Commission Meeting Minutes

Draft Minutes of the August 7, 2023 Commission Meeting, 6 PM

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.

Call to Order

The meeting was called to order at 6:00 p.m.


Pastor Ellen Pollock – New Covenant U.M.C.

Pledge of Allegiance

Led by Mayor Rietz

Roll Call

Commissioner (Ward) Present
Kussard (One) YES
Gourlie (Two) YES
Freeman (Three) YES
Rietz (Five) YES


Bill Lawrence; Town Manager; Thad Carroll, Growth Management Director; Wendy Then, Senior Planner; John Pearl, IT Director; Mike Burske, Parks & Recreation Director; Aly Herman, Library Director; C.T. Eagle, Public Works Director; Elisha Pappacoda, Communications Director; Tamika DeLee, Human Resources Director; Town Clerk Nancy Wilson

Town Attorney Derek Schroth was also in attendance.


Announcement of Qualifying Period from 12 Noon on August 14, 2023, to 12 Noon on August 18, 2023, for the Office of Town Commissioner for Wards One, Three, and Five for the General Election and for Ward Four for the Special Election. Both elections will be held on November 7, 2023

Mayor Rietz introduced Dr. Paul Harsh who asked to make a couple comments.

Dr. Harsh said Paul Hannan was a good friend though they disagreed on certain things, but it never got in the way of their friendship. Paul was a man of integrity, and he was a blessing to Dr. Harsh who said he was a better man for knowing and spending time with him. Paul found his peace with the Lord before he left this world.

Dr. Harsh also reminded the Commission about the Arbor Day celebration where citrus trees were planted at his church. He presented the mayor with the very first yield from the garden – a lemon.


Proclaiming National Clown Week. Mayor Rietz read the proclamation then presented it to Doris Turlo. She was joined by two of her clown compadres from The Villages Clown Alley 179. Many clowns were in the audience and joined in the joyful occasion.


Elisha Pappacoda, Communications Director, presented two videos to the audience and the Commission. The first video showcased Snooky Park in an episode of “Board Shorts” with Lake County Chairman Kirby Smith and the second video displayed the most memorable moments at the Independence Day celebration on July 1st.


1. July 3, 2023 – Local Planning Agency Meeting Minutes

2. July 3, 2023 – Town Commission Meeting Minutes

3. July 17, 2023 – Special Commission Meeting Minutes

4. July 17, 2023 – Town Commission Meeting Minutes

5. Consideration of Mutual Agreement for Pavement Management — Preservation Services for the Fiscal Year 2022—2023 Annual Street Resurfacing Project (C.T. Eagle)

6. Consideration of Approval of the FY 2024 Holiday Schedule (Tamika DeLee)

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


7. Consideration of FY 2023-2024 Employee Benefits - Medical, Dental, Life Insurance, Long Term Disability, Short Term Disability, Critical Illness, Accident Coverage.

Human Resources Director Tamika DeLee said that each year the cost of employee benefits is presented. This year, health insurance has increased by 3.75% with the fiscal impact being $1,681,723. The costs will be taken from each department’s 23-20 health insurance line item. She summarized the other benefits offered to employees. The new rates will be effective beginning October 1, 2023.

Commissioner Kussard made a motion to approve the FY 2023-2024 Employee Benefits as presented in the budget; Commissioner Freeman seconded. Motion carried 4-0.

8. Consideration of Approval for Jacob Davis of Boy Scout Troop 244 in Lady Lake to Perform His Eagle Scout Project at Snooky Park.

Parks & Recreation Director Burske stated that Jacob Davis of Lady Lake Boy Scout Troop 244 is requesting to perform his Eagle Scout project at Snooky Park. His project will entail identifying roughly 20-25 plants and tree species and marking them with small plastic plaques at the base of the tree or plant. If he is not able to identify 20 plants or tree species, he may also utilize Heritage Park. The Lion’s Club has volunteered to finance Jacob’s endeavor.

Commissioner Kussard commented to Jacob that what he has planned to identify so many trees is quite an undertaking.

Commissioner Gourlie asked if the plaques will be attached to or in front of the trees. Jacob answered that they will be placed in front of the trees. He will be getting funding help from the Lions Club.

Commissioner Freeman stated that it is a wonderful project, and he is happy that Jacob is getting help from the Lion’s Club. Jacob clarified that the signs will be made out of plastic.

Jacob Davis thanked the Commission and took his seat.

Commissioner Gourlie made a motion to approve Jacob Davis’s request to identify trees in Snooky Park for his Eagle Scout project; Commissioner Freeman seconded. Motion carried 4-0.

9. Consideration of Approval to Utilize Five 12 Painting and Remodeling to Paint the Log Cabin, Train Cars, Bath House, and Train Depot.

Parks & Recreation Director Burske requested approval to utilize Five 12 Painting and Remodeling to paint the Log Cabin, Train Cars, Bath House and Train Depot. The Town received four bids for the painting project with a wide price range. On the low end all one color, there was a bid of $27,123.00 to a multi-color bid of $118,300.00 on the high end. In conducting his own personal search for their service and abilities Mr. Burske said there were no negative or positive reviews about them online which is common with organizations who perform government and commercial jobs. If this falls through at any point, town staff will paint the buildings after the holidays. This is because the next lowest bid is $55,063.84 for all one color which is higher than the budgeted amount of $45,000. Five 12 has submitted all the proper insurance and required documents. The Depot and Bath House will be a light Dove Gray with purple trim as seen in the watercolor from 1950. The bid price is $37,123 though he is going to work on lowering the price.

Commissioner Gourlie asked if Five 12 is a Lady Lake company to which Mr. Burske responded that they are from St. Cloud. He also asked how long the guarantee is on the paint. Mr. Burske responded that the bid specs specified Sherwin Williams top of the line paint. There are warranties on the paint, but the labor is what drives up the price; he does not know how long the warranty is on the paint.

Commissioner Freeman asked when the buildings were last painted. Mr. Burske responded that the train car was painted by his staff about five years ago and the deck is usually painted every two years. The train depot was last painted about 16 years ago; the log cabin about 15 years ago. The chinking on the log cabin is now a flexible rubber material and is not painted. The front of the log cabin has concrete chinking that is also not painted.

Mayor Rietz asked if the multi-color bid only applies to the train depot that will be painted two colors. Mr. Burske answered in the affirmative adding that the train cars will remain dark red which is a CSX color. Suzanne from the historical society said that silver was the original color but dove gray will look similar and will be more effective at covering dirt than white.

Commissioner Freeman made a final comment which was to ask Mr. Burske to talk to the painters to see about lowering the price.

Commissioner Kussard made a motion to approve the request to accept the bid from Five 12 Painting to paint the Log Cabin, Train Car, Bath House and Train Depot utilizing two colors in the amount of $37,123 or lower; Commissioner Gourlie seconded. Motion carried 4-0.

10. Consideration of Easements and Easement Agreements for Two Properties Located on Citrus Lane.

Public Works Director C.T. Eagle explained the need for the easements. They are directly related to the upcoming Lady Lake Luxury Apartments Project located on US 27/441 in the south end of Town. There is an existing dead-end waterline located adjacent to these two properties on Citrus Lane. By obtaining these easements, the developer of the project will be able to connect at two locations for dual water feed capability. This allows the apartments to have water service if problems arise at either end of the system. It will also help water quality by eliminating a dead-end water line and help overall hydraulics of the water system. The Developer will fund the waterline extension. Staff met with the property owners and negotiated compensation and terms for the 20-foot easement along the east side of the property lines, as shown in the attached Easement Agreements. The agreements and easements have been reviewed and approved by the Town Attorney.

Commissioner Freeman made a motion to approve the easement agreements for properties located on Citrus Lane; Commissioner Gourlie seconded. Motion carried 4-0.

11. Reserve at Hammock Oaks Subdivision Phases 1-6 — Preliminary Plat Plan — Proposing a total of 950 Units Spread Amongst 8 Phases, Including 687 Market Rate Single Family Residences, 105 Market Rate Age-Restricted Single Family Residences, and 158 market Rate Townhomes, on Multiple Parcels Consisting of Approximately 271.87+/- Acres of Land Zoned Planned Unit Development (PUD), Located Approximately 1.2 Miles South of HWY 466, West of Cherry Lake Road and East of Rolling Acres Road, Identified by Alternate Key Numbers 1283311, 1283523, 1283582, 1283612, 1585031, 2879874, and 3493737.

Growth Management Director Thad Carroll summarized the proposal. The Reserve at Hammock Oaks Subdivision Phases 1- 6 proposes the construction of 687 Market Rate Single Family Residences, 105 Market Rate Age-Restricted Single-Family Residences, and 158 Market Rate Townhomes located on approximately 271.87+/- acres) located 1.2 miles south of Hwy 466, west of Cherry Lake Road and east of Rolling Acres Road. Phases 1 through 6 encompass 950 units (previously 960 units). There are a total of eight phases: Phase 1, Phase 1A, Phase 2, Phase 2A, Phase 3, Phase 4, Phase 5, and Phase 6.

Robert Walpole with CHW Professional Consultants, has submitted Preliminary Subdivision Plat Plans and an application for approval on behalf of property owners, Lugano Development, LLC, Julian and Diana Malkiewicz, and Joseph O’Dell.

The total area of the property is 272 acres with open space covering 101 acres and the lot area is 133 acres. Townhouses are situated on the east side of the property with entrances on Rolling Acres and Cherry Lake Roads. The single family and single family, age restricted lots have various widths. All details of the plat are consistent with what was proposed in the Memorandum of Agreement when this previously came before the Commission during the rezoning process.

Commissioner Freeman asked if the town is expecting the applicant to come back with variances. Mr. Carroll responded that the variance to remove 17 trees was already approved by the commission on July 3, 2023.

Commissioner Freeman made a motion to approve the Reserve at Hammock Oaks Subdivision Phases 1-6 Preliminary Plat Plan as presented; Commissioner Gourlie seconded. Motion carried 4-0.

Commissioner Gourlie asked about the planned roundabouts. Mr. Carroll responded that a roundabout is planned for Rolling Acres Road and Kolter is working with another developer in an adjacent subdivision to finalize the plans.

John Curtis, Senior Land Development Manager – Kolter Land Development

Mr. Curtis said he and his team are working with Lake County and the adjacent property owners; one right-of-way has already been dedicated to the county. A temporary road will be constructed to allow for construction of a roundabout that will tie into Sunshower Lane. This is all in the current design and it will be brought back before the commission in a month or two. The second roundabout will be on Cherry Lake Road.

12. Consideration of Approval for the Rolling Acres Reserve Apartments Major Modification to Site Plan MJM 05/23-003 — Proposing Minor Site Grade Changes and Slight Modifications to Water Main and Service Locations to a Recently Approved 92 Unit Multi-Family Apartment Complex Amongst Six Buildings and Featuring 183 Parking Spaces, Lift Station, Trash Compactor and Landscaping Buffers, on an 8.12-Acre Parcel Zoned Light Commercial, Owned by Rolling Acres Club III Investment Partners LLC, and Identified by Alternate Key 1279861.

Growth Management Director Thad Carroll summarized the proposal for the Rolling Acres Reserve Apartments major modification to their site plan. The parcel is owned by Rolling Acres Club III Investment Partners and is zoned Light Commercial. The property is currently vacant.

On Tuesday, May 30, 2023, the Town of Lady Lake received a New Major Site Plan application for Rolling Acres Reserve Apartments proposing minor site changes for a recently approved 92-unit Multi-family Apartment Complex spread out among six buildings and featuring 183 parking spaces including six ADA Florida Accessible parking spaces, Lift Station, Trash Compactor, and Landscaping Buffers. The property was annexed into the Town of Lady Lake in August 2011. The apartment complex is a permitted land use under Light Commercial (LC). The proposal will still feature four studio units, Sixty 1-bedroom units, and Twenty-Eight 2-bedroom units. The changes were significant enough to bring back before the commission.

Commissioner Gourlie made a motion to approve the site grade changes and modifications for the Rolling Acres Reserve Apartments; Commissioner Freeman seconded. Motion carried 4-0.


13. Ordinance 2023-11 (First Reading) An Ordinance of the Town of Lady Lake, Florida; Amending Ordinance No. 2019-23, Chapter 10 Section 5-58, Paragraph 3 of the Code of Ordinances Relating to Reemployment after Retirement; Providing for Receipt of Benefits Post Retirement Upon Any Full-Time Employment Period.

Town Manager Bill Lawrence stated that Ordinance 2019-23 states that any police officer who has retired under the Police Officers’ Retirement Trust Fund system and is subsequently reemployed is ineligible to participate in the system and must discontinue receipt of benefits during any subsequent full-time employment period. The proposed ordinance states that any retiree, including retirees currently employed by the Town, can be reemployed by the Town and still receive retirement benefits.

This came about because we had a police officer who retired and subsequently began working part-time in the IT department. He is currently not able to receive benefits from the Town’s police retirement system if he works full-time. Changes to the ordinance will allow him to work full-time and collect retirement benefits from his police pension.

Commissioner Kussard made a motion to approve Ordinance 2023-11 amending Ordinance 2019-23 on first reading; Commissioner Gourlie seconded.

Commissioner (Ward) Vote
Kussard (One) YES
Gourlie (Two) YES
Freeman (Three) YES
Rietz (Five) YES

Motion carried 4-0.


The Town Manager gave kudos to Elisha Pappacoda for all her social media activity that is bringing attention to what is happening in Lady Lake. Soccer registration and free pickleball lessons for kids are upcoming events. Also, kudos go to Aly Herman and her staff for raising money during their “Food for Fines” program to be used for school supplies. They collected 100 pounds of supplies.


Commissioner Kussard commented that we charge a fee when people use the Community Building; maybe we should charge those who use Snooky Park. Parks & Rec Director Burske said there are no facilities except picnic tables and bathrooms. Commissioner Kussard said she is not talking about general use, rather, she meant use of the park for events such as birthday parties, retirement parties, etc.

Commissioner Gourlie suggested a deposit should be required for cleanup.

Commissioner Freeman said in his community in Connecticut, those using the park were charged a deposit for cleanup and an insurance rider was required.

Mayor Rietz suggested the matter be discussed at a future meeting.

On another topic, Commissioner Freeman mentioned Aly’s use of the community building for children’s events and said the town should have priority over those who do not pay to use the facility. Specifically, the Kiwanis Club is using the Community Building next summer when Aly thinks she will need it for children’s events; the library may be under construction. Town events do have priority over all other renters, whether or not they pay a rental fee.

There was more discussion regarding this matter until the Town Manager said he does not want to make any decisions until he has more information regarding the renovations at the library.


No public comments


There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 6:55 p.m.

Nancy Wilson, Town Clerk

Jim Rietz, Mayor