Commission Meeting Minutes
Minutes of the November 7, 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
Moment of Silence
Pledge of Allegiance
Led by Mayor Rietz
Bill Lawrence, Town Manager; Thad Carroll, Growth Management Director; Wendy Then, Senior Planner; C.T. Eagle, Public Works Director; John Pearl, IT Director; Pam Winegardner, Finance Director; Jason Brough, Police Department; and Nancy Wilson, Town Clerk. Town Attorney Derek Schroth was also in attendance.
1.October 17, 2022 – Town Commission Minutes
Commissioner Freeman made a motion to approve the Consent Agenda as presented; Commissioner Hannan seconded. Motion carried 4-0.
B. NEW BUSINESS
2. Consideration of the Appointment of a New Member to the Town of Lady Lake’s Planning and Zoning Board (Nancy Wilson)
Town Clerk Wilson stated that Debra Pressley resigned from the Planning and Zoning Board in October. Dan Vincent submitted an application for Commission consideration, and he was the only applicant when the agenda was printed.
Commissioner Freeman made a motion to approve the appointment of Dan Vincent to Lady Lake’s Planning and Zoning Board; Commissioner Holden seconded. Motion carried 4-0.
3. Consideration of Approval to Enter into an Agreement with Carr, Riggs & Ingram for Auditing Services in response to RFP No. 2022-002 (Pam Winegardner)
Finance Director Winegardner reported that only one proposal was received in response to the RFP, and it was from Carr, Riggs & Ingram. Their fee is $41,000 which will be split among Finance, Water and Sewer. They offer a number of benefits and are well respected in the industry. Commissioner Freeman asked Ms. Winegardner if the issue regarding confidential information was resolved. Ms. Winegardner answered in the affirmative saying that an additional letter of engagement was submitted that satisfied the Town’s requirement regarding confidentiality.
Commissioner Holden made a motion to approve the agreement with Carr, Riggs & Ingram for Auditing Services; Commissioner Freeman seconded. Motion carried 4-0.
The following item was removed from the agenda; it will be addressed at a future meeting.
4. Consideration of the Water, Sewer and Reuse Utility Agreement for the Lake Sumter Reserve Apt. Homes Phase II - MJM 03/22-001 – Requesting Utilities Capacity Reservation of 42 Water ERUs, 42 Sewer ERUs, and 16 Reuse/Reclaimed ERUs for a proposed 84-unit Multifamily Apartment Complex featuring six buildings, 147 parking spaces, Trash Compactor and Landscaping Buffers, on a 3.25-acre parcel zoned Commercial, Mixed Use and High Density Residential, owned by Lake Sumter Commercial, LLC, identified by parcel ID D24J003 in Sumter County, Florida (Thad Carroll)
5. Discussion regarding Golf Cart Access in Downtown Lady Lake (Thad Carroll)
Growth Management Director Carroll explained that staff would like feedback from the Commission regarding golf cart use in the downtown area of Lady Lake. Florida allows golf carts to operate on municipal streets upon determination of various factors by the government entity.
Streets such as Clay Avenue north of Highway 466, and Old Dixie Highway south of Highway 466, both have posted speeds of 25 miles per hour. Many of the side streets which connect the adjacent neighborhoods also have posted low speed limits. In these areas, staff is of the opinion that automobiles and golf carts could coexist as viable means of transportation. The crossing of Highway 27/441 would not be allowed, nor would the crossing of Highway 466 or Rolling Acres Road without approval by the Lake County Board of County Commissioners.
If the Downtown streets were open to golf carts, those in areas such as Recreation Plantation could visit our library, parks, and community building without the use of an automobile. Those residents south of Highway 466, likewise, could visit the Log Cabin and reach the park which is now under construction on Old Dixie Highway.
Mr. Carroll outlined some reasons why citizens would like to utilize golf carts in the area and concluded by saying that Chief Tempesta has no issue regarding golf carts sharing the roads with vehicles in the downtown area and the matter does not pose a safety issue. Signage would need to be posted on the shared roadways.
Commissioner Hannan said he is against permitting more golf carts due to the issues The Villages has had. He asked how many more police would we have to hire to deal with the problems resulting from golf cart accidents adding that people would not stay off forbidden roads.
Commissioner Holden agreed with Commissioner Hannan.
Commissioner Freeman commented that he is ambivalent regarding golf cart use. He owns a golf cart and drives it around the Water Oak subdivision, but he feels people should use their cars in many instances. He knows people want to drive their golf carts. He said the Town is split in two by Hwy. 441 which makes traversing Lady Lake difficult in the southern part of town. He suggested requiring a driver’s license.
Town Attorney Schroth said the town has the discretion to adopt a restriction that would prohibit unlicensed drivers from operating golf carts.
Town Manager Lawrence stated that he talked to the City Manager of Tavares who said their entire community is golf cart accessible without restrictions and they have had very few issues with golf cart use.
Mr. Carroll asked the Town Attorney if a pilot program was instituted or an ordinance was adopted, could it be repealed if the use of golf carts caused a problem. Town Attorney Schroth answered that a pilot program could be developed, and an ordinance could be repealed.
Commissioner Hannan said if the Town Commission is foolish enough to approve this request, then he would like golf carts to be registered so they could be tracked. We could also generate some revenue.
Mayor Rietz said he thinks allowing golf carts in the southern part of town is a great idea. Not everybody has access to a car. Down the road, the town could work with the county to allow crossings on their roads.
Commissioner Freeman suggested reaching out to the county commission to determine if they would consider golf cart crossings on their roads.
Mr. Carroll asked if aside from county consent to utilize their roads, is this matter something that the commission would want to pursue.
Mark Joslin – 318 West Lady Lake Boulevard
Mr. Joslin asked what insurance is required for golf cart drivers. Mayor Rietz said it is smart for golf cart owners to have insurance, especially liability insurance.
Mary Assing – 320 West Lady Lake Boulevard
Ms. Assing said she feels sorry for people who do not have cars, but she thinks golf carts are not safe and she worries about people dying. She added that there is too much speeding on Lady Lake Boulevard.
Phil Mathius – Lakes of Lady Lake
Mr. Mathius said golf carts will require more police officers. There will be more accidents. He also said 14 years old is too young to drive a golf cart.
Celeste Green – 206 Player Lane
Ms. Green said that the use of golf carts in the downtown area is something that needs to be explored. It could help a lot of people. All of Lady Lake needs to be considered when making decisions.
Growth Management Director Carroll said he can move forward and draft another iteration of maps to show the big picture regarding where golf carts are and are not allowed. He will also call the county to find out how receptive they are to allowing golf carts on CR 25 and CR 466. That information will be brought back to a future meeting so an informed decision can be made. It is also possible to take a phased approach.
The Commission agreed by consensus to allow staff to gather more information and to address the matter further at a future meeting.
C. TOWN ATTORNEY'S REPORT
6. Resolution 2022-119 - A Resolution of the Town of Lady Lake Amending the Lady Lake Police Department Policies and Procedures Manual; Amending Resolution No. 2007-108 By Increasing the Limit for Take Home Vehicles to be Within Forty (40) Miles from the Town Limits; Providing for Repeal of inconsistent Provisions; Providing and Effective Date. (Chief Tempesta)
Town Attorney Derek Schroth read Resolution 2022-119 by title.
Town Manager Lawrence said increasing the limit to forty miles for take home vehicles has been discussed in the past. During the PBA negotiations, this was left out of the contract to make this matter a general order because the Commission should have control over such decisions.
Commissioner Freeman made a motion to adopt Resolution 2022-119 as presented; Commissioner Hannan seconded.
Motion carried 4-0.
TOWN MANAGER'S REPORT
The Town Manager said a shout-out goes to Leon Platt who was responsible for the successful launch of our Citizenserve software.
Mr. Lawrence said that at the last meeting the sale of a piece of land in Skyline Hills that is owned by the town was discussed. Senior Developer Wendy Then determined the market value utilizing comparables and past sales. She came up with a price of $25,000.
The Commission agreed by consent to list the property with a realtor who is not associated with the town.
MAYOR AND COMMISSIONERS' REPORT
Commissioner Freeman attended the MPO meeting two weeks prior. He said that the people who are developing Hammock Oak are possibly contributing $1.2 million toward the PD&E study on Rolling Acres. There is nothing on paper though their contribution has been captured in the meeting minutes.
Commissioner Holden said it was discussed previously to increase the Commissioner’s pay to $1,000 per month. He would like it to be revisited since the Commission members do a lot of work and incur expenses. Commissioner Freeman said what was discussed was a 5% increase.
Commissioner Freeman also said the Lake Sumter MPO is joining other MPO’s from across Central Florida to share information about their roads.
Mayor Rietz wants to place on the December 5th agenda a consideration item to move meetings to Tuesdays.
Robert Nyce – 747 Aqua Way
Mr. Nyce congratulated Commissioner Holden on his retirement; he appreciated the help that Mr. Holden gave him throughout the years.
He came to the meeting because of the Water, Sewer and Reuse agreement on the agenda that was tabled. He thanked the Commissioners for taking a stand against extending water and sewer to Sumter County. They are very rich and are growing rapidly. Lady Lake has her own growth to consider.
Mark Joslin – 318 Lady Lake Boulevard
Mr. Joslin said he has talked to Lady Lake police officers and to the Town Manager about the traffic on Lady Lake Boulevard since it was extended to Rolling Acres Road. People are speeding down the Boulevard and he is worried about children in the area. He would like to see a speed bump placed in the road but that is not possible because of fire trucks.
John Gourlie – 358 Ivanhoe Circle
Mr. Gourlie said a lot of communities allow golf carts and their use will only increase due to the demographics of Lady Lake. If golf carts on the streets are a safety issue, perhaps the bike paths should be widened to accommodate both bikes and carts.
Celeste Green – 206 Players Lane
Ms. Green asked how the town determines the number of police officers to have on staff.
Town Manager Lawrence answered that the rule of thumb is one patrol officer per 1,000 of population. Lady Lake currently meets that standard with thirty sworn police officers. There is also support staff. As our population increases, so will the number of patrol officers.
There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 7:02 p.m.
Nancy Wilson, Town Clerk
Jim Rietz, Mayor