the site. Commissioner Cook inquired if there will be periodic testing of the soil; with Mr. Minneboo responding no, as tests conducted indicated toxic contaminants are not a concern. Commissioner O?Brien stated it would be a waste of money because it has been proven that toxins are not there.
Chairman Voltz requested Mr. Minneboo address the purchase; with Mr. Minneboo responding the County did not pay for the easement it will use for the project; the people they got the easement from will get some of the spoil material to use in their area; and the County Attorney can address the legalities of the other concerns Mr. Walt Bryan expressed. He stated when the project is completed, they will go back to the original easement. Chairman Voltz asked the County Attorney to address it; with County Attorney Scott Knox responding he has reviewed the Deed, Contract and two Easements; there are no restrictions in the Deed or Contract that carries beyond the closing; but the non-exclusive easement from Mr. Bryan has a limiting condition saying it can only be used for ingress/egress to stormwater retention pond. He noted the second Easement does not have that that restriction. Mr. Minneboo advised there is a separate Easement they will use for the spoil site specifically. Commissioner Higgs inquired if there was another document that did not survive the closing and if it had restrictions; with Mr. Knox responding he has a copy of an Easement that is not executed; and if it is the same one that was executed, there are no restrictions. He stated the Easement from Mr. Bryan states, "The buyer warrants that the retention pond shall be fenced with a chain-link fence." Commissioner Higgs inquired if reference to the retention pond implies the only use that can be made of the property; with Mr. Knox responding even if it did imply that, the General law is if there is no provision that says that restriction survives closing, it is deemed to merge into the Deed; and the Deed does not have any restrictions on it.
Commissioner Scarborough stated the people are not opposed to the dredging but prefer another site; and inquired what other sites were considered; with Mr. Minneboo responding they have been working on this project for seven years, and tried to find every site in the entire area; and the two sites they came up with for the shoreline dredging is the subject site and the site at Rotary Park. He stated they have tried to take into account every concern; they do not have the luxury of discharging three or four miles away, and are controlled by a 10,000-foot environment; and if they were more sophisticated and had a more expensive dredge, they could probably go three or four miles away. Commissioner Scarborough advised a question was raised about putting it on barges and moving it to a more distant site; and inquired if that was considered; with Mr. Minneboo responding they looked at barges and trucking, and everything became extremely cost prohibitive; but if they had unlimited funds, there could probably be another approach. He noted they have four potential sites in every District so dredging is going to occur and will continue.
Commissioner O?Brien stated this is not the only site that will be used on Merritt Island; there are other projects further away that will go to other sites that have been permitted along the way; there is a site on East Merritt Island, one on South Merritt Island, and another on North Merritt Island; so all the spoils will not go to one site. He stated only the spoils from the two canals will go to the subject site.
Commissioner Scarborough advised people do not want a spoil site in their area; and it is a quality of life issue. Commissioner O?Brien stated it is a temporary site to dewater the sand so it is not so costly to transport. Commissioner Scarborough stated it is not something that people will agree with; and inquired if there is another way to do it and not impact the neighborhood. Chairman Voltz advised the safety issue of the canals is important. Commissioner Scarborough stated it needs to be dredged, but is there a way, even if it costs more money, to do it without impacting people?s lives. Commissioner O?Brien stated there are many homeowners on Merritt Island who live on the water and pay 20% more taxes because of waterfront property. Chairman Voltz stated they have not been able to use their waterfront property; with Commissioner O?Brien stating and now it is their turn just like road maintenance. Chairman Voltz stated she was not going to support it, but after seeing it, she realizes it is a safety issue and needs to be done. Commissioner Scarborough inquired if staff is going to monitor salinity impact to surrounding properties; with Mr. Minneboo responding they did not plan to monitor salinity. Commissioner Scarborough stated the salt water can kill oak trees. Mr.
Minneboo stated they will take everything into account and follow Department of Environmental Protection?s guidelines. Chairman Voltz inquired if staff could include monitoring salinity in its work schedule; with Mr. Minneboo responding they could. Commissioner O?Brien stated they can put in monitoring wells and if the salinity increases significantly, they can address it with fresh water.
Commissioner Higgs inquired if a protective screening around the lower part of the fence can be raised to six feet to limit escaping of dust; with Mr. Minneboo responding they would have to stay within four feet of screening material on the fence they will put around the site to discourage children from playing on it. Commissioner Higgs inquired if the fence will be on top of the berm; with Mr. Minneboo responding it may have to go on top. Commissioner Higgs stated this is the first project and needs to be monitored carefully as a test site to know what is going on around it in terms of wells, dust, leaching of the site over time not just wile the spoil is there, conditions of the soils before and after, etc. She inquired if staff explored covering the site; with Mr. Minneboo responding most of the material will be damp when received on site so they do not expect to have the same experience as Kennedy Point; spoil has a tendency to keep its moisture for extended periods; and it does not dry out over night. Commissioner Higgs inquired at what point will it be removed; with Mr. Minneboo responding they will try to get the entire job done in 60 days and remove it within that time frame. Commissioner O?Brien stated they will put sprinklers out there should the dust become a problem, but to cover the entire site would increase the cost beyond the norm. Commissioner Higgs inquired why it cannot be covered; with Mr. Minneboo responding they will constantly be moving discharge to the site and spending a lot of time covering and recovering it; and it would be very difficult to cover a site with an acre and a half of tarpaulin.
Commissioner Cook inquired what agencies permitted the site, with Mr. Minneboo responding there were 11 agencies, including the U.S. Coast Guard, Corps of Engineers, Department of Environmental Protection, State of Florida, Health Department, etc.
Commissioner Scarborough stated people at Kennedy Point complained about the sand blowing and ruining their lives; and he would prefer to spend more money to do it right rather than have a mess. Commissioner O?Brien stated a geo-textile covering will allow evaporation at the same time. Commissioner Cook inquired if a barrier can be constructed to inhibit blowing of sand; with Mr. Minneboo responding yes. Chairman Voltz stated it will be easier and less time consuming to have the fence covered rather than the site. Commissioner Scarborough stated whatever it takes to keep the dust from blowing and destroying the neighborhood needs to be done; and the County needs to be cognizant of the movement of water so it does not move into properties and kill the oak trees.
Motion by Commissioner O?Brien, to authorize the Chairman to execute a Temporary Use Agreement with Bynum and Linda Morrison, and Timothy Landstron for an access/construction easement and spoil site in conjunction with the dredging of canals and channels along an area adjacent to South Tropical Trail; and direct Road and Bridge to develop a method of monitoring for salinity in the surrounding neighborhood and develop methodology, whether it be geo-textile on a fence or covering of the site, to keep sand and dust from blowing and destroying the neighborhood.
Commissioner Higgs suggested including installation of monitoring wells or other devices that will measure movement of liquid outside of the site. Mr. Minneboo stated they will try to monitor some wells there. Commissioner Higgs inquired what can be done to monitor the movement of water; with Surface Water Improvement Director Ron Jones responding the purpose of the site is temporary use to dewater; if it is getting the volume down it is not likely there is going to be a major dust problem; that issue can probably be controlled with a geo-textile or watering; and they did priority pollutants analysis and there was nothing to monitor other than salinity. He stated salinity may be an issue, but there are no other pollutants in significant quantities that they would be able to track, as all levels they detected were barely above detection limits; and by the time it moves through the soil, they would not be able to pick up anything; so his recommendation is to analyze for salinity only. Commissioner Higgs inquired if they are going to test for salinity, how much would be lost for the additional test; with Mr. Jones responding $750 per sample.
Commissioner O?Brien amended the motion to include taking of four samples outside of the site to determine the movement of water and what is happening with leaching of the site over time, soil conditions before and after, and what is going on in terms of people?s wells.
Commissioner Cook seconded the motion as amended. Chairman Voltz called for a vote on the motion. Motion carried and ordered unanimously.
The meeting recessed at 9:00 p.m., and reconvened at 9:13 p.m.
PUBLIC HEARING, RE: APPEAL OF STAFF?S DENIAL OF LAND ALTERATION PERMIT
FOR JOHN BUTTREY, BISHOP AND BUTTREY, INC.
Development Review Supervisor, Debbie Coles, advised the appeal is to the Conservation Element Policy 5.2.f.2 of the Brevard County Comprehensive Plan, and Sections 62-4396(b)(2) and 62-4399(a)(2) of the Brevard County Code. She stated the Local Planning Agency heard the appeal to the wetland portion of the item last night, and recommended approval unanimously; and the County Attorney has rendered an opinion that in order for the Board to consider a request for variance to the depth requirement of the borrow pit, a Code amendment would be required. She noted the Board has the option of hearing the applicant?s testimony which would probably be the criteria used to assess the issues if the Board chooses to amend the Code.
County Attorney Scott Knox advised there is a requirement in the Ordinance that no portion of the lake shall exceed 35 feet in depth below the mean water level; that sets the maximum depth; and to modify that would require an ordinance. Chairman Voltz inquired if the Board cannot grant a variance; with Mr. Knox responding that is correct. Commissioner Cook inquired if the Board of Adjustment can grant a variance; with Mr. Knox responding not from the subject Ordinance, as it is not a zoning issue. Commissioner Scarborough inquired if the Board can proceed with the other portion; and requested a description. Ms. Coles advised the request is for expansion of an existing borrow pit that would impact two small wetland systems totaling .96 acre; the applicant would like to mitigate for impacts to those wetlands; however, because it is under the State?s threshold for mitigation, the State has found them jurisdictional, but is not going to require mitigation. Commissioner Scarborough inquired if staff has a problem with it; with Ms. Coles responding not as proposed.
Motion by Commissioner Scarborough, seconded by Commissioner Cook, to approve appeal of denial of land alteration permit for John Buttrey of Bishop and Buttrey, Inc., and approve wetland impact of .96 acre for a commercial borrow pit. Motion carried and ordered; Commissioner Higgs voted nay.
Commissioner Cook inquired about the status of the Comprehensive Plan amendment that has been languishing for years; with Mr. Knox responding it is scheduled for a hearing with a Department of Community Affairs hearing officer in July, 1998.
Commissioner Scarborough recommended the Board hear the applicant on the 35-foot depth.
William Kerr advised they are not prepared to legally oppose the County Attorney?s interpretation of the rules so they will accept it at this point; however, they have technical data to support the reasons for going below 35 feet. He stated there are no confining layers and they have been permitted by St. Johns River Water Management District. He noted the District?s technical staff reviewed the information and agreed to allow them to go to 50 feet total depth.
Commissioner O?Brien inquired if there are good reasons for the 35 feet and not the 50 feet; with Ms. Coles responding she does not know of specific reasons, but assumes the 35 feet was chosen as the recommended depth because of the average of the County?s surficial aquifer and to assure they would not excavate deep enough to cause crossing into another aquifer that may have pressure behind it and a higher fluoride level. She noted the intent of the law is to prohibit that from happening. Chairman Voltz inquired if there are tests that can determine if 50 feet is a good depth; with Ms. Coles responding yes. Commissioner O?Brien stated sometimes there are Ordinances with arbitrary limits, but to change this Ordinance he would need some kind of scientific information that if the Board allows 50 feet depth, the applicant will put in a well first to get the levels all the way down and make sure they are not going to hit an aquifer.
Chairman Voltz inquired what the applicant has done on site; with Commissioner Higgs responding the Board has a lot of data about what they did, but if the Board wants to consider amending the Ordinance to allow a different depth, it will need staff to draft criteria that would deal with all the problems that could happen if they go deeper. Chairman Voltz stated she wants to know what has been done so she is familiar with what somebody else will need to do if the Ordinance is amended.
Ed Chesney, Design Engineer for Bishop and Buttrey, Inc., advised what they did was site specific; they did explorations to see how deep the mine could go and looked for confining layers and units, etc.; and that is how they determined the pit had an optimum depth of 50 feet. He stated they knew salt water intrusion would be an issue, so they installed a well adjacent to the pit to a depth of 55 feet; they began sampling at the early stages which they are not required to do; they are not even to 35 feet at this time; and they have been sampling for two years, and have the background chloride concentrations. He stated the St. Johns River Water Management District map of the area gives different portions of the County where those concentrations hover around and where they can be expected; in the lower range is a sand ridge that they dip into which is where they are excavating; they are doing a vertical recharge of the water they are pumping out; and he has data to share with the Board on how to recharge the cone of depression and stop it from expanding. Mr. Chesney advised the site is in the middle of a 300-acre parcel that is inland; they are not lowering the surficial aquifer head below that of the interface between the salt water, so there is no tendency for the salt water to come in; and they are higher than that, so the tendency is to go out. He stated they contain their draw down on site and have recharged it continuously; he has pictures that show their wetlands are completely hydrated as they draw down to a depth of between 20 and 30 feet; and they have been sampling the chloride concentrations which have not risen. He noted taking that into consideration, and the beauty of the material and explorations and expense they have in the mine, they wanted to maximize it; it is a perfect opportunity; the location is in the middle of nowhere and not affecting anyone with the haul route; it is servicing projects which has a market; and rather than dig another hole to 35 feet, they want to maximize the existing one. He stated it is in the best interest of the County to do so; technically there are no reasons why they should not; and it would be foolish not to try and appeal the rule.
Commissioner Cook inquired how big is the pit; with Mr. Chesney responding 14 acres. Commissioner Cook stated that is a huge crater, and going from 35 to 50 feet is significant; he does not know the science behind it; it may be justifiable; but it will take a compelling reason for him to consider amending the Ordinance. Mr. Chesney advised it is dug in cells so it is not as huge as the lake will eventually be; and by lake standards, it is not that big. Commissioner Cook stated a 50-foot depth is big; the Ordinance was enacted in 1979; and this is the first time it has come up for appeal; and it will take a compelling argument for him to think, after 20 years, that it is not an appropriate Code. He stated it has to have some environmental effect the deeper it goes and the bigger the crater gets.
Mr. Kerr stated the scientific studies done to date with the technology they have do not indicate there would be any significant difference going the extra 15 feet; and there is no confining layer which would not allow surface waters to percolate further into the ground or act as a cap to keep waters underneath the confining layer from coming up. He stated the cone of depression is the depression that occurs in the surface water table when pumping water out; they have designed a system which recharges the surrounding surface water so that there is not a cone of depression; there is no water discharged off the site; it is all percolating back into the ground; so there is no technical reason not to go from 35 to 50 feet according to what they know and as far as St. Johns River Water Management District?s staff is concerned. Commissioner Cook mentioned the deep well injection process which was approved by Department of Environmental Protection and scientists who said it was a great thing and nothing to worry about; and noted his skepticism of science because it changes over the years. Mr. Kerr noted they will supply the technical information to County staff so they can come up with a recommendation.
Commissioner O?Brien stated if the Board decides to review the Ordinance and consider changes, it should not say a specific depth, but require site specific tests be performed to determine whether it is good or bad for the environment. Commissioner Cook expressed concern about an open-ended depth; and stated there should be some standards that people have to adhere to.
Motion by Commissioner Higgs, seconded by Commissioner Scarborough, to direct staff to prepare a report on what the issues are, under what conditions could the County consider any kind of conditional uses to go to a deeper depth than 35 feet.
Commissioner O?Brien recommended the report not only include water quality issues, but use a question and answer format so the Board does not have to read a scientific document. Commissioner Cook requested staff determine what justification was used for the 35-foot depth limitation established in 1979.
Chairman Voltz called for a vote on the motion. Motion carried and ordered unanimously.
DISCUSSION, RE: REGULATION OF BOATS
Commissioner Higgs advised the item came up as a result of the woman who talked about the danger of jet skis; and she raised the issue of the problems in South Brevard with airboats in the Sebastian River. She stated staff?s report said regulating jet skis close to swimming areas and regulating use of airboats in the St. Sebastian River could be done at the Board?s discretion.
Lynn Stieglitz advised of the impact of airboats on wildlife; and opposed the commercial airboat on the San Sebastian River making three to four trips a day, and causing a lot of noise and disturbing the birds, mammals, insects and people. She stated it is all slow speed manatee zones; the commercial airboat received two citations for speeding; it is a shame to ban all airboats because of a few selfish people; but requested a ban on airboats.
Tim Glover, President of Friends of St. Sebastian River, advised they adopted a resolution opposing the use of airboats in San Sebastian River, support Indian River County?s ordinance, and encourage the Board to do the same. He mentioned noise levels, inappropriate speed, impact to manatees, danger to small boats, erosion, and harassment of wildlife; and requested the Board pass an ordinance for the greater good.
Dennis Myers stated he cannot see where the Board can take away public waterways that were there before the houses; and airboats scare animals, but they come back.
David Sheriff requested the Board think carefully before taking airboats away from people because they put a lot of money into their boats and it is a way of life for them. He stated he pays taxes for his boat; houses are hard on the environment; everybody has dislikes; but a ban on airboats would ask people to give up a lifestyle.
George Koraly presented petitions to Commissioner Higgs; described the north fork of the Sebastian River as environmentally sensitive; Mr. Taylor, operator of the airboat, said he is allowed to operate on the river, which is true, and it would infringe on his rights; airboats are noisy and propellers are hazardous, but pontoon boats are very little problem; and requested an ordinance to ban airboats from the Sebastian River.
Wally Kramer stated it is the large commercial airboat and not all airboats causing the problem; advised of the airboat rally to show support not to have their rights infringed upon; and described the commercial airboat with no bathroom, no reverse, the time schedule for the tours which are impossible to maintain, the narrow river, and air blasts needed to turn the boat. He expressed appreciation for the Board?s concern.
E. M. Cunningham, representing Micco Homeowners Association, read a letter from Little Hollywood, and advised of the history of the river, facets of lifestyle, fragile areas, and that 12,500 residents are opposed to the commercial airboat business.
Kenny Boyd advised the waterways were kept open for navigation important to trade routes; they are held in trust for everyone; it is a protected right; and the Board should not eliminate boats and other watercraft, but find ways to facilitate them and satisfy all parties involved.
William Myers, Indian River County Boating Association, advised anything Indian River County does will affect Brevard County; the Association is opposed to the regulation banning airboats completely; but the Commission cannot ban one boat it is having a problem with. He stated Indian River County gave him a license to operate and it needs to deal with him rather than take away everyone?s right; a complete ban of a specific boat would be illegal if federal money is given for that area; and recommended the Board take the complaints against one boat and do something about it, and not put it on all airboaters. He stated they can live with a complete ban of all boats in that area, not only airboats, then the ecology will survive.
Commissioner Higgs inquired if the Board can regulate airboats on the St. Sebastian River; with County Attorney Scott Knox responding yes. Commissioner Higgs described the north fork of the Sebastian River, its challenges for boaters, and the problem with a large commercial airboat; and stated there needs to be additional regulation of airboats to keep out disruption and safety hazards presented by airboats using the area. She stated because it is narrow and because of the characteristics of airboats, there are problems that present themselves in the St. Sebastian River that does not present themselves in other places; and there has been good cooperation from the Sheriff, but the Board needs to move forward with Indian River County to take care of the problems. She stated Indian River County will be hearing an ordinance in June; and to have true enforcement in the area, both counties need to move forward. She recommended the Board proceed with an ordinance patterned after Indian River County?s ordinance that will not allow airboat activity in the St. Sebastian River.
Commissioner Cook inquired if the Board ha to ban all airboats and not a specific airboat; with Mr. Knox responding his initial reaction would be to ban all of them if it is going to ban one. Commissioner Cook advised the entire Sebastian River is a manatee protection zone and slow speed zone; the problem is enforcement and not more laws or regulations; and it is one boat causing the problem that needs to be addressed, not banning every airboat from the Sebastian River. He stated the Board should exhaust all other options before considering further regulation; and if the entire River is a slow speed zone, then the Sheriff and Marine Patrol need to enforce that if the particular operator is not operating within the law. Commissioner Cook stated airboats are not exempt from boating regulations and muffler requirements; they can operate at slow speed although it is more difficult because of the mechanism that propels them; so he is not ready to pass another law to ban a certain type of boat from the river and would like to explore all other options.
Commissioner Scarborough stated the right to operate any vehicle is not a right to kill someone whether on the water or on the road; he would like to see what Indian River County does before doing anything in Brevard County; and he is reticent to create a lot of regulations because it will then be requested for Sykes Creek, and other waterways. He stated it may be needed, and maybe Indian River County?s public hearing will provide a lot of information that will help substantiate it; and since the Board will not have a meeting until July, and Indian River County is considering an ordinance in June, the Board can see what evolved in Indian River County. He stated noise is a problem, but safety is his concern; and the Board has a responsibility for the overall safety of its residents.
Commissioner Higgs stated the safety issue is what people are fundamentally concerned wit because of the nature of the watercraft that is causing most of the problem. She stated she knew the Board would be reluctant to jump in, so she did not bring it without considerable thought of other ways to do it; the problem with the particular airboat and what could transpire to other problems has been prolonged; they have not been able to get the problem solved in spite of the slow speed zone regulation; there is not sufficient Marine Patrol or Sheriff?s Deputies to adequately cover the area; if there was someone there full time, they could probably cover it; but the County does not have that luxury, so banning airboats seems to be the way to approach it. She stated if the Board wants to wait to see what Indian River County does, then perhaps the Chairman could send letters to the Sheriff and Marine Patrol emphasizing the Board?s concerns and support for enhanced enforcement of the slow speed zones, and the County Attorney get a copy of Indian River County?s ordinance for the Board to review in July.
Commissioner O?Brien inquired if the Board could regulate boats by size or capacity; with Mr. Knox responding that may be a possibility, and he will look at that. Commissioner O?Brien stated the Board should consider the size of the vessel rather than ban all airboats; airboats have been operating on that river since their invention; and to ban them because of safety, the Board should get a record of how many children were hit, killed, or drowned because of airboats, or canoes cut in half and passengers killed. He stated the real problem is noise and disturbance; and if the Board can consider size, capacity, and time of operation, he would consider it, but not a total ban of airboats. He noted that has been a way of life long before the homes were built there.
Commissioner Higgs stated airboats do not want to operate in the Sebastian River because of the slow speed zones; they have not been a problem in that River because of the nature of the river; but there is one very large vessel that has caused the problems.
Commissioner Cook stated the next step would be to regulate size and capacity of boats in residential canals; if the Board jumps to regulation as an end result, it will not know where it will end, because people have told him there should not be any motorized boats in the river; and looking at the regulations that are currently in effect for the Sebastian River, if they were enforced, the problem would not exist. He agreed with sending letters to the Sheriff and Marine Patrol asking for enhanced enforcement of the regulations; and stated he does not mind looking at Indian River County?s ordinance, but this may be solved without creating a new law.
Commissioner O?Brien agreed with waiting to see what Indian River County does, not enacting more laws, and trying enforcement first; and stated if enforcement cannot be done, the Board needs to find the reason why. He stated if the Board adopts an ordinance banning airboats from the river, it will become the Sheriff?s problem to enforce and not Florida Marine Patrol; so the Board needs to be careful with what it does, and consider the cost to Brevard County taxpayers. He stated if more officers are needed Department of Environmental Protection needs to step up to the table and quit putting it on the Board; they are State waters; and the State should take responsibility of law enforcement on those waters.
Commissioner Cook stated this is the fourth year the Board has included in its legislative package the need for additional Marine Patrol officers and will do it a gain this year; it is the waters of the State; and they have a responsibility to enforce the laws.
Commissioner O?Brien advised the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service sent seven officers in boats to patrol the Banana and Indian Rivers and the Barge Canal based on their belief that the manatee is endangered and the area needs more policing; if it was important last year, that importance has not changed; so he sent them a letter requesting they bring officers back this summer and every summer until the situation changes. Commissioner Cook stated that is why a letter requesting enhanced enforcement is significant; there is a need for safety considerations and regulation on the river; but Indian River County could enforce its noise Ordinance if the boat is in violation of that, rather than Brevard County enacting more regulations.
Motion by Commissioner Higgs, to direct the County Attorney to obtain a copy of the Indian River County ordinance for the Board, research and report on options that may include regulation of different size vessels; and research the ability of the Board to use the Noise Ordinance to include some controls on St. Sebastian River.
Commissioner O?Brien inquired if the control is for airboat noise or jet ski noise; with Commissioner Higgs responding airboats.
Commissioner Higgs included in the motion direction to the County Manager to review activities of Code Enforcement in regard to the vessel operating in Brevard County without an occupational license, and a request that the Chairman send letters to Florida Marine Patrol and the Sheriff requesting increase enforcement.
Commissioner Scarborough seconded the motion.
Discussion continued on regulating weights of trucks on roadways, size of vessels, proliferation of boating regulations in other water bodies, State?s responsibilities over waters of the State, information from Indian River County?s public hearing and attending the hearing, and enforcement of current laws.
Chairman Voltz advised Brevard County needs to enforce what it has before considering new regulations; it talked about eco-tourism at meetings, which includes airboat rides through the St. Johns River and other areas; and now it is saying no airboats. She stated tourists from Europe and all over the country want to go on airboats to see alligators and go where people do not go; so the Board needs to be extremely careful when considering the regulation of airboats.
Chairman Voltz called for a vote on the motion. Motion carried and ordered unanimously.
Commissioner O?Brien advised he received phone calls about jet skis coming in extremely close to where people live and on the beach; there are children swimming and families all about; and on the Banana River the problem is not the same, but they are coming in close and causing noise nuisance. He stated it is a safety issue, but no child has been hit by jet skis yet; Cocoa Beach had the same problem and solved it with an ordinance that said jet skis shall not come within 500 feet of any area were swimming is occurring; and inquired what does the Board want to do in areas that are not necessarily swimming areas.
Commissioner Cook stated the Board needs to do something about that in a separate ordinance as it is a safety problem in Avon By The Sea. Chairman Voltz stated it is definitely a safety issue. Commissioner Higgs stated it should be for all unincorporated areas not only Avon By The Sea. Chairman Voltz stated the Banana and Indian Rivers are not the same as the ocean because people do not swim in the Rivers. Commissioner O?Brien recommended a 500-foot distance from the shoreline to solve the problems, including the problem of noise.
Discussion ensued on addressing the jet skis problem on the beaches, distance from homes to address the noise problem, and testing of jet skis causing noise problems.
Motion by Commissioner O?Brien, seconded by Commissioner Cook, to direct staff to prepare an ordinance that would be consistent with the City of Cocoa Beach?s Ordinance designating swimming areas and prohibiting personal watercraft, such as jet skis, within 500 feet of such areas in the unincorporated beach sections, and prepare a report on regulating personal watercraft on the rivers and consider distance from homes due to noise disturbance, and send it to each Commissioner. Motion carried and ordered unanimously.
AGREEMENT WITH RIDGE MANOR ESTATES HOMEOWNERS AND DEPARTMENT OF
ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION, RE: MONITORING OF ACTIVITIES REQUIRED FOR
PERMIT TO REMOVE EARTHEN PLUG
Motion by Commissioner O?Brien, seconded by Commissioner Cook, to execute Agreement with Ridge Manor Estates Homeowners and Florida Department of Environmental Protection for Brevard County to monitor activities required for a permit to remove an earthen plug which will connect the canal system with other waterways. Motion carried and ordered; Commissioner Higgs voted nay.
Upon motion and vote, the meeting adjourned at 10:33 p.m.
HELEN VOLTZ, CHAIRMAN
BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA
SANDY CRAWFORD, CLERK
(S E A L)