Commission Meeting Draft Minutes

Draft Minutes of the September 18, 2019 4:45 p.m.
Commission Meeting

This special meeting of the Lady Lake Town Commission was held in the Commission Chambers at Lady Lake Town Hall, 409 Fennell Blvd., Lady Lake, Florida with Mayor Jim Richards presiding. The meeting convened at 4:45 p.m.

A. Call to Order

Mayor Jim Richards

B. Roll Call

Commissioner (Ward) Present
Hannan (Four) YES
Kussard (One) YES
Holden (Two) YES
Vincent (Three) YES
Richards (Five) YES

Staff Present

Kris Kollgaard, Town Manager; Mike Burske, Parks and Recreation; C.T. Eagle, Public Works Director; Pam Winegardner, Finance Director; Marsha Brinson, Library Director; and Nancy Slaton, Deputy Town Clerk

C. New Business

1. Discussion Regarding Community Building

Mayor Richards asked who wanted to lead this discussion.

Commissioner Kussard stated she was originally in favor of a new community building, although since she received information of the usage of this building, she is now in favor of renovating and expanding the community building by adding a large porch with screens and windows. She stated the shell of the building is good.

Commissioner Hannan stated he is not in favor of doing any of the suggested renovations; just clean up and beautify the building and the grounds. He stated it is not a money-maker.

Commissioner Hannan then made a motion to adjourn the meeting. There was no second.

Commissioner Holden stated the concrete block community building is too small and almost everything in it needs to be renovated or updated. It also needs a new roof. He stated the possibilities of what could be done will be eliminated if a new building is not constructed on this parcel.

Mayor Richards stated he looked at the use of the building as well and feels the taxpayers should not have to pay for a new building that may or may not be used. He stated he feels that the building should be renovated using the budgeted $200,000.

Town Manager Kris Kollgaard stated the community building brought in approximately $12,000 in revenue last year, and expenses, including electricity, added up to almost $10,000 for the year. She stated many people did not rent the building because it was not large enough and perhaps a porch expansion on the back should be considered. She stated a lot of clubs such as the Kiwanis and the Garden Club have been grandfathered in to use the building at no charge, and others use it at a reduced rate. She agreed that it does not generate a lot of revenue.

Commissioner Kussard pointed out that the estimated costs for renovations have increased to $230,400 with LED lighting.

Mayor Richards noted that connecting this building to sewer is going to cost $42,000, and everyone agreed the building needs to come off septic.

Commissioner Holden stated that this is a building to be used by the community and breaking even is still okay.

Mayor Richards commented that constructing the new library was a different matter as it serves more people in the community, including those from The Villages portions. He asked if the library meeting rooms could be used on the weekends if the community building is not large enough.

Library Director Marsha Brinson stated the community building is mostly used on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and use of the library meeting rooms on the weekends may pose a difficulty because of staffing and security alarms. She stated people utilizing the community building on the weekend sign out a key and the part-time staffer checks on the building over the weekend when it has been rented out.

Mayor Richards stated that the renovation of the community building needs to be based on what is cost feasible.

Ms. Kollgaard noted there are healthy balances in the surtax fund and the capital asset fund to cover the renovations, although future needs for expansion should be considered such as utilizing the property on Old Dixie Highway.

Commissioner Holden stated that the Town is expanding toward the south and he feels there is a need for affordable rentals for the community.

Commissioner Hannan noted that the three options under discussion are to do nothing, to totally tear down and rebuild the community building, or to renovate the building.

Commissioner Hannan made a motion against renovating the community building and for using the money toward other projects. Commissioner Vincent seconded the motion. This motion did not pass by a vote of 2 to 3 (Holden/Kussard/Richards).

Commissioner Kussard made a motion to totally renovate the building as necessary and expand it to include an enclosed porch with screens and windows. Commissioner Holden seconded the motion. It passed by a vote of 3 to 2 (Hannan/Vincent).

Ms. Kollgaard clarified that the preliminary estimate for renovations is $230,000, but if it looks like it will exceed that, staff will present this information to the Commission.

Commissioner Vincent suggested that the motion include that renovations should not exceed $250,000. Commissioner Hannan agreed with this.

Mayor Richards stated renovations should be made to the building as needed and noted staff will keep the Commissioners updated on costs.

Mayor Richards asked if there was any further business.

Ms. Kollgaard stated she had sent the Commissioners an email concerning the Taylor property. She stated the Town tried to get the right-of-way for this property about ten years ago but did not succeed. She stated they are now selling and asked the Commissioners if they had any interest in buying the Taylor property near Spencer’s Lane and Old Dixie Highway.

Mayor Richards asked if this was doable since there was an easement on the westerly side of this property.

Mr. Eagle confirmed that the Town was able to get the 25-foot utility easement  right-of-way on the westerly side with an access road. He stated the plan would be to pave it as a true road if this other property could be obtained and it would allow that neighborhood to have access to the other neighborhood.

Ms. Kollgaard clarified that a true road would connect those two developments and you could travel from Caroline to Spencer’s Lane down to Old Dixie Highway, thus giving another access route.

Commissioner Holden asked what the selling price is now.

Ms. Kollgaard stated the owner does not currently have it listed and has contacted the Town first. The owner believes a realtor may ask $130,000 or $140,000; or if it is not listed, the sellers may accept $80,000 or $90,000.

Mayor Richards stated he would be in favor of looking into it as long as the Town does not have to pay over market value.

After further discussion, the Commissioners agreed to have staff look into this and get comparables.

D. Adjourn

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 5:16 p.m.

Kristen Kollgaard, Town Clerk

Jim Richards, Mayor

Minutes transcribed by Nancy Slaton, Deputy Town Clerk