Commission Meeting Minutes

Draft Minutes of the August 15, 2022, 6 p.m. Commission Meeting

The regular 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 Rietz presiding. The meeting convened at 6:00 p.m.

Call to Order


Pastor Tony Omerzu – Crossroads Community Church

Pledge of Allegiance

Roll Call

Commissioner (Ward) Present
Hannan (Four) YES
Kussard (One) YES
Holden (Two) NO
Freeman (Three) YES
Rietz (Five) YES


Bill Lawrence, Town Manager; Derek Schroth, Town Attorney; Pam Winegardner, Finance Director; Wendy Then, Senior Planner; C.T. Eagle, Public Works Director; Aly Herman, Library Director; Joshua Higgins, Lady Lake Police Department; Nancy Wilson, Town Clerk


Announcement of Qualifying Period from 12 Noon on August 15, 2022, to 12 Noon on August 19, 2022, for the Office of Town Commissioner for Wards Two and Four for the General Election on November 8, 2022 (Mayor Rietz)


2. Proclaiming National Clown Week (Mayor Rietz/Doris Turlo)

Mayor Rietz read the Proclamation and presented it to Ms. Turlo. Ms. Turlo said the tradition began in 2006 and the group brings cheer to many.


All items listed under consent are considered routine by the Town Commission and will be enacted by one motion. There will be no separate discussion of these items unless a Town Commissioner so requests, in which event the item will be removed from the consent agenda and considered in its normal sequence.

All items listed under consent are considered routine by the Town Commission and will be enacted by one motion. There will be no separate discussion of these items unless a Town Commissioner so requests, in which event the item will be removed from the consent agenda and considered in its normal sequence.

  1. August 1, 2022 - Special Commission Meeting Minutes
  2. August 1, 2022 - Town Commission Meeting Minutes
  3. Consideration of Budget Amendments (Pam Winegardner)

Commissioner Kussard made a motion to approve the Consent Agenda; Commissioner Freeman seconded. Motion carried 4-0.


4. Presentation and Consideration of Fiber Wide-Area-Network Master Plan by Magellan Advisors (John Pearl)

John Pearl, IT Director, said that the town has been engaged with the Florida Department of Transportation, Metric Engineering and Southland Construction since 2019 to construct underground fiber communications conduit during the 27/441 widening project. When completed, the project will provide fiber conduit and associated pull boxes and handholds along the length of the construction project from Lake Ella Road to Avenida Central. The town has also been engaged with Danella Construction to construct underground fiber conduit between Town Hall and the fuel depot, the library and well site #1, and from 27/441 to the Public Works campus on Skyline Drive. In December, the town engaged with Magellan Advisors to prepare a fiber master plan to interconnect all our facilities and utility infrastructure.

Courtney Violette – COO, Magellan Advisors

Mr. Violette presented a 10-year master plan for Town Commission consideration. He said it is a phased plan to implement a fiber backbone to interconnect Town sites. The plan also outlines a future wireless overlay network to improve mobile connectivity for town field staff and support fixed wireless service for public areas. Mr. Violette listed the reasons why fiber is important, namely, to provide better service and security.

Magellan has identified the need for 23 miles of fiber optic connectivity throughout the community that will connect over 40 sites and facilities. The total cost over 10 years is $2,927,925 which could be offset by grants. Mr. Violette displayed a year-by-year roadmap indicating goals through FY 2032. Funding options were also explained. He said during the first five years, the town will be able to connect everything we want to connect; the second five years will be dedicated to installing some of the longer lines around the periphery of the town, interconnect some of the segments, and provide redundancy.

Commissioner Hannan asked Mr. Violette his opinion on fiber vs. WiFi because he thinks that fiber may be old technology. Mr. Violette answered that fiber has been around for a long time and he does not think that WiFi will take over where fiber exists today. Wireless is a great complement to fiber, but faster speeds can be achieved with fiber. It is the gold standard.

Commissioner Kussard thanked John Pearl and CT Eagle because she was concerned about the cost, but they convinced her that fiber is the way to go, and the overall cost savings makes the project worth it.

Commissioner Freeman asked about the relationship between the number of underserved households and the fiber network as it relates to grant money. Mr. Violette said the federal government defines unserved as those who lack access to 25 Mbps download by 3 Mbps upload speeds. All the current funding opportunities are targeting higher throughput networks that are deploying 100 Mbps download by 10 Mbps upload speeds which if not met, those locations are considered underserved. Residents in the county will be receiving a citizen survey around September 1st to determine who is unserved and who is underserved. This data will be provided to the Department of Economic Opportunity to maximize funding for Florida. Grant money is not available for the town infrastructure at this time.

Commissioner Freeman asked what the potential is for obsolescence of fiber. Mr. Pearl said if fiber is maintained in the ground, and electronics are upgraded as necessary, he does not see the obsolescence of fiber being a concern. Commissioner Freeman then asked if the conduit size is big enough. Mr. Pearl answered that empty conduit is always a good idea to install but providing it at the beginning of a project is hard to justify due to cost. It is good to install as much conduit as is affordable. With the town’s proposed plan, there will be conduit available for future expansion.

Commissioner Freeman asked if the network is going to be prioritized for Lady Lake and are there possibilities of security breaches. Mr. Pearl responded that the network will be for the Town of Lady Lake use only and breaches will be minimized because it would be very expensive and easy to detect. There are also multiple redundancies planned long term. However, as the network is being built over the next several years, there will be limited redundancy.

Mayor Rietz asked about capacity of fiber versus copper. Mr. Pearl responded that there is almost unlimited capacity with fiber.

Commissioner Kussard made a motion to approve the Fiber Wide-Area-Network Master Plan by Magellan Advisors; Commissioner Freeman seconded. Motion carried 4-0.

5. Consideration of Dates and Times for the First and Second Public Hearings to Set the Millage Rate and Approve the Budget (Pam Winegardner)

Pam Winegardner, Finance Director, said she was asking for the Commission to set the proposed dates, times and the place for the Public Hearings taking place on September 7th and September 19th and to also set the tentative millage rate at 3.3962. This information needs to be entered into the record and submitted to the Property Appraiser so they can provide TRIM notices to property owners.

Commissioner Kussard made a motion to set the date and times for the First and Second Public Hearings to Set the Millage Rate and Approve the Budget; Commissioner Hannan seconded. Motion carried 4-0.

6. Consideration of Approval of the contract proposal with Dickerson Architects, Inc. for design services for the modifications to the Children’s Library and the Second Floor of the Adult Library (Thad Carroll)

Public Works Director, C.T. Eagle, made the presentation in Mr. Carroll’s absence. He reported that Dickerson Architects submitted a proposal for interior renovations and additions to the library in lieu of building a new structure for the Growth Management Department adjacent to Town Hall. Due to the costs of new construction coming in much higher than anticipated, it was determined that the expansion of certain departments could be accommodated by the underutilized space at the library.

Dickerson Architects outlined a twelve-task process to complete the design of the library. The amount available in the 2021-22 budget is $285,000 and staff would like to award the contract so that the architectural and engineering design plans can begin within this fiscal year.

Commissioner Kussard said this is something that is needed, and the town is saving a lot of money plus providing more room for the children’s library.

Commissioner Kussard made a motion to approve the contract proposal with Dickerson Architects, Inc; Commissioner Hannan seconded. Motion carried 4-0.


7. Consideration of Resolution 2022-114 – First and Final Reading - Special Permit Use for Electronic Message Board – Too Your Health Spa (V) – Pursuant to chapter 17, Section 17-3, e).4). of the Town of Lady Lake Land Development Regulations, Fred Schweitz with Fred Schweitz #2 LLC filed an application of the installation of an Electronic Message Board/Marquee Sign within an existing freestanding sign on property owned by Fred Schweitz #2 LLC, located at 995 South Highway 27/441 (Alternate Key 3883818), within the Town limits of Lady Lake. (Thad Carroll)

Wendy Then, Senior Planner, summarized the application for the Special Use Permit. The property owner requested a permit to allow the installation of an electronic message board within the sign in front of his business that currently measures 80 square feet. His project has been completed and the applicant would like to be able to advertise the services he and his tenants have to offer with a new sign. The electronic sign cannot exceed 14 square feet per side, and it will only display text — there will be no flashing or moving lights. The marquee will be placed on an approved freestanding sign and the text will be amber colored with a black background. The requested permit is consistent with the directives of the Land Development Regulations and Comprehensive Plan.

Commissioner Freeman said he assumes that the 14 square foot sign will be similar to the one in front of Big Dan’s Car Wash. Ms. Then said that the existing sign will need to be changed; prior to permitting, staff will ensure that it meets all specifications of relevant Code.

Fred Schweitz – 995 S. Highway 27/441

Mr. Schweitz said that it would be more practical to have a 2-foot x 7-foot sign. It would be complementary to what he is doing at the health club. His goal is to educate the public so they know what is being offered at his facility.

Commissioner Freeman made a motion to approve Resolution 2022-114 on the first and final reading as presented; Commissioner Hannan seconded. 

Commissioner (Ward) Vote
Hannan (Four) YES
Kussard (One) YES
Freeman (Three) YES
Rietz (Five) YES

Motion carried 4-0


No report


No reports


No comments


There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 6:49 p.m.

Nancy Wilson, Town Clerk

Jim Rietz, Mayor