Commission Budget Workshop Draft Minutes

Draft Minutes of the July 8, 2019 10 a.m.
Commission Budget Workshop

This workshop 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 10 a.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; Pamela Winegardner, Finance Director; Chief Rob Tempesta and Deputy Chief Jason Brough, Police Department; C.T. Eagle, Public Works Director; Mike Burske, Parks and Recreation Director; John Pearl, IT Director; Maureen Gochee, Human Resource Director; Marsha Brinson, Library Director; Debbie Rodriguez, Accounting Specialist; Dawn Woods, Accounting Clerk; Becky Hewitt, Accounting Clerk; Ted Williams, Street Maintenance Supervisor; Butch Goodman, Utilities Supervisor; Van Kao, Parks and Recreation; and Nancy Slaton, Deputy Town Clerk

C. Public Comment

Mayor Richards asked if there were any comments from the audience. There were no comments at this time.

D. New Business

Finance Director Pam Winegardner stated the transmittal letter was included with the budget books. She confirmed with the Commissioners that they did not need her to read it at this time.

Commissioner Vincent commented that the phrase of “up to 5% merit increase for all employees” on the transmittal letter should be corrected.

Commissioner Holden asked how many employees received the full merit increase last year.

Ms. Winegardner noted that the 5% is based on a 2% Cost of Living (COLA) increase and up to 3% for a merit increase. She stated that many of the employees do receive the full merit increase, although she would have to figure up the numbers to report who all received it last year.

Ms. Kollgaard noted that the word “all” in that sentence could be taken out, and Commissioner Vincent agreed this would read better.

Mayor Richards stated that he noticed that the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for Utilities was only an increase of 1.6%.

Ms. Kollgaard stated that the COLA for this year is over 2%.

Ms. Winegardner stated the CPI for Utilities is set to go from January to January, and in January 2019, the increase was 1.6%. She stated the 2% COLA was based on June’s COLA figures. It could be adjusted if the Commissioners wish it if it changes by September.

Commissioner Holden suggested that all employees get a 1.5% merit increase across the board instead of up to 3%.

Ms. Kollgaard stated that may not be fair to some who may work harder than others.

Mayor Richards stated he believes in merit raises and recognizing employees who add value to the operation.

The other Commissioners were in favor of keeping the up to 3% merit increase for employees in the budget.

Ms. Winegardner noted that the format of the budget has been changed to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) accessibility guidelines. As such, no acronyms were used in the budget book.

Ms. Winegardner stated the proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2020 is based on the millage rate of 3.3962 with a total budget of $18,148,183. She stated it is balanced with the General Fund revenue and expenditures at $12,934,499; Special Revenue at $1,482,200; and Utility Fund at $3,731,484.

Ms. Winegardner then reviewed budget summary information for capital improvements and equipment from the General fund, the Special Revenue fund, and the Utilities fund.

Commissioner Kussard asked if the Town is getting all brand new playground equipment, or if just some of the equipment is being replaced. She also asked where the new sunshades will be placed.

Parks and Recreation Director Mike Burske replied that he will be replacing some of the older equipment since some of it is 14 to 15 years old. He stated the sunshades will be installed at the Harry Sachs Field.

Ms. Winegardner noted that warranties are being carefully reviewed for any new equipment.

Commissioner Vincent asked if the Town was buying separate warranties on the vehicles or were they the manufacturer’s warranty. He stated six years and 125,000 miles is an unusually long warranty.

Public Works Director C.T. Eagle replied that the manufacturer’s warranty will come with the vehicles; with power train extended to six years.

Commissioner Kussard asked if the vehicles in the budget for Water and Sewer are replacement vehicles.

Mr. Eagle replied that they are replacement vehicles.

Ms. Winegardner reviewed the summary of positions for all funds.

Ms. Kollgaard noted that the part-time library position was approved mid-year in the current budget, but it is funded in this next fiscal year budget.

Ms. Winegardner then reviewed the millage rate analysis and statistics. She noted this is according to the 420 majority maximum millage rate received from the Lake County Property Appraiser’s office.

Commissioner Kussard confirmed that the calculations are done by Lake County.

Commissioner Vincent asked when new development will show up on the tax rolls, and whether it is done by the property appraiser.

Ms. Winegardner stated it takes approximately two years from completion of new development for it to show on the tax rolls.

Ms. Kollgaard stated taxing new development is usually a year behind. She stated the Growth Management Department sends information to the county property appraiser and tax collector when a Certificate of Completion is issued.

Ms. Winegardner reviewed estimated revenues and expenditures by source fund.

Commissioner Vincent noted that operating expenses for General fund expenses have increased over 29%. He asked if it is due to new equipment such as routers for Information Technology.

Ms. Winegardner replied there are several studies involved in these expenses, and several big line items per department in the budget for consideration.

Ms. Winegardner reviewed and noted that $3,491,514 of the revenue coming in is equal with what is going out. Some of this revenue is from The Villages Special Detail for police services, library donation funds, employee programs, and police private detail.

1. Fiscal Year 2019 — 2020 Budget — General Fund Overview

Town Commission

Ms. Kollgaard noted that the operating expenses under this budget increased due to a new line item for software licensing. There was also an increase in publications, memberships and promotional activities since the Commissioners are getting more involved.

Commissioner Kussard questioned the need for publications. She asked how the software licensing costs were divided up.

Ms. Kollgaard replied that the publication fees are actually for membership fees to different organizations, not for magazines.

Mayor Richards asked Mr. Pearl to explain how the software licensing costs were figured.

Mr. Pearl replied that the Town is moving toward the cloud licensing platform and that licensing is more expensive. He stated the costs were distributed across all departments and is reflected in different kinds of software such as Microsoft applications, email, Adobe Acrobat, etc.

Town Manager

Ms. Kollgaard remarked that the only increase in this budget is the software licensing.

Mayor Richards asked if estimated figures for employee insurance are budgeted conservatively enough that employees will not get surprised in September.

Ms. Winegardner replied that staff reviewed past increases over the years and the most it ever increased was 11%.

Ms. Kollgaard stated that staff normally budgets for a 15% increase, and when actual figures come in, they come back to the Commission for approval. If the actual figures are lower than budgeted, any extra funds budgeted go into reserves.

Commissioner Kussard asked when the actual figures for insurance costs may come in.

Ms. Kollgaard stated the figures usually come in just before the actual budget is voted on.

Commissioner Holden confirmed that the Town still provides health insurance through Blue Cross.

Ms. Winegardner stated that health insurance has remained with Blue Cross, although dental insurance providers have changed several times over the years due to increased costs.

Commissioner Vincent asked if the Workers’ Compensation line item increased due to increased claims.

Ms. Winegardner replied that the Town is in a pooled account with several entities and claims are spread out among those entities.

Ms. Kollgaard stated that rates are much more consistent and lower with the pool despite this.

Ms. Winegardner stated the Town usually gets a credit each year toward the premium because claims are low.

Town Clerk

Ms. Kollgaard noted there was an increase in Professional Services due to ADA accessibility software licensing.

Commissioner Kussard asked for an explanation of PTO cash out under Personal Services.

Ms. Winegardner explained that if an employee does not call in sick more than three days in a fiscal year, they are able to cash out up to 80 hours of personal time off (PTO). She stated this takes liability for this time off the books and it is cheaper if the amount is paid out at the current year’s rate of pay versus next year’s rate. She stated it is also an incentive to keep people from calling in sick, and it appears to be effective; pre-approved sick leave is not counted.

Ms. Kollgaard noted that employees are also required to take 40 hours of vacation to be eligible for this payout.


Ms. Kollgaard stated this budget is based on three Commissioners’ terms expiring this year.


Ms. Winegardner stated that heavy items such as the budget books and the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) need to be remediated for ADA accessibility since they must be posted on the web site by law. This budget includes paying someone else to do this under Professional Services. Once these are remediated for accessibility for this year, they can be used as a template for future years’ reports. She stated many governmental agencies are being sued if their web site content is not accessible. She noted that staff is working on making simpler documents accessible by self-educating and training in-house.

Mayor Richards asked what the 9% increase is for under Other Contractual Services.

Ms. Winegardner replied this is increased fees by the Town’s current licensed software provider which is HTE SunGard.

Commissioner Kussard asked if this will be eliminated by fiber optics.

Ms. Kollgaard replied that it would not.

Human Resources and Risk Management

Commissioner Kussard questioned the $50,000 cost for a pay study.

Ms. Kollgaard replied that the Commission discussed and requested this at a workshop in March. The cost is estimated at $50,000 although it could be lower.

Commissioner Kussard asked about the cost for gym equipment and replacement chairs.

Human Resources Director Maureen Gochee replied that the gym equipment at Public Works has deteriorated and needs to be replaced. She stated her department needs new office chairs. They would also like a small table and chairs to meet with employees in the office away from their desks which may have confidential information on it.

Commissioner Kussard questioned the cost for the conferences.

Ms. Gochee replied that she and her staff assistant both have Masters’ degrees and need to keep up with their certifications by attending conferences regarding Human Resources and Risk and Benefits. She stated this particular conference is held in Orlando and involves overnight stay.

Ms. Winegardner asked the Commission if they wanted to put a dollar amount on increases, rather than just an increase of 25% or more.

Mayor Richards stated that noting 25% increases is a good tool, even with lower dollar amounts.

Growth Management

Mayor Richards asked about the vehicle repairs cost of $400.

Ms. Winegardner replied that several employees use this vehicle, so this cost was included in the budget to be cautious.


Ms. Winegardner noted one employee is being re-classed to this department from Growth Management which uses general funds and Building has restricted funding. This employee does do Building Department work.

Commissioner Vincent asked the difference between Growth Management and the Building Department.

Mayor Richards replied the Building Department has to do with permits and inspections.

Ms. Kollgaard stated that Growth Management handles the zoning and the annexations.

Code Enforcement

Ms. Kollgaard noted that there is an increase in the travel per diem for this department as the new code enforcement officer is going for Level 4 training.

Ms. Winegardner noted that the new officer will need new shirts.

Information Technology (I.T.)

Mayor Richards noted that Other Professional Services went up 20%.

Mr. Pearl replied that this money was spent on GIS development last year. A lot was accomplished, and the amount needed for GIS will not be as much this year. He stated he is requesting funds for photography and web site development.

Commissioner Kussard asked if there were now three employees in I.T. and if each had specific jobs or if one was Mr. Pearl’s assistant.

Mr. Pearl confirmed there are three employees in I.T. and each employee has a specific job. He stated the newest employee, Keith Randich, is basically a project manager to lead the entire team to prepare for the replacement of the Town’s software. Patrick Kauper is a GIS technician and runs the GIS program. Mr. Pearl stated he is doing the basic I.T. processes for the Town with the help of Sergeant Andy Crogan in the Police Department.

Ms. Kollgaard noted that Mr. Randich will learn the new software inside out and will be able to train other employees in-house.

Commissioner Kussard asked how the Town is safeguarded from the ransomware that is happening in other counties and municipalities.

Mr. Pearl replied that that the Town’s primary strategy is to do back-ups. He stated staff education is the key to combat this and employees are asked not to click on unknown emails, and if something questionable does come in, employees are asked to unplug their computers so that it does not spread to the network.

Ms. Kollgaard stated that backup tapes are done and stored off-site. She reminded the Commission that Mr. Pearl was able to stop something of this nature a few years ago.

Police Department

Commissioner Kussard asked if the specialized training for $5,000 is for mental health.

Chief Tempesta replied that it is for state-mandated training for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Police Department — Villages Detail

No questions.


Mayor Richards questioned the increase in Other Contractual Services.

Ms. Winegardner replied that part of it was for increased fees for cleaning services.

Mayor Richards asked about the replacement of the fire doors.

Ms. Kollgaard stated that the hardware on the fire doors is not holding up on some of them and needs to be replaced per the fire inspector.

Community Building

Commissioner Kussard asked why the cost for refinishing the floors is in the budget when there are plans to remodel the community building.

Ms. Kollgaard stated there is $200,000 in the budget for remodeling the community building although estimates have not been approved yet by the Commission. She stated the floor refinishing is included in the budget at this time, although it can be adjusted if renovations are done.

Commissioner Holden stated he inspected this building and found it to be an embarrassment to the Town. He stated he does not think anything has been done to it for 20 years other than yard work. He noted the tree in front needs to be removed, the roof and the doors need to be replaced, and it may need electrical work. He stated there are other items that need attention and it may take more than the $200,000.

Ms. Kollgaard stated that roof repairs and other improvements such as ceiling fans, tables and chairs, awnings, and installing Wi-Fi have been done over the years, although she agreed it needs remodeling and may need electrical and plumbing work. She stated staff is getting three estimates on having the large tree in the front removed.

Commissioner Kussard asked how the remodeling will be funded.

Ms. Kollgaard replied that if the costs are more than the budgeted $200,000, funds can be taken from contingency or the special asset fund.

Commissioner Vincent suggested that a new building should still be considered.

Mayor Richards noted it would cost several million dollars to build a new community building.

Commissioner Holden asked when he could expect estimates to come before the Commission. He stated the tree removal should be done quickly.

Ms. Kollgaard replied that as soon as all three estimates are received, it will be on the next Commission meeting agenda.

Parks and Recreation

Commissioner Kussard asked where the next conference is being held and if it will be overnight.

Mr. Burske replied that the conference is normally held in Orlando or Tampa and will involve an overnight stay.

Ms. Kollgaard noted a new employee position is included in this budget.

Public Works — Administration

No questions.

OGS — Facilities Maintenance

Commissioner Kussard asked why the uniform cost has increased.

Mr. Eagle replied that there has been a change in uniform vendors and there is a cost difference.

OGS — Motor Pool

No questions.

Public Works — Road and Street Maintenance

Ms. Kollgaard pointed out that street sweeping has been increased from six times a year to 12 times a year due to complaints received last year.

Commissioner Kussard commented that she was glad to see that another $200,000 was added for road paving, for a total of $400,000.

Mayor Richards asked about the increase in the Repairs and Maintenance line item.

Mr. Eagle stated this line item is for traffic signal repairs and general maintenance for street lights.

Commissioner Holden asked when Duke Energy will start installing the new street lights.

Mr. Eagle stated he keeps asking, and although Lady Lake is on the list, they are backed up on replacement of street lights. He stated it has been in the works for several years now.


OGS — Town Hall

Mayor Richards asked why this Other Professional Services line item for Governmental Finance Officers Association new software process is under Town Hall rather than Finance.

Ms. Winegardner stated once the process is complete, the cost will be spread out among the departments.

Town Attorney

No questions.

Villages Fire Protection District

No questions.

2. Fiscal Year 2019-2020 Budget — Special Revenue and Utility Fund

Special Revenue Fund

Commissioner Vincent questioned why the Pooled Cash — Interest line item decreased.

Ms. Winegardner replied that funds were transferred from a SunTrust money market account to Florida Class, which is small percentage of the State Board Accounts. Florida Class is paying much better interest rates.

Utilities Fund

Commissioner Vincent asked if the connection of Water Oak to the Town’s sewer will show in this budget.

Ms. Winegardner stated it will show in the sewer revenues.

Water Utility

Mayor Richards noted a jump in Other Contractual Services.

Ms. Winegardner stated it is due to cleaning and security alarm monitoring services for the new Utilities building.

Solid Waste Utility

No questions.

Sewer Utility

Commissioner Kussard asked if the Rentals and Leases line item is for one new copier lease.

Ms. Winegardner stated the old copier was owned, and the new ones will be leased. She noted that the property tax for the new building is included in this line item.

Mr. Eagle stated they are now leasing two new copiers, including one for the new building.

Ms. Kollgaard mentioned that the Town will receive liquidated damages because construction was not completed on time, and this information will be brought to the Commission when received.

Ms. Kollgaard asked if the Commissioners received the email from her regarding the request from Lake County that the Town include money in the budget to assist with funding for the homeless.

The Commissioners agreed that this should be funded by the county and the state. They noted that Town residents pay county taxes.

E. Adjourn

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 11:33 a.m.

Kristen Kollgaard, Town Clerk

Jim Richards, Mayor

Minutes transcribed by Nancy Slaton, Deputy Town Clerk