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County Commission meeting

Commissioner comments.

Hunzeker: Stimulus package always talked about.

End of agenda.

Pat Neal speaks to board.

Motion. Second. Motion carries 6-0.

Ordinance will come back. We have plenty of time.

Vote on motion to county attorney. Motion carries.

Vote. Motion carries.

That's not stimulating. That's giving people money for something they've already done.

McClash: It's a substantial amount of money. I can't support it. It violates the comprehensive plan.

We've already advertised it as that.

Term is for two years.

Any house in any stage that didn't apply until Jan. 1, they get a break if they don't get CO until after July 1.

Whitmore: Explain what this means.

Motion to have County Attorney to draft ordinance with Jan. 1. Seconded.  

Chappie: I'm ready to support Jan. 1.

Regarding changing April 1 to Jan. 1, economic impact is about $1 million.

School board wanted impact fee suspended for one year. It was a split vote. Just thanked us for asking them. Whatever date you choose, use the same dates for the school system so there are not separate dates.

FDIC seized bank as house was being built. I want it retroactive.

Public comment, Lisa Smith.

If they walked into empty houses, they would have.

Hayes: We decided on two years because anything less is just a joke. Mr. McClash, there's no need for roads. Thank you for bringing it to my attention. I can't pre-guess Tallahassee. We need to do this.

I think we need to come up with some kind of parameters.

Whitmore: As a representative of all the people, I'm willing to listen to everyone and then just try it.

I can't support the action.

I would prefer the board stay where it's at. I don't think it will help the economy.

We depend on impact fees for infrastructure, unlike surrounding counties. Concurrency may come back to haunt developers.

Overhang on shopping centers shouldn't lead to penalties. We need to talk about what's broken with the formulas.

i don't agree with two years. Do like the school board, and do it for one year. Wait and see what happens in Tallahassee. Still are not fixing the impact fee formula, like the square-footage formula.

McClash: I don't think $4,000 for a home will jumpstart this economy. What you're talking about is not economic stimulus. Stimulus should be things you are going to do in the future, not the past. Unless they give it back, it's a gift to the developers.

Hayes: This brings in stopping a foreclosure, a clean and exact date. That's my point. Go back to Jan. 1, and it's not a handicap for the county because they haven't paid the impact fee yet.

There are houses that are complete, but do not have COs. Sometimes they will hold them as inventory until they have a bill of sale, and then pull a CO.

Whitmore: If the house is already built, how am I stimulating jobs? If a foundation has been laid, and no other permits have been gotten since January, they could still apply because they hadn't paid their impact fees at CO.

There's always going to be someone on the other side of the line who wants the benefit but cannot get it.

Impact fees are full of legal pitfalls and are complicated. 90 days is from when you run notice in paper.

I support Jan. 1.

They do not do that until they get their CO.

Hayes: Originally wanted this to include those who have not paid their fees since Jan. 1. It's not fair to a lot of these folks. They haven't paid their fees because they can't afford them. There are a lot of very extenuating circumstances. 

Recommend that we start from beginning of year.

Make retroactive to Jan. 1, 2009.

My goal is to get them built.

Whitmore: We want to stimulate jobs, but approving houses already built defeats the purpose. There are different stages that haven't been built yet.

We need direction from board.

A third: Reasses fees after you pull CO.

Another option: If they apply on or after 1st of this month, if they pull CO after July, they will get reassessed for lower fees.

One option: only permits applied for after July effective date. Problem: building permit activity will stop to wait for period to start.

No refunds for those outside time frame.

Need to pull CO after date of ordinance.

Gap between permit and CO gives latittude.

New reduced fee cannot take effect until July.

To ask for authority for school impact fee notice.

Need to follow 90-day notice requirement.

Seeking direction on how to apply fee reductions.

50% cut in transportation impact fees for two years. Schools seek 100% suspension of impact fees for a year.

Next item: Impact fees.

McClash: Motion to adopt. Seconded, Motion carries 6-0.

Show scenarios of how much job pays, etc.

McClash: I support this area. I would rather work on areas where they don't have to pay impact fees.

Discussion of budgeting for program.

McClash: More questions about words. Where is money coming from?

Not yet.

McClash: have we budgeted for that?

Portion of impact fee related to roads budgeted to help with quality job creation.

McClash: Question on impact fee relief.

Request for questions.

Job creation incentive. Focus on retention, mitigation services, employers' impact fee program. 

We have customized response on every project.

Some businesses are working well with other departments.

Main points. Package would be posted on Web site; staff will use it when working with businesses; we're making our way through businesses coming in. We're busy.

Seek adoption of program.

Economic Development Incentives.

McClash: Motion to approve. Thanks to staff. Second. Motion carries 6-0.

We will address that. That's on us.

Bustle: What if person is homeless? I think that might be a problem. Anticipate problems. In my experience, the overseers were part of the problem because they could be a conduit for illegal materials that could find their way into the jail.


Bustle: Dealt with similar program as mayor. Judge will decide who participates?

Add no alcohol rules to no smoking rules.

Whitmore: No new FTE positions. I support the program.

End of presentation.

Judges seem to receive it well so far.

Hope to divert 1,200 jail-days a year. Could also do weekends in jail, 15-20 days in jail.

Budget is about $150,000, most raised in fees. We'll do it as cheaply as we can. No new staff, but this will be a new load for the office.

15-16 people max size per day.

No smoking, cell phones, must bring own lunch. Will provide water.

Need to work at least 1 day a week, but they can do more. $50 fee for supplies, $30 back if supplies are returned. Paid $20 a day to work. May elect $100 per day and not work up to half their sentence. Chief judge and state attorney have concerns.

400 offenders a year initially. Field supervision with an officer in the field, not unattended.

Sentence would be in lieu of jail.

Target: Midemeanor and felony offenders, DUIs, nonviolent charges, retail theft, etc.

Run through probation division. Hire two new officers.

Program can work with government agencies to perform projects in redevelopment areas.

Designed to be fiscally self-sufficient eventually.

Brief PowerPoint presentation.

Next: County Work Program

CRA: It's still being considered.

McClash: Tax abatements need to be in our plan. Good point for us to be able to offer than incentive.

CRA: Businesses are coming to meetings and talking about retraining and staff upgrades.

McClash: Urban encouragement zone. Get property owners and ask if we can do some creative things for a unified approach.

CRA: Two things. Transportation concurrency exception area, and proposed job creation incentive. Have to amend plans to allow it to happen. Has to go through process of being approved.

Brown: Are there incentives we can do to make a person want to locate a business on 14th Street.

Chappie: I love CRAs and know what they can do. Your team is credited. Thank you.

McClash: Change is to director's credit. Seeing direction. I'm happy with it. It's a real opportunity to show what the cameras can do in that neighborhood.

Whitmore: Commendation on report to head of CRA.

Brown: Compliments. 14th Street medians look good.

Request for questions.

Still completing projects.

Annual revenue South County down to: $900,000

14th Street West: $200,000

Report being presented on Community Redevelopment Area.

Meeting called to order.

Five-minute break

Brown: Motion carries.

Whitmore: Motion to approve transmittal.

McClash: Need to address transportation issues.

Ans.: Facility would be fully utilized in event of Cat 2 or 3 storm.

McClash: How many tons for typical storm event?

Ans. 15 million tons of total capacity.

McClash: What is the total tonnage?

Still have to go through environmental processes at state level.

Whitmore: To me, adjacent to the phosphate mines makes sense. It's not a dump, it's for construction debris, not household garbage.

Staff recommends transmittal.

Inconsistent with comprehensive plan: Compatibility features of timing with neighbors at time of request.

Good: Location for landfill; accommodate if something happens to other landfills.

Plant will need permits for water and air pollution from state after their review of the project.

Waters on site, area is a series of ditches. Drainage will be controlled on the site.

State will identify types of dust control available.

End of public comments.

You have to be mindful of the people around these things.

Mine dammed up river.

If what owners do affects their neighbor, they have to stop.

It's not all pasture-land and cows at there. I'll never be able to run cattle because there's no water out there.

Mining behind house has affected her ponds.

Just because I don't think it will affect me doesn't mean it doesn't affect the area.

Facility will be two miles from back of property.

Laura McGarn, Duette. 8965 Bunker Hill Road, Duette.

Asks that transmittal be denied.

Phosphate mining and farming are not incompatible.

Cites staff report about air and water contaminants.

Land use is not compatible with farm or residential area.

No need for this facility.

Nearby farm says site will hurt its operations.

Public comment time.

End of presentation.

Presentation on site.

End of presentation.

Better control of potential odors.

Not a dump. Has environmental protections.

Synthetically line facility; positive impact on water on site. Will cost $13 million more, not state- or federal-required.

Environmental considerations.

Economic impacts: 15 direct jobs, 12 indirect jobs, 30-plus jobs on a yearly basis, $50 million-plus construction project.

Presentation by Green.

David Green, senior manager market planning and development for Waste Management.

Presentation by McGuire.

WMI will operate the facility.

Carol McGuire for Waste Management.

Stop for questions.

Location compatible, except for residential development.

Habitat for endangered species is low. Used for pasture.

Fewer trips. Turning lanes, accelerating lanes and decelerating lanes would be needed on SR 62.

Roads can accommodate the number of trips.

Several recreational facillities are in the area, away from the site, but would not be affected by the site.

Facility would be lined like a class I facillity. Would allow for the capture of drainage at edge of site, then caught in a sump, then pumped in the day to a wastewater treatment plant for proper disposal.

Area not served by water and sewer. Served  by wells and septic systems.

Long Branch Creek along line, falls into Little Manatee River.

No houses on Hillsborough County side of line.

Open area, with a wooded area and homes and vacant lots.

Area is agricultural and rural, and has mine operations.

Continuation of earlier plan amendment.

Request for construction of class III landfill and change in land use from agriculture. 208 acres in northeast county.

Item 47: Leon Kotecki, principal planner.

Chappie: In the spirit of cooperation, I support the motion.

Whitmore: It's too premature to have staff start it. I want to look at it, but I agree it's all premature. We make all these motions, and we don't follow  up on them.

Hayes: I just have a problem. A motion is very binding. We all want to save money. We should be working together.

McClash: Another county would get less expensive power, or we could have it. Also secure rate for electricity. It's premature not to authorize your staff to do this. Staff should look at feasibility and legal issues. It'll save the county money and put it in the port.

Bustle: I think it's premature and out of place.

Hayes: Making motions at dais have repercussions. Can't support motion. Too premature.

Whitmore: Staff should not take time now with motions.

McClash: Motion to require county to buy power.

Motion to approve. Seconded, Motion carries 6-0.

End of presentation.

Disagree with ManaSota-88 over planned use.

Talked with neighbors. We want to be good neighbors. Would look at putting a berm in and some trees.

Installations in U.S. and worldwide. Giving make-good guarantees.

Plant in Pennsylvania is in commissioning, and finished. This technology has been done over and over.

Wood charcoal is a coal substitute. Not something we're doing at this project.

Did analysis on a pound-per-megawatt-hour.

FB: We'll do what we can to be a good neighbor. Florida Biomass Energy Group is a different company. Not us.

Brown: Issues of noise and smell.

Hayes: Concerns environmental and residents. Resident issues, and Bishop already OK'd. Another development in the encouragement zone. We just better get prepared if these are coming up. Supports moving forward for transmittal.

Don't see this property any more a threat to residents than current users.

Buy power from them, use it here and reap benefits of lower carbon footprint.

Explore it and come back.

McClash: County and port should look at buying power from facility.

Compatibility issues with surrounding area.

Whitmore asks staff. Worried about environmental issues.

Financial situation of company not for planning board to consider.

Why this location? Transportation.

Environmental issues. Reclaimed water. There is a 20-inch line 3.7 miles away and company would have to extend that water line at own expense to service that site.

Concerns of proximity to existing residential areas. Almost a mile away from the corner of the site. Other industrial sites are closer.

Believes emissions could be controlled. Height of buildings mentioned.

40 truckloads from south and north, or off port connector, or Buckeye Road. "Truck traffic could be dispersed in the area."

Armstrong Road issues. Relocate road so it becomes one entire site.

High hazard area.

Biomass plant: elevation of 10 feet based on U.S. Geological Survey map.

Motion to approve item 27, seconded, carries 5-1.

McClash responds.

Discussion of items pulled from consent agenda.

McClash: These are real dollars. They all add up.

Moved and seconded, approved unanimously.

Discussion of Code Enforcement and waiving fee for homeowner.

Meeting called to order at 1:30 p.m.

Meeting adjourned to 1:30 p.m.

Public requests to consider options.

Shows map. There's already folks here.

Biggest concern is proximity of proposed facility to residents in existence.

"Green may not always be clean."

Not opposed to biomass, but company still does not have a site.

Kevin Eberhart takes podium. Lives near it.

Possible better site may be available elsewhere. Location is not the prime example.

Cites staff report that says plant would be heavy industrial use. Could have off-site impacts due to visual and sound.

Concerns about transportation for development, both trucks and trains. Trains can back up traffic, affect emergency services.

Owns Preserve at Bishop Harbor. Feels there isn't enough evidence that it won't impact development.

Stephen Reese Jr. for U.S. Funding Group LLC.

Thank you for your time.

Charcoal sounds nice, but there's no info. Why do we have to have this in a coastal high hazard area?

Not addressed: capacity of other plants and energy generated vs. pollution.

Ask that commission proceed carefully, deliberately and slowly.

Barbara Hines from Holmes Beach.

Call for public comments.

Presentation time up.

Still have to go through federal and state permitting agencies.

Benefits: 25 jobs at the plant directly; construction, fuel sourcing, processing and collection. Will pay taxes and use reclaimed water.

Biomass is only option for 24-hour operation.

Plant will cut greenhouse gases.

We want low emissions and to set a standard.

We want to set a standard for biomass facilities.

Goal is to improve that.

Coming in at 60% of allowable emissions.

Started talks with FPL to use substation, so no need to run powerlines a great distance to get to grid.

Project uses wood waste, non-food feed stock. Grown locally, in Florida or imported through port.

Presentation on power plant by Florida Biomass Energy..

It's approved for 66 units, but developer had concerns about Armstrong Road.

Question about land for Preserve at Bishop Harbor.

Explanation of location.

Hayes: How many developments have been approved in this area?

Rep: products would come by truck and rail.

Whitmore: Byproduct of wood would be charcoal that would be exported. That's a plus. Excited about prospects. Glad companies are looking at ways to produce energy without using fossil fuels. 

Transmittal hearing. Will go to state.

Request for questions.

On north side, wetlands dislocation.

Site has wetlands on southern border and would not be disturbed by construction.

Site's elevation is 10 feet. Storm surge would be 8 feet. Could take a Cat 2 hurricane.

Parcel is on edge of coastal high hazard area.

Zoning is in place for use of the property.

Parcel is in planned development encouragement zone.

North is heavy industrial.

Future use; parcel is light industrial and is surrounded by light industrial with some residential in southeast corner.

Buckeye Road and port connector roadway.

Moccasin Wallow to the south, which leads to I-75.

Access from railroad and U.S. 41.

Plant will be burning wood chips and generating electricity.

Plan would move Armstrong Road a little.

Armstrong Road leads to approved development, but there is nothing there. Preserve at Bishop Harbor.

Construction, industrial, wetlands at U.S. 41 and Buckeye Road, and some residential; unused FPL substation.

Parcel is bisected by Armstrong Road.

In Northwest Manatee near Port Manatee.

Request for renewable energy facillity.

Item 46: Florida biomass energy.

Planning items being called.

Back in session.

Meeting recessed.

Voting. Motion carries 4-2.

County parks: We share fields and will continue to do so.

Public comment closed.

Parent supports new school, but kids and families have been sold a bill of goods to build this school. We're stuck in left field. Disappointed that governments could not get this together.

Public comments continue.

We may lose lots of kids if we play at another field.

Public comment from Little League VP.

Reading of motion.

Hunzeker: Let's move forward.

McClash speaks, Bustle: point of order.

Appraisal is highest and best use. We're doing the best we can with what we have.

McClash: School board needs to step up to the plate. It's a county issue. When these kids need a field, the city doesn't step up to the plate. Board needs to fill in the gap. Timeliness of fields the same as the school.

McClash: We are disrupting Little League, and it may not survive. Make a commitment to pay Palmetto the proper value for the fields.

Mayor: This is workable. Commends staffs. We feel we've brought forward the best scenario. Appreciate Whitmore's comments.

Mayor of Palmetto: Little Leaguers need a place to play. We have the funding for the street realignment. Seeking clarification.

Whitmore: We've only updated and maintained the field. It will get built. We can't have the grandiose parks and $70,000 playgrounds. We need to start scaling back. If they can't get a Cadillac, maybe they can get a Mustang.

Chappie: We know what we need to do, so do it. I'm ready to support the motion.

Bustle: Shouldn't be worried about it. Everyone wants it to happen so it will happen.

Bustle: Matrix shows it making everyone whole. Dollars designed to be sufficient for construction of complex. Range mentioned today is what we've heard all along. In any event, it's not a county responsibility. Palmetto and school will have to work it out.

Brown: Make everybody whole, not half.

Brown: Problem is that should be figured out. If you don't have enough money, cut back on the fields.

If you move fields, you have to find a way to pay.

We will design it to come in at budget requirements. Working with MLB on funding source.

Brown: Is there an analysis of the ballfield? Are we short or not? I won't be happy if we are.

Bustle: This is a doable project and everyone will have an outstanding facility.

Palmetto concerned about committing proceeds of purchase to fields. If there's a shortfall, they're hoping for assistance.

Estimates of $900,000 to $1.4 million for field. Not designed yet.

Need to figure out how to pay for ballfields.

Just don't see this being ready. Had people working on this for over a year. Board has other options.

Overall timing, road issue. The can-do attitudes with school should be can-do attitude with the roads.

Not going to agree to reimburse impact fee credits.

School board trying to force county to pay for improvements. Board could pay for land and improvements.

McClash: has problem with putting this last.

Motion seconded.

Move to accept staff recommendations regarding field and moving of school.

Impact fees, land deeding needs to be worked out.

Little League fears kids will be lost if field moves.

At least give them what we've been giving them before.

Whitmore: Need to maintain ballfields in Palmetto.

Palmetto mayor and schools chief recognized.

School district needs OK on June 1 to start construction on June 10.

County granting construction easement to city of Palmetto.

Discussion of issues with Little League.

Property swaps.

Lots of community interest in site.

NW corner of 10th St. West. and 17th Ave.

Palmetto Elementary school movement plan.

Public comments closed.

Emissions would affect residential areas.

Concern expressed about power plant and toxins.

More public comments.

Brown says it's citizens comments.

Discussion of dump in Duette.

More public comments.

Public comment on light pollution ordinance.

Port meeting over.

Vote: Motion passes 4-2.

Final decision must be final decision, and not subject to further review.

Port attorney asked for information.

Hayes: Call for vote on alternative impact fee analysis.

Chappie: It's very difficult to act. We go to port and hear things; we come back here and hear things. Need to get this thing worked out.

McClash: No. I'm ready to spend the $10,000 to see what the analysis says.

Hayes: Asks McClash if he wants to withdraw motion.

Whitmore: Need to talk. Don't want it dragging on another 2 to 3 months.

Port: Give us time to be ready.

Whitmore: This has to be resolved. We need to move forward.

Discussion of study continues.

$10,000 OK, but more could be problematic.

Gives advantage over other port.

Armstrong: Amended motion is very favorable. We're concerned about port-related businesses.

Comments from Chappie, Bustle, Brown, Whitmore.

Hayes: We need all the information.

Whitmore, Hayes discuss impact fees.

McClash: Port Authority will pay for study.

Hayes says all impact fees need to be looked at: environment, law enforcement, safety.

Joe McClash reads motion.

Hayes responds.

Carol Whitmore discusses impact fees.

Port Authority impact fee waiving study.

Request for action on a study.

Mr. Armstrong for David McDonald.

Port Authority

Brenda Rogers of MCES accepts proclamation.

Reading Proclamation on National County Government Week, May 3-9.

History lesson on origin of Robert's Rules of Order.

Reading of Proclamation on Parliamentary Law Month.

Awards and presentations.

Donna Hayes thanks for comment.

Thanks for public park.

Public comment

Changes to consent agenda.



Call to order.

We'll be updating live from the County Commission meeting today.


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