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Meeting was called to order at 9:00 A.M. by Chairman J. R. Dowdy, Jr. with Commissioners James D. Harris, A. James Nance, Joyce C. Pheil, and Ferrell Henry in attendance. Others present were County Administrator John S. Pate, Jr., County Attorney Guy D. Pfeiffer, Finance Director Sherrie Leverette, and secretary Linda Finch. Mr. Nance gave the invocation.


Motion was made by Mr. Nance to approved the minutes of the meetings of May 20, May 28, June 10, and June 25, 2003, seconded by Mrs. Pheil, and motion carried unanimously.


Representative Johnny Floyd and Ovis Stephens, representating the Friends of the Park, were present. Mr. Pate reported that the Department of Community Affairs has awarded a $50,000.00 grant to the Friends of the Park in order to help with the memorial that is being built for the war veterans. Mrs. Stephens stated that they are hoping to raise about $200,000.00, she had written letters to then Governor Barnes, Lt. Governor Taylor, Speaker Tom Murphy, Senatorís Rooney Bowen and Hooks, and Representative Johnny Floyd for their help about two years ago, and they were kind enough to give them $50,000.00. She reported that Rep. Floyd and Sen. Bowen has worked hard on this particular project, and she wanted to thank them. Mr. Floyd also thanked Mrs. Stephens and the Friends of the Park for the effort they put forth in securing this grant, they have done a great job, and those that have not seen the rendering on Veterans Day need to know it will be a real asset to the Park and to remember those that have given their lives for our country. Rep. Floyd and Mrs. Stephens advised that they would like to encourage all to buy a brick. Chairman Dowdy thanked Mrs. Stephens, Rep. Floyd and all that participated in making this a reality.


Raymond Byrd, Interim Coordinator of Resource Conservation Development (RC&D); Joel Wood, Director Nation Resource Conservation Service (NRCS); Russell Toney, Soil & Water Conservation Commission; and John Woodard, local District Supervisor of Middle/South Ga. Water Conservation District met with Commissioners regarding a proposal to form a Resource Conservation & Development Council (RC&D) for Ben Hill, Brooks, Crisp, Colquitt, Irwin, Thomas, Tift, Turner and Worth Counties. Mr. Wood stated that this is a project proposal of resource conservation development, that has been very successful in other areas as a community cooperative effort including local governments, organizations, and individuals. He advised that they do a lot of things in conserving our resources in working in local parks, erosion control, roadsides, along with projects for education. He stated that the NRCS will administer the program for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the NRCS will provide a coordinator, yet it will be a separate entity in that it can apply for funds, and that is why it is so successful as it has input of local people plus they can gather funds to operate from a manner of sources, not just one source. He stated they wanted to introduce it to the Commission to see if Crisp County wants to participate in this as we are surrounded by RC& D areas, and the idea is to hopefully have all of Georgia in a RC&D area so that they can cover these type projects and needs in our community. Mr. Byrd stated that one project they have that Commissioners are familiar with is the rural fire protection program which provides fire protection for rural houses plus lowers the insurance premiums of the individuals. He advised that they are hoping to get all Commissions in the eight county area interested, there is a good bit of money out there through grants, and private donations, and if they can get some interest in that, then they can begin to get some of the monies, create some of the programs, and address some of the issues that people may have. He advised that we do have a short turn around that we have to have an application developed and be ready to submit to the Secretary of Agriculture by September, and if the application is successful and approved, then we can become a RC&D Council. Mr. Byrd went over several programs that they have available at this time, and he knows there are so many other projects out there and, if we donít take advantage of this opportunity, he thinks we will miss the boat. Mr. Toney reported that the Middle/South Georgia Soil & Water Conservation District advised that this council will be locally driven by the counties that comprise this District as well as supervisors on the Middle/South Georgia District Board, they will address rural needs and developments, plus there will be a small investment that the counties will have to pay. Mr. Byrd stated that the NRCS will hire a coordinator and an administrative assistant and furnish a vehicle, and there will be some money in the form of dues that will help fund some of the projects as a start up. Mr. Woodard stated that he thinks this project is well worth-while, and he appreciates the Commissioners time regarding this. Mr. Nance asked how much they will be asking local governments to contribute, and Mr. Wood advised that the dues will be established probably around $500.00 a year which is set by the council according to the needs, plus there may be some in-kind services that some grants may require. Motion was made by Mr. Henry to commit to support this organization, seconded by Mr. Nance and motion carried unanimously. Mr. Byrd stated that after he has contacted all of the other counties and get their commitments as well, then they would like for the Commissioners to appoint a representative to serve on this Board so they can begin to work on the application.


Don tenBensel, Director of Middle Flint Regional Development Center, and Mary Moore, Community Developer, met with Commissioners, and Mr. tenBensel reported that each year Middle Flint, as an Economic District, has to put together a regional economic development plan in order to keep our area eligible for economic development administration grants. He advised that the way the counties maintain their specific eligibility is either to prepare a separate document or to just accept the document that they prepare on a regional basis, he has prepared a letter that says that Crisp County will be willing to accept their regional document as encompassing the Crisp County needs; this is the simplest thing and it keeps the county eligible for EDA grants for the coming year. Motion was made by Mr. Harris to ratify to accept the regional economic development plan, and giving Chairman Dowdy the authority to sign the letter to the Economic Development Administration, seconded by Mr. Nance and motion carried unanimously.


Mr. tenBensel stated we have taken the bids for the Youth & Family Resource Center, they came in high, they have met with architect and the low bid contractor, WBM Construction, and have come back with some items that either could be taken out or assumed by the county through SPLOST funds. He advised that they now have gotten the total budget down to $596,450.00. He advised that by taking out the items that could be paid with SPLOST funds, we can get within budget and have almost $20,000.00 in contingency; he needs a letter to WBM Construction from the Commission stating that we received their proposal to negotiate, we accept items #3,5, & 6, which gets the bid within budget now of $434,450.00. Motion was made by Mrs. Pheil to support the changes in the contract with WBM Construction and giving Chairman Dowdy the authority to sign the letter, seconded by Mr. Nance and motion carried unanimously.


Motion was made by Mr. Henry to accept the Agreement with Middle Flint RDC for the FY04 CDBG Grant and allowing Chairman Dowdy to sign the Agreement, seconded by Mr. Harris and motion carried unanimously.


Mr. tenBensel stated that he has a memo to take to the paper today to start advertising for proposals for an engineer, and this will not tie their hands directly to what they are going to do for the next yearís CDBG Grant. He stated that if they are agreeable for them getting started, assuming they want to do something water related, most probably Omar Height or that area, they will have to have an engineer, and if there is a change, we will already have the engineer on board. He advised that this is just saying that the county is looking for an engineer, and it will not tie them down to a particular project. Commissioners agreed for the ad to go in the paper and on the countyís web site. Mr. Pate stated that the public needs to know that the Commission is addressing the problems in Meadow Park & Omar Heights, there is a terrible problem out there, we know it, and this will be a $500,000.00 grant to address that problem next year. Mr. Pate stated that he has talked to the water system owners in this area, and they are agreeable for discussion to sell the water system. Mr. Harris thanked Mr. tenBensel for the hard work he has done for this county over the years.


Mrs. Leverette reported that we held the public hearing for the budget, and everything is in order to adopt the budget. Motion was made by Mrs. Pheil to adopt the budget for FY 04, seconded by Mr. Harris and motion carried unanimously.


Mr. Pate reported that they have found that our PA system was vastly inadequate during the Christmas Party and opening of the train depot, and the two bids he has is an update of the present sound system. He reported that the low bid is from Southern Music Company for $1,534.95, and he recommends the approval of the low bid. Motion was made by Mr. Henry to approve the low bid from Southern Music Company for $1,534.95 to update the countyís sound system, seconded by Mr. Harris and motion carried unanimously.


Mr. Pate reported that the jail needs a refrigerator for $554.00, and $2,000.00 is needed for emergency repairs on a pump at Westside Pool, and he needs their approval for monies to come out of the SPLOST funds. Motion was made by Mr. Henry to approve the new refrigerator for jail and repair of the pump at Westside Pool, seconded by Mrs. Pheil and motion carried unanimously.


Chairman Dowdy reported that signing the Safety Incentive Form will give the county a 5% discount on our Property and Liability Insurance premium, and that all requirements have been fulfilled this year for the discount. Motion was made by Mrs. Pheil to authorize Chairman to sign the ACCG Safety incentive Form to receive the 5% discount on the insurance premium, seconded by Mr. Nance and motion carried unanimously.


Mrs. Leverette reported that the report they have in their packet is for May, the expenditures on this report exceeded the revenues for the month, but the year-to-date revenues exceeded the expenditures by about $600,000.00 and we are within 7% of the budget with one more month to go, and her office will be watching the purchase orders and expenditures very close this month. Motion was made by Mr. Harris to accept the Financial Report, seconded by Mr. Nance and motion carried unanimously. Mr. Henry commented that we didnít want to overlook the fact that Mrs. Leverette came in here in the late part of the budget process and has done a beautiful job for us, and other Commissioners agreed.


Mr. Pate reported that Betty Lynn Bakerís term on the Family & Children Services Board has expired, she has volunteered to stay if Commissioners so choose to appoint her, but under the rules the Commissioners set up, we have to advertise for a board member. He advised that he has asked for a ruling and it was received from DHR that they can appoint Mrs. Baker on an interim basis to stay until Commissioners make the appointment, and he would like authority to advertise for this Board and appoint Mrs. Baker as an interim member. Motion was made by Mr. Nance to appoint Mrs. Baker to the Family and Children Services Board on an interim basis and go ahead and advertise for this board member, seconded by Mr. Harris and motion carried unanimously.


Motion was made by Mrs. Pheil to place a street light at the intersection of Hwy. 280 West and Wiley Road, seconded by Mr. Nance and motion carried unanimously.


Carl Gamble, Director of Public Works, reported that they started yesterday on the LARP resurfacing project on Sirmons Road, the restructuring on Cannon Road will be let by DOT at the end of July, and Eddie and Hannah Roads are coming along well with the amount of rain we have had on top of them. He advised that at last meeting he was instructed to send out letters requesting right-of-way on Evergreen Church Road, of the three other owners, he has heard from a couple of them, and it doesnít look promising to them signing, so it is left up to the Commissioners if they want to continue the project. Chairman Dowdy stated that we will have done all we can do other than condemnation, and it will be up to the people that want the road to convince the property owners that they need the road, it would not be up to the Commissioners. Mrs. Pheil would like to continue with the survey, and if the property owners see where the survey is and how much land is involved, they might agree to do it. Motion made by Mrs. Pheil to continue with the survey on Evergreen Church Road, seconded by Mr. Harris with Mr. Nance and Mr. Henry opposing and Chairman Dowdy breaking the tie and opposing the continuation of the survey, as they think it will be a waste of money at this time, and they will continue to talk to the property owners along with getting Mrs. Wilder to talk with property owners.


Hal Newberry, engineer, reported that when they bid out the construction of Cells 8 & 9 at the landfill, they used the topographic survey that was done by J. B. Faircloth in 1999 for the permit drawings, and in between then and when they started construction of cells 8 & 9, a lot of material had been taken out of this area that was used for construction of other cells and also as daily cover material. He advised that he was not aware that much material had been taken out, he knew some had come out of there but not that much, and he made the bad assumption that we could use the old topo. He stated that when the construction starts and everything is cleared, the surveyor comes in and does a topo then, that is the start for determining the quantities that are excavated, and then another topo is done when all the construction is complete, you then compare those two and you know how much earthwork the contractor gets paid for. He stated that when the contractor cleared the site, and the topo was done, then the contractor stated that he was going way over on the earthwork quantities that were set up based on his load counts; they then took the new topo that was done at the start of construction, compared that to the old one and realized that about eighty thousand yards of material had already been cut out of the site, which amounts to about $156,000.00, and we will have to pay the contractor for the additional soil he is having to bring in. He stated the price for the soil the contractor gave is a very good price at $1.95 a cubic yard from the borrow pit and $1.00 a cubic yard for cutting material. Mr. Gay, Landfill Supervisor, stated that they were in a bind for cover material when they were getting about 800 tons of garbage in a day, and they didnít realize they had gotten that much cover material but they didnít have any other choice as one borrow area had turned to sandstone and the new borrow area had not been permitted. Mrs. Leverette stated that there will be no problem with the change order, and they can either establish a new loan or modify the current loan as long as the financials support it, also, we have not made any draws on this loan at all, and we may be able to absorb some or all of the costs, and then what we canít we can ask for additional funds from GEFA. Mr. Newberry reported that in the application that was submitted to GEFA, there was $50,000.00 in it for contingencies. He advised that Commissioners could go either of two ways: 1) wait until we get toward the end of the job and know what the yardage used is and prepare a summary change order at that time, or 2) prepare a change order based on what we think it is going to be. Mrs. Pheil thinks we need to wait at least until we can get with our legal counsel and get his advice. Motion was made by Mr. Harris to table decision on this matter so they can hear from the Landfill Attorney, seconded by Mrs. Pheil and motion carried unanimously.


Mr. Newberry reported that the Newtown Sewer Project is behind schedule but it is about to get wound up and hope to have it completed soon. He stated that the contractor has held off on some of the driveway patching because of the rain we have been getting, and they have had a few problems concerning mailboxes where they found that a masonry mailbox cannot be put back on the edge of the road under the state regulations, and some of the homeowners are unhappy about that and are still trying to work something out with the homeowner for another type of mailbox that will be allowable.


Mr. Newberry advised that have begun working on the Short Term Work Program for the Solid Waste Management Plan for the county to get it resubmitted to the RDC and DCA. Mrs. Pheil reported that at a meeting she attended recently, they learned that Taylor County is putting in a system to trap their methane gas, she has asked Mr. Gay to set up a time when she could go and visit Taylor County, and she thought some of the other Commissioners would like to go. Mr. Harris advised that he would go. Mr. Newberry stated that he would set that up, right now they are only burning it off but are looking for some other way to utilize it.


Motion was made by Mr. Henry to go into Executive Session to discuss right-of-way acquisition, seconded by Mrs. Pheil and motion carried unanimously.


Motion was made by Mr. Harris to come out of Executive Session, seconded by Mr. Nance and motion carried unanimously.


Chairman Dowdy stated that when the Friends of the Park were here earlier, they failed to accept the contract for services. Mr. Pfeiffer stated that this is a contract where the county will provide them the money that comes from the grant, and they will agree to build the Memorial and other requirements in accordance with the grant. Motion was made by Mr. Nance to authorize the Chairman and County Administrator to execute and deliver the contract between Crisp County and the Friends of the Georgia Veterans Memorial State Park, Inc. , seconded by Mr. Harris and motion carried unanimously.


Motion was made by Mr. Nance to adjourn meeting, seconded by Mrs. Pheil and motion carried unanimously and meeting was adjourned at 10:45 A.M.

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  © 2002 Crisp County Board of Commissioners