Nassau County Board of County Commissioners Special Session January 29, 2015, 6:00 p.m.

Nassau County Board of County Commissioners
Special Session
January 29, 2015, 6:00 p.m.
Commission Chambers, 96135 Nassau Place, Yulee, Florida

Call to order, Invocation and Pledge of Allegiance to the American Flag.

County Commissioners:
Present: Chairman Pat Edwards; Commissioners Steve W. Kelley, George Spicer, Danny Leeper and Walter J. Boatright.

Staff Present:
Ted Selby, County Manager; Mollie Garrett, local attorney; Scott Herring, Public Works Director; and representing the Clerk’s office Connie Arthur, Deputy Clerk.

Purpose: To discuss road failure issues related to Daybreak Drive located in Morning Dove Estates subdivision in the Callahan area.

Official Summary:
SS150129 –__06:01:27 – The following local residents came forward: Lori Wilkinson, Robert E. Burns, Jr., Brandy Rhoden, Marianne Burns, Buddy Edmonds, Elizabeth Anno, and Kendall Wilkinson. They expressed concern and frustration regarding a large hole on Daybreak Drive and, regardless of whether it is determined to be a private road or if the county ever accepted the road for maintenance, they implored the County to fix it. It was noted that Fire/Rescue and school buses cannot access some residences thus creating a public safety hazard. Attorney Garrett commented that many of the residents’ questions cannot be answered because the original construction project was developed more than a decade ago and the board cannot turn back time or speculate. As written in a memorandum this date, she explained her findings and recommendations to the Board.

Because there may be lawsuits filed regarding this situation in the future, Commissioner Boatright reiterated his intent to fix the road as long as the homeowners do not hold the county responsible for the problem, which will take care of the immediate emergency. The remaining issues can be dealt with in court.

Responding to a question raised by Commissioner Leeper, Attorney Garrett did not find any recourse to go back to the original developer. She encouraged the homeowners to seek legal counsel as a group to determine any recourse. She also encouraged the homeowners, specifically those directly impacted by the road failure, to sign an acknowledgement that it is not a county road and the county will not continue to maintain it. There are covenants and restrictions recorded for the subdivision. She also found that at one time there was a homeowners’ association (HOA) which was administratively dissolved; it can be reactivated for the purpose of addressing this situation and future maintenance issues.

Marianne Burns reappeared to question why the residents should have to pay for a problem that was created, in her opinion, by the developer who did not build the road to county standards in effect at that time.

Although the residents disagreed that an HOA was ever formed, there are covenants and restrictions recorded in the County records. The County Manager felt it was the HOA’s responsibility to collect fees for maintenance. Should the board decide to declare an emergency and expend taxpayer funds for work on a private road, he wanted assurances that this will not change the facts.

Motion: To acquire letters of acknowledgement from the
property owners that the County will fix the immediate
hazard and emergency, but not take over maintenance of
the road in the future.
Maker: Commissioner Boatright
Second: Commissioner Leeper

Commissioners Spicer and Kelley agreed that an emergency situation exists and the problem was inherited by this board. Who is responsible should be addressed in litigation. Residents were encouraged to seek legal advice. Additionally, they were urged to re-form the HOA in order to collect fees for future maintenance and to have one collective voice.

Attorney Garrett sought clarification of the motion; discussion ensued. Commissioner Leeper clarified that in order to justify the expenditure of public funds for a private road the board must first declare an emergency.

The Public Works Director sought clarification as to the fix. His original cost estimate ($31,000) was in effect a Band-Aid solution to make the road safe to drive but not provide another layer of asphalt. If the Board decides it should be topped with asphalt additional funds would be required. He also requested clarification if the Board declared an emergency would the Purchasing Policy be waived? Commissioner Kelley questioned, lacking a HOA to deal with, would all 38 residents need to sign the hold harmless acknowledgement? Attorney Garrett suggested the six property owners directly impacted by the road failure sign the acknowledgement. Those property owners in the audience were Leann Rhoden, Brandy Rhoden, Nenita English, Mr. Vickers, Deborah Brashears, and Elizabeth Anno.

Lori Wilkinson, Robert Burns, Jr., and Deborah Brashears came forward seeking clarification of the Board’s action. Ms. Brashears indicated she had acquired quotes for repairs and would forward same to the Public Works Director.

The Deputy Clerk restated the motion as clarified:

Motion: Declare an emergency; County to fully fix the road
(the affected area of the road at the large hole);
and have six directly impacted owners sign an
acknowledgement that the County will not do
maintenance in the future; possibly waive the
Purchasing Policy by virtue of declaring an emergency;
and hold the County harmless from any losses or
damages that may result from repairs or work
Maker: Commissioner Boatright
Second: Commissioner Leeper
Action: Ayes: Commissioners Kelley, Spicer, Leeper, Boatright,
and Edwards.
Follow Up: Attorney Garrett, Public Works Director, County

As a result of the Board’s action, the County Manager will seek bids. The Public Works Director recommended the citizens video tape the area before work commences to insure any damages done by County forces would be fixed. As requested by Ms. Brashears, Mr. Herring will also order signs for posting indicating “Road Closed, Local Traffic Only”.

Attorney Garrett will prepare the acknowledgement forms and contact the six directly affected property owners to sign the form.

There being no further discussion, the special session of the Board of County Commissioners adjourned at 7:05 p.m.

_________________________ Pat Edwards, Chair
County Commission


John A. Crawford
Ex-Officio Clerk