December 17 – County Commission Meeting
The regular meeting of the St Johns County Board of Commissioners was held Tuesday December 17, 2013, in the County Auditorium in the St Johns County Administration Palace located at 500 San Sebastian View in St Augustine.
The following items of business came before the Board for action:
Regular Agenda Item One – Public Hearing: MAJMOD 2013-08 Moultrie Bluff Plaza PUD
The Board was presented with a request to modify existing Moultrie Bluff Plaza PUD to change and clarify the phasing schedule so that Phase II, residential may begin in 2013 and be constructed simultaneously with Phase I, Commercial. Staff recommended approval of the request, with the requested waiver, based on its consistency with the Future Land Use Designation of Residential-C, consistency with development trends in the area and compatibility with surrounding properties. The Planning and Zoning Agency made a recommendation for approval of the request by a 7 to 0 vote at its October 3, 2013 meeting. The Board unanimously approved the request, with language changes.
Regular Agenda Item Two – Public Hearing: VACPLA 2013-02 St. Augustine Circle Plat Vacation
By applicant request, this item was pulled from the regular agenda for reschedule at an undetermined date.
Regular Agenda Item Three – Public Hearing: PUD2013-07 Chasewood PUD
By applicant request, this item was pulled from the regular agenda for reschedule at an undetermined date.
Regular Agenda Item Two – Public Hearing: DEVAGRMOD 2013-02 SR16 Property Development Agreement Modification (This item was previously regular agenda item four.)
The SR 16 Property Development Agreement was approved by the Board on May 2, 2006 for the SR 16 Property Comprehensive Plan Amendment to address identified public facility deficiencies for the development of 54 single family units. The Agreement provided no assurance of concurrency, and included provisions for the Developer to participate in a school concurrency system, proportionate fair share program, and utility agreements with the St. Johns County Utility Department if adopted after the Agreement was approved. The request seeks to terminate the Development Agreement based on the updated concurrency review finding that adequate transportation, water, and wastewater capacity is available; and the stipulation that mitigation for schools through a School Concurrency Proportionate Share Mitigation Agreement is required. This was the second of two required public hearings. The first public hearing was held on November 19, 2013. The Board unanimously approved a motion to approve termination of the SR 16 Property Development Agreement.
Regular Agenda Item Three – Consider an Economic Development Grant Application for Project Panther (This item was previously regular agenda item five.)
The Board considered a resolution recommending Project Panther be approved as a Qualified Target Industry Business for the State of Florida QTI tax refund program to commit to pay up to $18,000 as 20% local financial support to attract a new manufacturing company; and instructing the County Attorney to draft an Economic Development Grant Agreement of $21,560 for later consideration by the Board upon final selection of St. Johns County as the Project Panther site. The Board approved the resolution by a unanimous vote.
Regular Agenda Item Four – Report on the St. Johns County Utility Integrated Water Resources Plan (This item was previously regular agenda item six.)
Earlier this year, the St. Johns County Utility Department initiated an Integrated Water Resources Plan (IWRP), to develop both long and short term strategies to ensure sustainable water supply solutions for St. Johns County residents for the next 25 years. The Board received an update on the IWRP and took no action.
Regular Agenda Item Five – Consider Approval of a Joint Defense/Common Interest Agreement (This item was previously regular agenda item seven.)
The St. Johns River Water Management District and the Suwannee River Water Management District are jointly undergoing long term water supply planning efforts which involve development of a Minimum Flow Level (MFL) Prevention, and Recovery Plan. The results of these studies will have a significant impact on the region and on individual utility providers. The County is part of the North Florida Utility Coordinating Group (NFUCG) who has major concerns with the scientific basis for the MFL proposed by Suwanee River Water Management District. Based on the information provided to the St. Johns County Utility Department, adoption of the MFL could require a major reduction in groundwater pumping for all of North Florida, resulting in a major impact on the County’s water supply, requiring us to find alternatives to groundwater. In addition, the resulting increase in the cost of water treatment and supply would raise water rates considerably. The Board received a briefing on the agreement and took no action.
Regular Agenda Item Five A – Contract for Bid No 14-09 Demolition & New Construction of Bartram Oaks Water Treatment Plant to Sawcross, Inc. (This item was previously consent agenda item 14.)
Bid No 14-09 was advertised on September 6, 2013 in accordance with County purchasing policies and procedures. Three bids were received on October 9, 2013 with proposals ranging from $541,500 to $600,132. The submitted bids were reviewed by the St. Johns County Utility and Purchasing Departments with review of the bid proposals deeming Sawcross, Inc. as the lowest responsive, responsible bidder for a Total Lump Sum Price of $541,500. The Board unanimously approved the recommendation to award a contract to Sawcross, Inc. and authorized County staff to investigate value engineering opportunities.
Regular Agenda Item Six – Presentation on the Hastings Potato Growers Building
(This item was previously regular agenda item eight.)
The Board received a report on the recent construction assessment of the Hastings Potato Growers Building that analyzed construction requirements and cost estimates necessary to rehabilitate the facility into a library. The Board also received notification that the existing facility could not be expected to serve the public beyond the next two years. The Board did not consider the Potato Growers Building a viable option due to the cost required to make it a suitable public structure. The Board directed staff to consider this a high priority project during the County’s current capital needs assessment process.
Regular Agenda Item Seven – Budget Transfer for Award of Construction Contract for HHS Center (This item was previously regular agenda item nine.)
In order to award the bid and negotiate the construction contract for the new St. Johns County Health and Human Services Center as expeditiously as possible, full County financing must be in place. On May 7, 2013 the Board authorized debt financing of up to $4 million that would be added to just over $8 million from the sale of the existing County Health and Human Services Center property to Lowe’s Home Centers, Inc. A County financing team has been convened, but the financing will not be concluded until the first quarter of 2014. The approval of this interim measure provides that the General Fund will be reimbursed by the debt financing once concluded. The Board unanimously approved an interim budget transfer, and increased the borrowing authorization from the maximum of $4 million to $4.5 million.
Regular Agenda Item Eight – St. Johns County/JEA Water and Wasterwater Interlocal Agreement (This item was previously regular agenda item ten.)
The Board was presented a proposed resolution, Settlement Agreement, and Third Addendum to the St. Johns County/JEA Water and Wastewater Interlocal Agreement. The Board unanimously approved the acceptance of the Settlement Agreement and Third Addendum to the St. Johns County/JEA Water and Wastewater Interlocal Agreement, with edits as recommended by the County Attorney.
Regular Agenda Item Nine – Discussion of Capital Trust Agency Public Hearing for Rimlock Devlin, LLC.
On December 12, 2013 a public notice appeared in the St. Augustine Record advertising a public hearing to be held at 11 a.m. on December 19, 2013 for consideration of a plan of finance to provide funds to be loaned in the form of revenue bonds by Capital Trust Agency to Rimlock Devlin, LLC for the purpose of developing a 257 unit senior living facility. The Board was not formally notified of this project. As a consequence, the Board has not had an opportunity to review any potential implications the development may have for the County. The Board unanimously directed the County Attorney’s office to compose a letter to be presented at the public hearing regarding the notification process as implemented and lack of County Commission support for the project.
Regular Agenda Item Ten – Detention Control Systems Upgrade at St. Johns County Jail
Approximately seven years ago, St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office selected Montgomery Technology Systems (MTS), LLC and Montgomery Technology, Inc. for their control systems video visitation systems and intercom camera systems at the County correctional facility. In fiscal year 2013, funding was approved under deferred maintenance to allow the St. Johns County Facilities Maintenance division to enter into contract with MTS and MTI for completion of the balance of the security control system upgrade. The Board unanimously authorized the County Administrator, or his designee, to enter into a contract with MTS LLC to upgrade the detention control system.
Commissioners’ Reports Action Items
Commissioner Jay Morris requested the County apply for a Florida Department of Elder Affairs 2013-2014 grant opportunity. The grant application funds would assist in supporting the Council on Aging and St. Johns County Fire Rescue Department in developing a program aimed at reducing the incidence and risk of accidental falls. No match from the County would be required for receipt of the grant funds. The Board voiced unanimous approval for the request and asked that County staff complete the grant application process.
County Attorney’s Report Action Items
The County Attorney recommended the Board appoint an elected official to represent the County at the January 13, 2014 mediation session between the City of St. Augustine Beach and St. Johns County. The session is being held for discussion on solid waste concerns between the parties. The Board appointed Commissioner Rachael Bennett as representative for the County at the mediation session.
The County Attorney requested Board approval for revision of resolution 2013-248 for correction of a minor typographical error. The Board approved the Attorney’s request.