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BOCC Minutes June 16, 2010

 

                                        BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
 
                                                  MADISON COUNTY, FLORIDA
 
                                                        COURTHOUSE ANNEX
 
                                       MINUTES OF THE REGULAR MEETING
 
                                                   WEDNESDAY, JUNE 16, 2010
 
                                                                      9:00 A.M.
           
           
The Board of County Commissioners of Madison County, Florida met this day in Regular Session with the following members present: Justin Hamrick (District 1), Wayne Vickers (District 2), Renetta Parrish (District 3), Alfred Martin (District 4), and Roy Ellis (District 5). Also present were County Coordinator Allen Cherry, County Attorney George T. Reeves, and County Clerk Tim Sanders.
 
The Chairman, Honorable Justin Hamrick, called the meeting to order and called the roll.
 
Upon a motion by Commissioner Martin, seconded by Commissioner Vickers, the Board voted unanimously (5-0) to approve the agenda as presented.
 
Under “Petitions From The Public” Mrs. Dorothy Greene presented photographs of her dog (male dachshund) that was attacked in her Madison Livingston Springs Subdivision neighborhood by stray dogs. The photographs showed the multiple injuries and resulting surgical remedies. Mrs. Greene also presented the Board with copies of her veterinary invoices and asked the Board to consider providing the County’s Animal Control Coordinator with more help.
 
Also “Under Petitions From The Public” Mr. Robert L. Tolar, based upon what he had read in the local newspaper, spoke against the placement of a Ten Commandments Monument on the Madison County Courthouse lawn and asked the Board to reject the idea.
 
The minutes of the Regular Meeting held on May 19, 2010 and the minutes of the Special Meeting held on May 19, 2010 were presented for review. Upon a motion by Commissioner Ellis, seconded by Commissioner Martin, the Board voted unanimously to approve said minutes as presented. The minutes of the Special Meeting held on May 27, 2010 were also presented for review. Upon a motion by Commissioner Parrish, seconded by Commissioner Vickers, the Board voted unanimously to approve said minutes as presented.
           
Regarding a request from the Madison County Ministerial Association, Reverend James Howes, pastor of Hanson and Rocky Springs United Methodist Churches, yielded to Reverend Ferrell Morris, pastor of Madison First Baptist Church and past President of the Ministerial Association. Reverend Morris, on behalf of the Ministerial Association, asked the Board to allow the placement of a Ten Commandments Monument on the courthouse lawn as a historic marker and reminder of the laws of this land and the laws of God. He stated citizens approached the Ministerial Association and made a request that if a Ten Commandments Monument was donated to the county and placed on the courthouse lawn, the citizens would incur the costs to see that it was done. He also stated that if there was a court decision against the placement of said monument, the citizens have agreed to remove the monument at no cost to the county. 
 
Reverend Morris also reported several religious liberty groups have offered legal assistance to help defend the county, if needed. He stated the proposed monument is six (6) feet high and weighs 13,000 pounds.
 
The County Attorney advised if a party challenging the monument prevails, the judge is required to enter an order for attorneys’ fees and costs.
 
Chairman Hamrick opened the floor for public comment. Speaking in favor of the placement of the Ten Commandments Monument on the courthouse lawn was Mr. Ken Johnson. Mr. John Ovendun of MadisonVoice.com, spoke neither for or against, but stated people on his website have spoken how they feel about the issue. Also speaking in favor of said monument placed on the courthouse lawn were Mrs. Jan Smith and Mr. Joe Anderson, who reported not being a citizen of Madison County, but one who has put similar monuments at the Dixie County Courthouse in Cross City, in Bronson, and on the square of the Chiefland City Hall.
 
During public comments, also speaking in favor of the placement of said monument on the Madison Courthouse lawn were Mr. Bryant Thigpen, Reverend Octavious Tookes, and Reverend Robert Agner. Hearing no further comments, the Chairman closed public comment.
 
Commissioner Vickers made a motion to allow this monument to be placed on the courthouse square. Motion died for lack of a second.
 
Chairman Hamrick passed the gavel to the Vice-Chair, Commissioner Parrish. Chairman Hamrick made a motion that the Ten Commandments Monument be placed on the courthouse square dependent on the outcome of the court case in Dixie County. Motion died for lack of a second.
 
The Vice-Chair passed the gavel back to Chairman Hamrick.
 
Mr. Joe Anderson reported when Dixie County was challenged in court, he guaranteed the Dixie County Board of County Commissioners that it would not cost them anything and guaranteed the Commissioners that it will not cost Madison County a penny.
 
Chairman Hamrick passed the gavel back to Vice-Chair Parrish. Chairman Hamrick made a motion to place the historical Ten Commandments on the courthouse lawn. Motion was seconded by Commissioner Vickers. Discussion followed. Former Sheriff Joe Peavy spoke in favor of the placement of the Ten Commandments Monument on the courthouse lawn and stated other markers have been placed on the grounds of the courthouse in memory of Deputy Steve Agner, and also, World War II hero and Clerk of the Circuit Court Dale Leslie. 
 
Mr. Tolar again asked the Board to deny the request because it was against the law.
 
The question was called and the motion failed. Voting in favor of the motion were Chairman Hamrick and Commissioner Vickers. Opposed were Commissioners Ellis, Martin, and Parrish.
 
The gavel was returned to the Chair.
 
Sheriff Ben Stewart reported on the $60,286.00 Federal Fiscal Year 2010 Edward Byrne Memorial JAG Program funding for Madison County, which will be used for radio communications. He also reported on a $12,000 Byrne Grant, which will allow funding a part-time deputy in Greenville.
 
The Clerk recognized in the audience Mr. Nathan Kent Williams, who is a rising senior at Aucilla Christian Academy and presently working on his Eagle rank in Boy Scouts. 
 
Upon a motion by Commissioner Ellis, seconded by Commissioner Vickers, the Board voted unanimously (5-0) to approve the Consent Agenda (1. Approval of Site Dedication for Cherry Lake Boat Ramp; 2. Approval of the distribution of $60,286.00 Edward Byrne Memorial JAG Program Funds; 3. Budget Amendment Request for Library – General Fund; 4. Budget Amendment Request for Public Safety – E911; 5. Budget Amendment Request for Emergency Management; 6. Budget Amendment Request for Recycling; 7. Budget Amendment Request for Solid Waste; 8. Budget Amendment Request for Special Assessment – Fire; 9. Budget Amendment Request for County Transportation Trust Fund; 10. Budget Amendment Request for Emergency Medical Services; 11. Budget Amendment Request for Emergency Management Planning Grant; 12. Budget Amendment Request for State Grant – Aid to Libraries).
 
Discussion followed on the current 8% administrative fuel surcharge to county departments using fuel at the Road & Bridge Department. The Clerk reported the elimination of said administrative fee was discussed during the past budget preparation. Mr. Cherry reported the Road & Bridge Department would still receive a 13 cent per gallon rebate to offset administrative costs associated with billing county departments. Sheriff Ben Stewart asked the Board to delete the surcharge to save on fuel costs for Sheriff’s Office vehicles. A motion was made by Commissioner Martin and seconded by Commissioner Vickers to delete said 8% surcharge for Sheriff’s Office usage. Motion carried 5-0.  A motion was then made by Commissioner Martin and seconded by Commissioner Vickers to delete said 8% surcharge for all County departments that use the pumps at the Road & Bridge Department.   Motion carried 5-0.
 
Solid Waste/Recycling Coordinator Jerome Wyche thanked the Board for its support and vision in the establishment of the Solid Waste & Recycling Centers around the County. He reported the closing on the property for the newest Collection Center to serve the citizens in the northwest part of the county.
 
Mr. Wyche also reported Mr. Neil Seldman, President of Institute For Local Self-Reliance in Washington, D.C., at the request of several citizens of Madison County, would like to offer a presentation here on recycling and economic development through processing, manufacturing, and energy recovery from waste materials. Mr. Cherry reported speaking with Mr. Seldman and the cost to make a presentation is $250 to $350. The Board by consensus directed Mr. Cherry and Mr. Wyche to move forward with engaging Mr. Seldman to make a presentation in Madison County.
 
At 5:20 P.M. the Chairman directed the Board’s attention to a scheduled Public Hearing for a Variance Request to allow a McDonald’s pole sign at the intersection of Interstate 10 and State Road 53. Mr. Cherry reported the Planning and Zoning Board at their meeting held on June 10th voted to recommend approving said request regarding a variance to the height restriction for signs. Chairman Hamrick opened the hearing for public comment. Hearing none, the public comment portion of the hearing was closed. A motion was made by Commissioner Martin and seconded by Commissioner Ellis to approve said variance request.   Motion carried 5-0.
 
Madison County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Ted Ensminger reported two vacancies exist on the Tourist Development Council (TDC) and referred to an advertisement in the local newspaper for volunteer members to serve on said board. Mr. Ensminger referred to an application from Mrs. Teresa Williamson regarding the vacancy for an individual involved in the tourist industry subject to the Tourist Development Tax. Mrs. Williamson and her husband are owners of the Honey Lake Plantation Resort & Spa in Greenville, which has a planned opening in early 2011. Upon a motion by Commissioner Parrish, seconded by Commissioner Vickers, the Board voted unanimously to approve the appointment of Mrs. Williamson to the TDC.   
 
Mr. Ensminger stated the second vacancy on the TDC is for an individual involved in the tourist industry and not subject to the tax. He reported Mr. Ben Harris, who has an extensive background with the State of Florida in the film production industry and State Parks, offered his services to the Council. Mr. Ensminger also reported Ms. Catherine Murphy made application after the Commissioner’s packet was prepared. A motion was made by Commissioner Martin and seconded by Commissioner Parrish to approve the appointment of Mr. Ben Harris to the TDC. Motion carried 4-1 with Commissioner Vickers opposed.
 
Discussion followed on proposed changes to the Tourist Development Council By-Laws regarding a quorum and a grant application fee. The County Attorney advised the TDC is an advisory board to the Board of County Commissioners and suggested an amendment to the Tourist Development Tax ordinance as a way to reduce the quorum and to create an application fee. The Board by consensus approved a continuation of the present quorum of five members, since the TDC now has a full membership. As to the application fee, Mr. Ensminger reported making contact with several other counties and none have TDC application fees to cover administrative costs. Upon a motion by Commissioner Martin, seconded by Commissioner Vickers, the Board voted unanimously to leave said application process as is.
 
Mr. Cherry reported North Florida Community College has made a request to have an old City of Madison/Madison County Volunteer Fire Department fire truck donated to the college for fire fighting education purposes. Mr. Reeves advised the Board it did not have to surplus the vehicle, since it was titled to the City. Upon a motion by Commissioner Vickers, seconded by Commissioner Ellis, the Board voted unanimously to approve said donation to NFCC. Mr. Cherry was asked to send a letter to the City of Madison of the Board’s action.
 
The Clerk reported Requests For Proposals for County Property and Casualty Insurance are due June 30th and recommended the following members of a review committee for said proposals: Commissioner Roy Ellis, County Coordinator Allen Cherry, Clerk Finance Director Lessia Freeman, Florida Association of Court Clerks & Comptrollers Executive Director Ken Kent, former Clerk Finance Director Sandy Bass, and himself. Upon a motion by Commissioner Martin, seconded by Commissioner Vickers, the Board voted unanimously to approve said recommended committee. The Clerk reported the committee meetings will be advertised and open to the public and a recommendation would be forthcoming to the Board for consideration.
 
Mr. Cherry reported the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) application process is open again and the Board must appoint a Citizens Advisory Task Force for the CDBG Grant. He reported the project areas are the Quail Hollow Mobile Home Park near Interstate 10 and State Road 53 and Anderson Pond south of Madison for water and sewer, and also, Rabbit Loop west of Greenville for sewer. The Board by consensus asked that this item be agendaed for the next Regular Meeting. Commissioner Vickers stated Mr. Alphonas Alexander has agreed to serve on said Advisory Committee and made a motion to approve his appointment. Motion was seconded by Commissioner Martin and carried unanimously.
 
Mr. Cherry referred to A RESOLUTION OF MADISON COUNTY, FLORIDA EXPRESSING INTENT TO COMMIT RIGHTS OF USE AND ACCESS TO CERTAIN MADISON COUNTY ASSETS TO THE NORTH FLORIDA BROADBAND AUTHORITY FOR USE IN ITS BROADBAND NETWORK; STATING A NEED FOR SUCH COMMITMENT; PROVIDING FOR AN EFFECTIVE DATE. Mr. Cherry reported one of the assets presented to the Broadband Authority was the water tank on Dale Leslie Drive, which is owned by the County and maintained by the Town of Lee. Upon a motion by Commissioner Ellis, seconded by Commissioner Martin, the Board unanimously approved said resolution, subject to approval by the Town of Lee.
 
The County Attorney referred to a Madison County Property Appraiser aerial photograph that depicted a land-locked, county owned 0.11 acre parcel of land (Parcel 28-1N-07-2436-002-000) located in Greenville. Mr. Reeves advised with small parcels that are valued under $15,000, the Board is allowed to submit certified letters to surrounding property owners to dispose of the surplus property. He also stated the parcel the Property Appraiser is assessing to Madison County has a value of $440.00. A motion was made by Commissioner Vickers and seconded by Commissioner Parrish to send certified letters to said surrounding property owners to dispose of said property. Motion carried 5-0.
 
At the request of County Extension Director Diann Douglas, Mr. Cherry asked the Board to waive the fees at Cherry Lake Beach Park for the young people enrolled in the Summer 4-H Day Camp. A motion was made by Commissioner Martin and seconded by Commissioner Vickers to amend the agenda and to approve said waiver of fees. Motion carried 5-0.
 
Mr. Cherry also reported that County Engineer Bill Steves advised there was no problem with proceeding with the paving of the parking lot behind the Courthouse Annex and adjoining county building. The Board by consensus directed the County Coordinator to ask for quotes for paving said area for consideration at the next Regular Meeting.
 
The Clerk submitted to the Commissioners the May 2010 Statement of Actual and Estimated Revenues And Statement of Expenditures, Encumbrances and Appropriations for Fiscal Year 2009-2010.  
 
                From comments made by the audience earlier in the meeting and at prior meetings, Commissioner Parrish asked that the microphones on the dais be made to work properly.
 
There being no further business, the Chairman adjourned the meeting at 5:55 P.M.
 
 
Board of County Commissioners
                                                                        Madison County, Florida
 
 
By:_________________________
                                                                              Justin Hamrick, Chairman
                                                                             
ATTEST:
 
_____________________________
Tim Sanders, Clerk to the Board of
County Commissioners

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